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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 January 29 - February 4  > Cross-party female lawmakers rally for gender equality
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2020 January 29 - February 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Cross-party female lawmakers rally for gender equality

January 30, 2020
A gathering of cross-party female parliamentarians and organizations and individuals working for gender equality took place on January 27 in the Diet building as a follow-up to the summit meeting of the world’s women political leaders which was held in Japan last year.

From the Japanese Communist Party, House of Representatives members Takahashi Chizuko, Hatano Kimie, and Motomura Nobuko took part in the gathering.

The high-level conference of female heads of state, ministers, and politicians across the world, known as the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit, is held every year. In June 2019, the first WPL Summit in Asia was organized in Japan with the attendance of 422 female political leaders from 87 countries and co-hosted by the nation’s Lower House chair. The Summit released its outcome document titled “Taking Actions to Advance Society Through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. Among the goals is to realize gender equality.

In the meeting on January 27, based on the WPL Summit document, experts and activists made reports and proposals regarding efforts to establish gender equality in Japan.

New Japan Women’s Association President Yoneyama Junko reported that her organization recently produced 300,000 copies of a leaflet aimed at increasing public awareness in Japan of the SDGs set in 2015 by the UNGA. Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations President Shibata Masako talked about signature-collection campaigns for the ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and the abolition of discriminatory provisions in the Civil Code.

Introducing efforts led by the labor movement, former head of the Japan Federation of Aviation Uchida Taeko explained that the union has worked hard to protect female workers’ dignity and human rights by taking legal actions to address various gender-related issues, such as unfair treatment of women workers due to pregnancy and childbirth and the increased use of fixed-term contract cabin attendants as a tactic to reduce labor costs.

Experts presented proposals from various points of view. Wako University Professor Emeritus Takenobu Mieko, for example, argued for the need to remove economic inequalities between men and women which cannot be achieved by only increasing the labor force participation rate of women.

Past related articles:
> Shinfujin in convention calls for gender equality and a new government [November 3 & 4, 2019]
> Rally held to press government to ratify Optional Protocol to CEDAW [June 5, 2019]
> JAL’s ‘maternity harassment’ victim wins court-mediated settlement [June 29, 2017]
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