This is a collation of case summaries from the Asia Pacific region citing CEDAW, National Constitutions, and other Human Rights instruments protecting equality of rights between men and women. Read more
Megumi Kaneko stood on a podium in front of a poster of herself and dissolved into tears as she urged the mostly-male audience to pick her in this weekend’s Japanese election.
In the male-dominated world of Japanese politics, the 36-year-old beauty queen-turned-lawmaker faces a formidable rival in what makes for an unusual contest: Another woman.
“This is the hardest election I’ve fought in my life,” she said at the event held at a plush wedding venue in the city of Sanjo, 229 kilometers (142 miles) north of Tokyo, known for its manufacture of knives and metal tools. “I’m more worried than I’... Read more
The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) will hold the first ever Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF) on 12-14 December 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This event will bring together 100-150 activists- women lawyers, academics, advocates and youth leaders. It will be an occasion to celebrate our collective achievements, reflect on our challenges and political climates, deepen feminist knowledge and analysis, strengthen our sisterhood, solidarity and collaboration, and reaffirm our resolve to advance women’s rights.
Workshops will be divided into four... Read more
Photo credit: Lim Hun-jung/Reuters
Many countries in South and South East Asia have been run by females as head of state or head of government, among them India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand, but no woman has been in charge, other than fleetingly, of a country in East Asia, a region that encompasses China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Mongolia and contains more than a fifth of the world's population.
Nyam-Osoryn Tuyaa's stint as acting prime minister of Mongolia in 1999 lasted just eight days, while Soong Ching-ling, technically the head of state of... Read more
While China’s air defense zone issues was topmost on everyone’s mind during United States Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan this week, he also had other agenda on his plate. Together with U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell, he met with those who are helping advance women’s roles in the corporate world and commended Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on his policies to help make that a cornerstone of the Japanese economy.
We invite you to read the full article published December 4, 2013 Read more
The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) will hold the first ever Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF) on 12-14 December 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The APFF will bring together women activists, lawyers, academics, advocates and youth leaders to celebrate our collective achievements, reflect on our challenges and shifting political environments, deepen feminist knowledge and analysis, strengthen our sisterhood, solidarity and collaboration and reaffirm our resolve to advance women’s rights. For more information visit the APWLD website. Workshops will focus on: 1. ... Read more
A lawmaker in the Japan Restoration Party was jeered during a meeting at parliament and told by a male lawmaker she “should give birth to a baby.”
The incident took place in April when Rep. Sayuri Uenishi was speaking on Japan’s declining population at a committee meeting. It didn’t receive attention at the time, but Ms. Uenishi brought it up this week after publicity about a separate case of sexist heckling in June at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, when lawmaker Ayaka Shiomura was told to “hurry up and get married.”
We invite you to read the full article published on July 4th 2014. Read more
This book analyzes the manifestations of fundamentalisms in the Asia-Pacific region and their impact on women as well as on democracy and politics in general. It includes strategies adopted by women’s groups and progressive women’s movements to resist these fundametalist developments. Read more
On June 23, a middle-aged male Japanese politician, dressed in the traditional dark suit and '80s-retro haircut, walked in front of a waiting line of news cameras, to where a younger female politician waited. As the cameras flashed, he apologized to the woman, and bowed deeply; she looked on gravely.
To a naïve Western observer, this scene might look like just another day in the byzantine, hidebound world of Japanese politics. But I’ve been watching Japanese politics and civil society for more than a decade now, and when I saw Akihiro Suzuki bow to Ayaka Shiomura, I caught my breath. I knew... Read more
Japan's Shinzo Abe on Friday named the country's first ever female aide to the prime minister, just weeks after Caroline Kennedy arrived as the first woman US ambassador to Tokyo, AFP reports.
Makiko Yamada, a 53-year-old internal ministry veteran, will advise the conservative prime minister on policies affecting women, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
"The government regards promotion of women in society as one of the key pillars for our growth policies," Suga told a regular briefing.
We invite you to read the full article published November 29, 2013
(Reuters) - With a telegenic presence, powerful ruling party mentors and a talent for avoiding making political enemies, Japan's new trade and industry minister, Yuko Obuchi, may have what it takes to become the country's first female prime minister.
In Tokyo's male-dominated corridors of power, where seniority still matters, Obuchi's gender and youth would in the past have made her a long-shot - at best - to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
But a shortage of popular male rivals and lingering doubts over the success of "Abenomics" mean the 40-year-old daughter... Read more
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday was due to host a three-day conference on women in the workforce, as the country grapples with boosting a low female participation rate,AFP reports.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who has long pressed Japan to increase the chances for women to work as a way to expand its economy, is to give a keynote speech later in the day.In a bid to draw global focus, Abe's wife Akie and Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, will also speak, while US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is to introduce... Read more
There was only one problem. Her Democratic Party had never been in power. In fact, only one party has really been in charge of Japan since the end of World War II. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) helped build the world's No. 2 economy, but it has also imposed a stifling consensus that discouraged public debate and suppressed civil society initiatives. As a result, Japanese elections have been about as exciting as watching grass grow.But politics in Japan became a whole lot more interesting when Tanioka's party captured more than 300 seats in the 480-seat lower house of Japanese... Read more
n next month's general election, politicians — nearly all of them men — will make promises on what they will do to fix the economic morass, but very few of them will mention the role of women in the workforce.
The country's problems are well known: more older people are living longer as the workforce that supports them gets smaller, resulting in rising welfare costs and a shrinking tax base.
An influx of immigrants would boost the number of workers, but Japan has little appetite for migration on a European scale. Observers say the answer lies within —get more of the nation's women to work.... Read more
Three days before South Korea elected a woman president, Japanese voters significantly reduced the number of women in parliament. As a result of Sunday’s vote, the new lower house will have 38 women, or 7.9% of all lawmakers in that chamber. That’s down from 54, or 11.3% in the prior session, and even lower than the 43 elected the time before that in 2005. That ended a steady increase in the number of female MPs in the past three campaigns.
Japan’s low number is “embarrassing as an advanced country,” said Mieko Nakabayashi, a female candidate from the (no longer) ruling Democratic Party of... Read more
Japan's parliament will look radically different when it formally elects Hatoyama as prime minister at a special session in the middle of next month. The lower house will contain 158 first-time MPs, just over 90% of them from the DPJ, and a record 54 women, 40 of them from Hatoyama's party. The chamber's 480 MPs have an average age of 52, with the youngest aged 27.
To read the complete article please visit guardian.co.uk website.See other article on the same issue, visit news.com.au website. Read more
The Democratic Party of Japan has promoted women and younger candidates who have not risen through traditional routes to power.The display of hyperactivity was deliberate, and not just because Ms. Kushibuchi is anxious to win every last vote she can. Her party, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is "projecting a new image compared to the old politics," she says, "an image of energy."
To read the complete article please visit The Christian Science Monitor website. Read more
Since the horrific Mar. 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated her coastal town of Minato, in Ishinomaki city, Masami Endo’s three-year-old daughter has been crying and clinging to her every night. Endo is very worried about her child. The two of watched the tsunami swarm into their town and through the first floor of their house, destroying the structure badly. Ishinomaki is located in Miyagi- prefecture, about 330 kilometres north of Tokyo.
The story of Sakura is just one example of the thousands of tales of similar distress now told by survivors of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake... Read more
The return to power of Japan’s conservative and hard-line Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Sunday indicates that voters traded urgently needed social and environmental reforms for traditional male-led leadership, according to analysts here.
Youth and feminist organisations who had campaigned vigorously for better environmental protections, labour equality and the upholding of regional peace ahead of the elections, expressed frustration about Sunday’s outcome, lamenting that the victorious LDP is yet to present concrete policies to tackle Japan’s most pressing problems.
The election result... Read more
Japan, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union, citing a November 2009 survey, ranks 106th among 189 countries in terms of the proportion of female parliamentarians in the House of Representatives. Japan just has 45 women parliamentarians in the powerful lower chamber, occupying just 9.4 percent of the total 480 seats. The corresponding proportion in the 242-member Upper House is 18.2 percent. Still, as analysts point out, the overall level of women’s representation in local politics is not as dismal as it may seem. Overall, women represent 20 percent of local assembly... Read more