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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 July 11 - 17  > Gender equality agenda disappears from LDP election platform
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2007 July 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Gender equality agenda disappears from LDP election platform

July 4, 2007
“The realization of a gender-equal society,” which the Liberal Democratic Party promised in its 2005 general election platform, disappeared from its House of Councilors election platform.

As policies to deal with women’s issues, ten items are listed in its document. All these items are to do with child-raising such as “improvement in measures to assist child-raising families” and “system building to assist in child-raising in local communities.”

Even an item entitled, “Creation of environment in which women can make use of their willingness and abilities,” includes such measures as “support for women who wish to keep being employed during pregnancy and the child-raising period,” “employment service for mothers,” and “measures for mother-child families.” It seems that the LDP led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is stubbornly sticking to the idea of regarding women as “birth-giving machines” as Welfare Minister Yanagisawa Hakuo once expressed.

Assistance to child-raising alone fails to meet women’s demands.

Japan falls far behind other countries in guaranteeing women’s rights and improving their status. The white paper on gender equality 2007, which the government published on June 19, states, “Japanese women’s overall participation in society remains at a low level in comparison to other countries.” Equality of both sexes needs to be achieved in every part of the society.

It is disgraceful, in the first place, for the governing party to fail to put up promotion of equality of the sexes. In addition to this, the fact that the LDP removed gender equality from its election platform sheds light on its dangerous intention.

The LDP House of Councilors election platform that gives priority to constitutional revision is said to highlight Abe’s stance. At a time when gender equality is being attacked by pro-Yasukuni forces that praise prewar Japan as the “beautiful society,” the removal of the gender equality agenda from its platform may well reveal Abe’s true character. - Akahata, July 4, 2007
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