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Measures to empower women featured in election pledges

Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)–Japanese ruling and opposition parties feature measures to empower women in their platforms for Sunday’s House of Councillors election with a record proportion of female candidates.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party aims to create a better working environment for women, including by eliminating the wage gap between male and female employees.

In its pledges for the election of the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, the LDP vows to bring about a change of thinking at companies, ridding them of the outdated mindset assuming that “men do responsible tasks and women supplementary ones.”

Among opposition parties, the Democratic Party for the People proposes a law revision to effectively guarantee that both male and female workers can receive full salary during parental leave.

Reiwa Shinsengumi says it will create a gender quota so that women represent half of company executives and public-office election candidates at political parties.

The Social Democratic Party calls for banning in principle job transfers that force married workers to live away from their families and transfers requiring relocation.

Gender equality is also a key issue.

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan aims to introduce a selective dual surname system at an early date and legislation to allow same-sex marriage and eliminate discrimination against sexual minorities.

The party also wants to have men and women occupy an equal number of seats at the Diet and local assemblies.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) proposes giving legal effects to the use of maiden names while maintaining the current family register system.

The party promises to take policy measures to allow same-sex marriage and prevent sexual minorities from being discriminated.

The NHK Party calls for debates on legalizing same-sex marriage.

Measures to protect the rights of women, such as assistance to poor women unable to buy hygiene products, are also included in campaign pledges.

Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, proposes distributing free-of-charge hygiene products at schools and public facilities, as well as promoting “femtech,” or products and services utilizing advanced technologies to address health issues particular to women.

The Japanese Communist Party says that contraception and abortion are important rights of women, vowing to abolish a Penal Code section criminalizing abortion not conducted by approved doctors.

The party also pledges to make it unnecessary to gain partners’ consent for abortion, currently required under the maternal health law.

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