Japanese ministry adds female lecturers to online course after backlash

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Japan’s land ministry said on Monday it had added 15 women to the list of lecturers for a planned online course on community development for civil servants, after coming under fire for initially filling all 25 lecture slots with men. .

The move follows numerous complaints that the Japanese government has failed to implement more effective measures to increase women’s participation in the political and economic arenas.

A file photo shows families and other people outside Akashi Station in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, on April 5, 2019. (Kyodo)

Following the revision, the course organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will consist of 37 teachers, three of the men initially appointed having been replaced.

The participant cap for the course, which the ministry will start from September, has also been doubled to 400 people.

The Lands Ministry has come under fire following its announcement of the course in July on its website and via social media. Twitter users questioned why there wasn’t a single woman on the panel, with some saying community building would be male-centric.

Last month, the ministry said it had considered recruiting female instructors but “was unable to secure any” mainly due to “scheduling reasons”.

Norie Miwa, a professor of urban social and cultural studies at Yokohama City University, will be among the newly revealed addition to the list, which will talk about raising children with methods that interact with the environment. urban.

Another is Wakako Kawajiri, head of the Nagareyama city government’s marketing department in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo. The city’s population grew by 14.6 percent between 2015 and 2020, according to central government data last year.

Regarding the changes, an official from the Ministry of Lands said: “In response to criticism, we have not only added women to the list. We have also chosen speakers with a variety of specialties such as a carbon-free society, parenting and barrier. -free initiatives.”

Japan continues to lag behind in the gender gap rankings. This year, it was ranked 116th out of 146 countries, making it the worst performer in the East Asia and Pacific group and the Group of Seven major economies, according to a report by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum.

In February 2021, former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori resigned as chairman of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee following an outcry over his comments that women’s participation in meetings meant that they had a tendency to “go on forever”.


Related coverage:

Japanese ministry rapped for list of male lecturers in online course


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