Women in Japan Today 2003

Framework for the Main Tools for Gender Equality

The Council for Gender Equality is chaired by the Chief Cabinet Secretary and comprises twelve cabinet ministers designated by the Prime Minister and twelve intellectuals appointed by the Prime Minister.
The Council currently has the following specialist committees established at present.

(1)Specialist Committee on Basic Issues

Studies and deliberates issue of basic perceptions of gender equality, and individual, important issues of great concern to people and closely related to basic perceptions.

The Committee compiled its findings in October 2001 in a report entitled "Interim Report on Deliberations on a System which Gives a Married Couple an Option to Retain Separate Surnames". The Committee is currently deliberating "measures to support for Women's Challenges" with the aim of enabling women to play leading roles in various fields and to expand the areas of activities to new fields.

(2)Specialist Committee on Violence against Women

Studies and deliberates on measures for the future while considering each of the fields, violence from husbands or partners, sexual crimes, prostitution, sexual harassment and stalking behavior.

In both October 2001 and April 2002, the Committee compiled two reports entitled "Towards Smooth Enforcement of the Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims", and these were each approved by the Council. The Committee is currently deliberating wide-ranged issues related to the violence against women.

(3)Specialist Committee on Monitoring and Handling Complaints

Studies and deliberates whether or not the Basic Plan for Gender Equality is being steadily implemented in each ministry and agency.

With regard to its monitoring activities, in June 2002, the Committee complied the "Report on Study Results on Monitoring (FY2001)", which reports these three policies; "promotion of the appointment of women to national advisory councils and committees","enlargement of the recruitment and promotion of female national public officers" and "policies on support measures for the balancing of work and child raising", and this was approved by the Council. The Committee is currently deliberating policies on "collection, organization and provision of information related to gender equality" and "contribution to `equality, development and peace' of the global community."

With regard to handling of complaints, the Committee complied a report entitled "Enhancing and Strengthening the System for Handling of Complaints with Regard to Measures for Gender Equality and Providing Relief for Victims of Human Rights Infringements" to the Council for Gender Equality in October 2002.

(4)Special Committee on Gender Impact Assessment and Evaluation

Studies and deliberates government measures affecting the formation of a gender-equal society, which include various systems and customs closely related to the choice of life style. In December 2002, the committee compiled a report on the taxation, social security, and employment systems as examples of governmental schemes and social customs from the view point of neutrality to the life style. The committee will place greater emphasis on the labour market and working style in its next stage of investigation.