I heard this re-challenge plan discussed on BBC World radio today, and it’s an universal issue very much part of Dutch politics since 1990. I’m wondering how Japan will cope on true gender equality in its culture and society. Also, I would like to know, how in other parts of the world lessons have been learned or perhaps policy is still lacking.

In any event, it’s an issue that can never be neglected within U.S. politics and the Democratic party today, and for Election 2006 and 2008.

Japan backs gender equality plan
By Leo Lewis

TOKYO Japan (BBC News) Dec. 27 — The government hopes to tempt mothers back to work, as it gave the green light to a series of measures to improve employment conditions for women and encourage their return to work after maternity.

The changes, known as the female re-challenge plan, have been pushed through by the prime minister himself.

The government hopes to tempt
mothers back to work

The plans come in response to Japan’s plunging birth rate. Japan’s population contracted in 2005 for the first time since records began more than a century ago, and politicians are alarmed by the absence of women from the shrinking workforce.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichuro Koizumi’s cabinet has approved a gender equality plan that aims to put more women in leadership positions.

  • Over two-thirds of Japanese women do not return to work after childbirth.
  • Only 11% of management positions nationwide were held by women as of 2004 – but that is up from 8.3% in 2001.

More below the fold »»

The plan approved today aims to redress the perceived failures of an equal opportunities law enacted 20 years ago.

New measures include:

  • granting flexible hours and training programmes to women who return to work after maternity
  • using vacant retail space for childcare centres
  • providing financial support for women entrepreneurs.

The plan aims to push girls towards science and technology studies from an earlier stage, and the cabinet has set itself the target of filling a third of all leadership positions with female managers by the year 2020.

Japan’s Android World

Conservatives Warn of Attack on Traditional Values

There remain signs though that Japan’s progress towards equality may be slow, with conservatives warning that Mr Koizumi’s plan may be an attack on traditional values.

Creating of a work environment where women can work to their full potential (pdf file)

Ito-Yokado continues as before to allow no sex discrimination in any area of employment, including recruitment, promotion, career advancement, wages, or retirement.

We shall continue to take a proactive approach toward the recruitment of women and providing a workplace where women can …

  • activate their abilities
  • form the core of the management staff

    Number of female officers: 1
    Number of female managerial staff: 707 or 15.2% of the total.

What is not needed is a system whereby only the mother is forced to balance work and childcare; rather, it will be necessary to develop a corporate culture that will allow for a system whereby a couple will be able to share the childcare duties.

Women In Japanese Society

“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”


Boo! Feminists ◊ by AndiF

0 0 votes
Article Rating