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Friday, October 24, 2014, 15:45 - 16:45

The Reality of Maternity Harassment in Japan
Sayaka Osakabe
Representative of Matahara Net
Yumiko Akutsu & Kyoko Niimura
Lawyers, The Tokyo Bar Association
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 For decades Japanese politicians have promised to support working women and their families. Have those promises been kept?

 A physical therapist from Hiroshima found that after trying to request a less demanding position under Japanese law her employer subjected her to maternity harassment--or matahara. In the best tradition of victims of civil rights violations, she sued. A district court ruled against her. An appeals court ruled against her. Undaunted, she and her supporters took the issue to Japan's Supreme Court. And on October 23 Japan's highest court will render its decision.

 On the day following the decision, Sayaka Osakabe, Representative of Matahara Net and Yumiko Akutsu and Kyoko Niimura, supporting lawyers of the 'Matahara Net' will come to the Club to discuss the court's ruling--whatever it is--and the future efforts of the recently-formed Matahara Net support group.

 Matahara Net claims that 10% of pregnant women and working mothers leave their jobs because of maternity harassment. The issue is particularly timely in light of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to let women shine and the recent resignations of two female cabinet members.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

Yumiko AkutsuKyoko NiimuraSayaka OsakabeOct 24 14 PC

 Yumiko Akutsu              Kyoko Niimura               Sayaka Osakabe

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