Women in Japan Today 2004

Framework for the Promotion of Gender Equality

The Council for Gender Equality is chaired by the Chief Cabinet Secretary and comprises 12 cabinet ministers designated by the Prime Minister and 12 intellectuals appointed by the Prime Minister.
The Council has the following specialist committees established.

(1)Specialist Committee on Basic Issues

This Committee studies and deliberates basic perceptions of gender equality, and individual, priority 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 that Gives a Married Couple an Option to Retain Separate Surnames. " In April 2003, the Committee compiled "Measures to Support Women's Challenges ".

(2)Specialist Committee on Violence against Women

This Committee 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 a report entitled "Towards Smooth Enforcement of the Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims ". In June 2003, the Committee compiled the reports on the implementation status of the Law for the prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims. The Committee is currently deliberating on wide-ranging issues related to violence against women.

(3)Specialist Committee on Monitoring and Handling Complaints

This Committee studies and deliberates whether 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 the following 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." In July 2003, the Committee compiled the "Report on collection, organization and provision of information related to gender equality " and it is currently deliberating policies on "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 " in October 2002.

(4)Special Committee on Gender Impact Assessment and Evaluation

This Committee studies and deliberates on government measures affecting the formation of a gender-equal society, which include various systems and customs closely related to lifestyle choices. In December 2002, the Committee compiled a report on the taxation, social security, and employment systems as examples of governmental programs and social customs from the viewpoint of neutrality to the lifestyle. The Committee currently places greater emphasis on the labor market and working styles.