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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 6 - 12  > International Women’s Day events in Japan focus on promotion of gender equality
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2019 March 6 - 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

International Women’s Day events in Japan focus on promotion of gender equality

March 9, 2019

On March 8, the International Women’s Day central rally took place in Tokyo with the slogan, “Let us join hands with women around the world seeking peace and gender equality” with 700 people participating.

The rally was hosted by the organizing committee consisting of various organizations, including the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations (Fudanren), and the New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin/NJWA).

Fudanren chair Shibata Masako on behalf of the organizing committee delivered the opening speech. Noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Shibata stressed the need to strengthen grassroots efforts to press the Japanese government to ratify the Optional Protocol to CEDAW as that would help to promote the full implementation of the CEDAW convention in Japan.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko spoke as a guest speaker. JCP Chair Shii Kazuo, Liberal Party head Ozawa Ichiro, Social Democratic Party vice head Fukushima Mizuho, and Upper House parliamentary group “Okinawa Whirlwind” leader Itokazu Keiko sent to the rally messages in solidarity.

The rally adopted a resolution calling for the introduction of a selective dual surname system and the creation of legislation banning workplace harassment.

On this day, along with the central rally, other events celebrating International Women’s Day were held in Tokyo.

An organizing committee composed of civil groups working on women-related issues held the Women’s March Tokyo in Shibuya Ward with 450 people, including men as well as LGBTQ activists, participating.

Holding placards that read, “No future in discrimination!” “Let us join hands and fight!” participants paraded through downtown streets filled with a Friday night atmosphere of relaxing and having fun and appealed to pedestrians to support a call for creating a society free from violence and discrimination.

During the lunch hour, the JCP held a street speech event near Yurakucho Station in celebration of the annual Women’s Day.

In addition to JCP Vice Chair Tamura, JCP members of the Upper House Kira Yoshiko and Yamazoe Taku and JCP member of the Lower House Motomoura Nobuko delivered speeches with a bouquet of Mimosa, the symbol of March 8, held in their hands.

Tamura pointed out that the opposition party/concerned citizens collaboration seeks to eliminate gender inequality and called on passersby to vote for candidates working to realize gender equality in the major elections slated for April and July.

Past related articles:
> Japanese NGOs pushing gov't to end gender inequality [February 9, 2019]
> Japan lags behind international community in gender equality [March 6, 2018]
> Japanese women call for ‘No War’ on International Women’s Day [March 10, 2017]

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