Gender in Japan Series “Women’s Empowerment” Policy Trends & Remaining Issues: Lessons from the Little Women Project

Wednesday, 7 July 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Zoom Webinar
  • Atsuko Muraki Guest Professor, Tsuda University
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Amidst falling birth rates, an aging population, and an accompanying deterioration in public finances, the Japanese government is placing greater importance on policies that empower women as “labour force,” and support children/childcare (nurturing the labour force of the future). These policies require transformations in how men work and participate in the household, as well as in how firms manage their workers. This talk will review these latest trends in policy, and introduce the oft-overlooked challenges faced by girls and young women who have yet to reach the “startline” envisioned by women’s empowerment. In particular, I will draw on the issues revealed by the work of the Little Women Project – an organization which supports struggling girls and young women.

About the Speaker

Atsuko Muraki is a guest Professor at Tsuda University. In 1978, she joined the Ministry of Labour (now Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare), where she was in charge of Policy Divisions for women and the disabled. In 2009, she was arrested on charges that she was involved in a postage fraud scandal, but she was found not guilty. She returned to her position in the government, and in 2013, she became Vice Minister of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, who was the second woman in this position. She retired from the ministry in 2015. Today, she is the co-founder of the Little Women Project, which supports struggling young women. She is also an outside director for the Itochu Corporation. Her publications include: 『あきらめない』(日本経済新聞出版社)、『日本型組織の病を考える』(角川書店)