Historically, Japanese women have been paid significantly less than their male counterparts and were expected to be subservient towards their bosses. Many were hired because of their "eagerness and fresh faces," and were expected to quit upon marriage.
Although a new gender equality law was instituted in Japan four months ago, social attitudes haven't changed much in response. Nevertheless, lawyer Katsuko Terasawa noted that "Full-time Japanese women now have the law, and a raised consciousness, and increasing courage to bring a case to court. It is not so possible any more to have a woman doing important work and not getting paid what she should."
But the corporate world is much slower in altering its attitudes towards women in the workplace. Due to the sagging economy, may jobs on the "low rungs of the ladder" -- those usually held by women -- are being made temporary or part-time positions. The secretary of the Tokyo Womenís Union, Keiko Tani, stated, "The situation is getting worse. We don't have the luxury to fight for the same salary as a man when our very job is in danger."
One of the most significant problems that Japanese women are facing is the traditional idea that women should stay at home and raise a family while men are "the warriors for the company." "We have to abolish the principle that men are responsible for work and women are responsible for the family. Work and family matters both ought to be shared equally," commented Kiyokawa.
Media Resources: The Washington Post - August 10, 1999
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .