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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 January 27 - February 2  > End to gender inequality in sports is necessary in Japan
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2021 January 27 - February 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

End to gender inequality in sports is necessary in Japan

January 27, 2021
Human Rights Now, an international human rights NGO, on January 25 appealed for the need for "a law prohibiting discrimination in the field of education" as a means of eradicating gender inequality and sexual harassment in sports in Japan.

The NGO at an online press conference released a report jointly compiled with a U.S. university.

In explaining the report, Chiba University Professor Goto Hiroko cited a U.S. federal civil rights law as reference which is called "Title IX". She said that this law clearly bans sexual discrimination in education and works to enhance women's participation in sports, adding, "Restrictions on sexism and sexual harassment can bring about great results."

In fact, the number of U.S. high-school girls participating in sports sharply increased to 3.2 million from 290,000 in 1972 when the law was passed. In contrast, in Japan, the percentage of women aged 12-21 who engage in sports is 20% less than that of men. Very few women serve as executives of Japan's sports organizations. Sexual harassment from coaches and instructors against athletes still exist in universities and in top-level competitions, and many players have no choice but to tolerate the situation.

Kokushikan University Professor Tahara Junko said, "The Japanese sporting world is sexist. Legislation like 'Title IX' is necessary in Japan to increase public awareness regarding gender equality, help to attain equal opportunity, and eradicate sexual violence and harassment."

Secretary General of the Human Rights Now, lawyer Ito Kazuko said, "Japan has no legislation stipulating gender equality in education. This has been causing many problems in school sports," and stressed the importance of having such legislation passed in Japan.
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