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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 June 21 - 27  > Ousting patriarchy advocates from political stage needed to realize gender-equal Japan
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2023 June 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Ousting patriarchy advocates from political stage needed to realize gender-equal Japan

June 25, 2023

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The World Economic Forum on June 21 released the Global Gender Gap Report 2023. Japan's ranking moved to 125th out of 146 countries, down from 116th last year. Its gender equality achievement rate was 64.7%, falling far short of G7 countries' standards and the lowest among East Asia-Pacific countries.

It was in 2006 when the first gender gap index was published. At that time, Japan ranked 80th out of 115 states and its achievement rate stood at 64.5%. During these 17 years, while other nations have worked to successfully correct the male-female imbalance, Japan has hardly made progress in this issue.

The Japanese government is responsible for this. Japan in 1985 ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. However, successive governments have not seriously addressed the challenge of gender equality. They have just uttered empty slogans like "equal opportunity" and "respect for diversity".

At present, Japan has a mountain of problems such as the stagnant economy, falling birthrate/aging population, and human rights issues pertaining to foreigners/asylum-seekers and sexual/ethnic minorities. The underlying cause of all these problems is Japan's social structure built on gender inequality.

During Diet debates last year, Daimon Mikishi, a Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors at that time, pointed out that countries which are advanced in closing gender disparities are increasing per-capita labor productivity and enjoying high growth. The IMF also points out that women's empowerment will boost economic growth. As the gender gap in wages in Japan is the largest among G7 countries, Japan should immediately work to eliminate the gap.

The State of the World Population 2023 published in April explains that gender inequality at work and at home in addition to a lack of systematic support for dual-income households are the characteristics in low-birthrate countries.

The world is now moving toward establishing an equal number of women and men in each country's congress or administration. In contrast, the Japanese ruling party LDP is only now beginning to say, "The LDP aims to increase the percentage of its women Dietmembers to 30% within the next decade."

The LDP-led government is turning its back on the public demand for the legalization of same-sex marriage and for the introduction of a selective dual-surname system by arguing that this would destroy Japan's traditional family values. In order to realize a gender-equal society, it is vital to oust politicians who beautify Japan's prewar paternalistic family institution which regarded men as superior to women.

Past related article:
> Gender equality is vital for a childrearing-friendly society [May 13, 2023]
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