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Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > Japanese Government Policies in Education, Science, Sports and Culture1999 > Part2 Q60

Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q6O: I heard that recently the Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society was enacted.What is a"gender-equal society"?And are there any relations between a gender-equal society and education?

A:A gender-equal society is a society in whichmen and women respect each other andeach and every individual can fully exercisehis or her individuality and abilities irre-spective of gender It is a society in whichmen and women can use their abilities atwork and in other places in accordance withtheir own wishes and without being subject-ed to sexual discrimination,and have theopportunity to take part in policy and deci-siort-making as well as playing an equal rolein domestic life,including raising childrenand care work.Education to increase awareness of gen-der equality and to heighten the importanceof individuality without being trapped in thementality that someone should behave in acertain way because he or she is a man or awoman will play an important role in the re-alization of such a society.

In June1999the Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society was promulgated and became effective.Under the Law,the central government,local gov-emments and Japanese citizens are required to make efforts toward the achievement of a gender-equal society in all areas.The Minishy of Educa-tion,Science,Sports and Culture(MESSC),for its part,is promoting various measures in education for realizing a gender-equal society.In schools,we are promoting education that will teach students about equality,mutual under-standing and cooperation between men and women not only in classes for all subjects,but also throughout all aspects of school life.In addition,as part of lifelong learning,we are providing many forms of learning opportu-nities,such as the hosting of the Women's Life-long College and training programs at the Na-tional Women's Education Centre to enable women to acquire the skills they need for further participation in society.

International Comparison of Women's Participation in Policy and Decision-Making in Society

On the Human Development Index(HDI),which measures the basic development of human capacities,Japan ranks fourth out of174countries.However,Japan ranks a lowly38 th

out of102countries in the Gender Empowerment Measure(GEM),which measures the degree of political and economic participa-tion by women.In order to remedy this situation so that women participate with men in all areas of soci-ety,MESSC is working to enhance education and leaming opportunities that facilitate various choices.

Human Development Index(HDI)

The HDI indicates the average development of basic human capacities.It is a composite index that measures the level of achievement in the three basic dimensions of longevity,knowledge and a decent standard of living.Specifically,the HDI is calculated using data on life expectancy,educational attainment(adult literacy and combined primary,secondary and tertiary enrollment)and adjusted income.

Gender Empowerment Measure(GEM)

The GEM measures the level of participation in economic and political decision-making.While the HDI focuses on the expansion of human capacities,the GEM focuses on the utilization of those abilities.Specifically,the GEM is measured by women's earned income,and the percentages of women in par-liament,among administrators and managers and among professional and technical workers."Gender"refers to a socially and culturally constructed notion of sex.It is used in distinction from the biological category of sex.While the meaning of"empowerment"is to acquire power,more specifically,it means to increase one's awareness and abilities and to become a political,economic,social and cultural force.

Human Development Index(HDI)Gender Empowerment Measure(GEM)

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