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Story of the "Introduction"of Norms of Gender Equality Into J. Employment (4/5)

Created 5th March 2011 @ 04:44
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Resistible Force Meets Object: The Story of the \”Introduction\”of Norms of Gender Equality Into Japanese Employment Practice

Frank Upham, Wilf Family Professor of Property Law, New York University School of Law

Tuesday, April 5, 3:00PM
Penn Law School –Silverman 245A, Bernard Segal Moot Court Room

Japanese working women have been struggling for equal treatment since the 1950s and initially had success in getting Japanese courts to prohibit the most blatant forms of discrimination. This process culminated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1985, which has since been strengthened twice so that by 2010 Japanese women enjoy legal protection against employment-based discrimination that is comparable to that of the US. The practical results, however, have not been as anticipated. Indeed, if anything, the absolute employment condition of Japanese women has deteriorated. While there has been a tiny improvement in the number of women in management positions – from 1 to 4% (versus 40% in the US) – and social attitudes toward working women now approximate those in other OECD nations, the World Economic Forum in its 2010 Global Gender Gap Index ranked Japan 94th out of 134 countries. In this lecture I will trace this history, then attempt to explain why Japan remains so far behind most other countries, rich or poor, in employment equality.

Issues in Contemporary East Asia Lecture Series

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