Central body tasked with narrowing gender inequality in Japan

The government has initiated a plan to establish an organisation to serve as the national central body for regional gender equality centres.
By: | May 31, 2022

Aiming to boost support for women’s economic independence, the plan is included in a draft of the 2022 priority policy measures for women’s empowerment and gender equality drawn up at the meeting of the Council for Gender Equality.

“Our country is lagging behind other nations in gender equality,” Seiko Noda, minister in charge of gender equality, told attendees of the meeting. 

“Women’s lives and shapes of families have been diversified. Assumptions taken for granted during the Showa Era no longer apply,” Noda said, referring to the period that ran from 1926 to 1989. 

“The key to tackling declining births and population is gender equality,” she stressed. 

The government expects to help strengthen the functions of gender equality centres at 355 locations nationwide after transferring the jurisdiction of the National Women’s Education Centre, an independent administrative corporation, to the Cabinet Office from the education ministry.

An expert panel will consider the name of the planned national organisation and its specific missions. 

READ: Japan to double budget for childcare support

The draft priority measures also include a new rule to oblige companies to disclose gender wage gaps, aiming to eliminate such disparities. It will be formalised soon at a joint meeting with other groups including the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, according to The Japan Times.