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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 February 13 - 19  > Women’s group seeks gov’t efforts to promote women’s rights
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2013 February 13 - 19 [WOMEN]

Women’s group seeks gov’t efforts to promote women’s rights

February 16, 2013
Representatives of the Federation of Japan Women’s Organizations (Fudanren) on February 13 visited the foreign ministry, requesting the government to accept the UN Human Rights Council recommendations and make further efforts to improve the status of Japanese women.

The UN periodically monitors the actual situation of human rights in all 193 member countries and gives advice to them. A report on Japan made by a taskforce of the UN council, which was written following the screening of the nation in autumn 2012, includes 174 items as recommendations. Japan’s administration is to express its stance toward the report at the UN council in March.

The main points of the report are as follows: ratify the optional protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); amend related domestic laws, such as the Civil Code and the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, to eradicate discrimination against women; eliminate the wage gap between male and female workers; and bring an early solution to the Japanese Army’s wartime sex slavery, so-called “comfort women” problem.

Fudanren Chair Horie Yuri argued that the administration should sincerely heed and act on the UN recommendations.

Other participants, pointing out the increasingly widening pay gap between male and female workers in Japan, demanded that the state take the initiative in abolishing sexual discrimination in the workplace as well as in introducing a system that allows married couples to use separate surnames.

Those petitioners also criticized the Abe Cabinet for its intention to revise the 1993 Kono Statement that made an official apology for the “comfort women” issue. “The victims are getting older. The government should make every effort to resolve the problem as soon as possible,” they said.

Japanese Communist Party Lower House member Kasai Akira accompanied the group delivering the petition.

Related past article:
> UN calls on Japan to eliminate discriminatory provisions against women from civil code [December 1, 2011]
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