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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 August 26 - September 1  > U.N. recommends Japan steps to end discrimination against women
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2009 August 26 - September 1 [WOMEN]

U.N. recommends Japan steps to end discrimination against women

August 26, 2009
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women says Japan’s efforts to eradicate discrimination against women are insufficient.

In its final review, the Committee pointed out that a huge gap exists in wages between men and women; that women’s participation is very backward in the realm of employment, politics, and public sectors; and that the Japanese Civil Code includes discriminatory items such as forcing couples to have the same surname and having a different minimum age for legal marriage between men and women.

The committee is particularly critical of the fact that the Japanese government has ignored past Committee recommendations.

The Japanese government admits its slow start in getting rid of the discrimination by stating, “From a global point of view, it is unfortunately undeniable that progress in Japan’s implementation of gender equality is far behind.”

JCP on this issue

The Japanese Communist Party has consistently called for women’s equality.

In the August election campaign, the JCP platform states that the present situation surrounding Japanese women’s social life goes against relevant international treaties, and demands that the government create a system in which women can keep their surname, revise the certain period imposed only on women to remarry after they last divorced, review the difference in the minimum age between men and women eligible for marriage, and prohibit discrimination against children born outside of marriage.

In the field of labor practices, the JCP proposes the implementation of a legal amendment to stop employers from discriminating against female workers.

In addition, it calls for a cut in working hours, revision of the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act, expansion of child-care services by central and local governments, and improvement of social support so that both men and women can fulfill their responsibilities to both their career and family.

The JCP also promotes women’s participation in policymaking and decision-making bodies. - Akahata, August 26, 2009
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