Japanese Women Fight For Equal Rights At Work

The Working Women’s Network, a civic group formed by women in 1995 who were residing in Osaka, is putting together a report on sexual discrimination in the workplace that will be given to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The CEDAW group is comprised of 23 experts on women issues who are drawn from all parts of the world. Although working conditions for Japanese women have improved since passage in 1986 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, there is still wide spread inequality in the workplace. Shizuko Koedo, chairwman of the Japanese group notes, “we will point out that Japan needs to create a law to guarantee equal jobs and establish a system to evaluate employees without gender bias.”

According to recent figures released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan, full-time female employees in 2007 earned on average 66,9 percent of what men earned. Part of the wage gap stems from lack of women in top level managerial positions in the Japanese corporate structure. There is evidence males more often are on the fast track to becoming a manager while women are on the other track which leads to clerical positions.