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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 10 - 16  > PM Kishida’s policy course of ‘new capitalism’ fails to address gender gap in employment
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2021 November 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

PM Kishida’s policy course of ‘new capitalism’ fails to address gender gap in employment

November 13, 2021

A government panel tasked to draw up policies to realize Prime Minister Kishida’s vision of “new capitalism” on November 8 compiled urgent policy proposals. The panel’s proposals are very controversial in terms of gender equality.

The panel in its proposals referred to a high percentage of women in non-regular employment. As the reason for this, the panel explained that women choose to work as non-regular workers because this type of employment makes it easy for them to balance family responsibilities and work without facing a time constraint. It stated that in this context, the promotion of the conversion of women workers in non-regular positions to full-time regular positions may face difficulties.

On the other hand, the proposals state that government will provide support to corporations which make efforts to convert women non-regular employees to regular employees by such means as introducing a short-time working regular employee program and offering female non-regular workers simple task regular positions.

One of the reasons why women make up a large portion of non-regular workers is the existing work-style based on excessively long working hours which lead many women workers to give up their regular positions for childbirth or childrearing. In addition, under the Liberal Democratic Party government’s pro-business labor policies which expanded the use of low-paid, non-regular employment, women workers have been used as an employment adjustment valve.

The panel’s proposals allow discriminatory treatment of women regarding wages and promotions if they cannot accept a transfer order or work excessively long hours. Such policies aggravate indirect discrimination against women, running counter to gender equality.

The need now is to realize a work environment enabling women to balance work and family responsibilities through various measures, including banning long working hours.

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