Some questions for discussions on
the 4th and 5th reports of Japanese Government, prepared in connection
with Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women
January 26, 2003
Equality Action 2003, Japan
Concerning elimination of discrimination against women
in the field of employment, as provided in the Article 11.
1. Is there an intention in the Japanese Government to officially
express its view to the public defining that indirect discrimination
is illegal? Is there any program in the Government to enact that such
indirect discrimination is not allowed?
2. When does the Japanese Government commence upon developing criteria
for job evaluation that aims to materialize a system of equal remuneration
for work of equal value?
3. When is the Japanese Government to enact to secure equal treatment
of part-timers with full-timers?
B. The Japanese Government's stance with the report;
The Government's stance along with the 5th report is that it is still
in a process of deliberation, and fails to indicate specific ways
of improving the present situation.
1. With regards to the indirect discrimination, the Government had
said "public consensus is yet to be formed as to how the indirect
discrimination should be defined," and was to set up a platform
to think about it within fiscal year 2002 that ends in March 2003.
2. As for equal remuneration for work of equal value, the Government
has organized a study team, which is now said to be reviewing the
3. About measures for part-timers' working conditions, the Government
has started to consider since March 2001 at another study team.
C. Reasons behind the questions;
1. The CEDAW's Final Comments on Japan released in 1995 had already
pointed out problems in relation to indirect discrimination. The House
of Representatives as well as the House of Councilors passed as a
supplemental resolution each for the issue in 1997 when Equal Employment
Opportunity Law was amended. It is urgently required that the Government
makes its basic stance clear in line with what the Convention expects,
and draw positive conclusions promptly at a to-be-established platform.
2. As for equal remuneration for work of equal value, although a report
on wage differences between men and women was released in November
2002 by a study team, the Government is yet to indicate specific ways
of improving the present situation, including development of criteria
for job evaluation. There are over 12 million part-timers in Japan,
70% of which being women. As the women part-timers average earning
is 36 versus men 100, it is critical to equally treat part-timers
in order to achieve equal remuneration for work of equal value, and
for this purpose developing and implementing criteria for job evaluation
is essential. The Government needs not to postpone making the criteria,
but to set it about quickly.
3. In July 2002, a report on part timers was disclosed by another
study team, which clearly stated that it is "important to socially
establish a philosophy of fair treatment for jobs done, irrespective
of regular or part time workers." In reality however, unfair
treatment had deteriorated, though 10 years had passed since a law
for part-time work was legislated. Despite urgent needs for the enactment
of a law to secure equal treatment, the Government is reluctant to
openly plan when to begin with.
Equality Action 2003:
Office address: 3-2555-15 Wakasa Tokorozawa-city, Saitama, 359-1151,