Departmental Bulletin Paper Discrimination against Women Workers in Japan


This paper discusses discrimination against women workers in Japan. Japan ratified the UNConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1985. In April1986, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA), a law which stipulates equal treatmentof women workers with men, became effective. The law was a major condition which enabled theJapanese government to ratify the UN Convention.More than thirty years have passed since then; however, women workers in Japan continue toface serious discrimination in the workplaces. To examine the causes of gender-baseddiscrimination, I will first review the laws concerning women workers before 1985 and thedrafting process of the EEOA. Second, I will illustrate how the EEOA influenced society and howemployers have coped with the new legislation. Third, I will review the governmental campaignsand programs after 2008, a year that the Global Financial Crisis took place, to discuss whetherthey have effectively reduced discrimination against women workers. Finally, I will discuss apossible solution of discrimination against women workers in Japan.

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