December 17, 2013

On December 17, Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, held talks with Ms. Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner of Australian Human Rights Commission, who was on her visit to Japan to deliver a keynote speech at a symposium organized by the Japan National Committee for UN Women, a certified non-profit organization.

Commissioner Broderick first stated that she highly appreciated Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership in the efforts for the creation of a society where women can play active roles, and explained the history and outcomes of the Male Champions of Change, a group that she had initiated for the purpose of increasing the number of female corporate executives in Australia. Moreover, Commissioner Broderick stated that in order to form a highly diverse society in which the social minorities could get involved, it would be important first of all to improve the position of women, which consist half of the population.

Mrs. Abe explained that although the Government of Japan had taken various measures, participation of women to the decision making process in private enterprises, such as executive officers, was not sufficient enough. She also explained that in Japan women’s burden was increasing in nursing care field, and therefore the reduction of their burden was becoming another important issue. Mrs. Abe’s explanation received empathy from Commissioner Broderick. Moreover, Mrs. Abe pointed out that in Japan since many women start businesses or work in non-governmental organizations, it is important to support the formation and expansion of a network of such women and establishing women’s unique way of leadership.

Both stated that they would share and exchange information in the future to address common issues such as sex discrimination in both Japan and Australia.

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