Saturday, November 13, 2010

Japanese Vice Minister Nakayama Says ‘Sorry’ for Gaffe Against Women

Mr.Yoshikatsu Nakayama, the vice minister of economy, trade and industry sent his regrets via email to women who attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit (APEC) in early October and who were taken aback by Mr. Nakayama’s old-fashioned remark about Japanese women’s role in society.

Mr. Nakayama remarks faced heated criticism made before an audience of about 300 business women and other participants representing the 21 member economies of APEC last month He stated that “Japanese women find pleasure in working at home and that has been part of Japanese culture.”
Adding to it he said  “That should be given more credit through (raising their husbands’) salaries, but it has become impossible as the situation surrounding men became severe.” 

His infamous remarks hummed back the gender bias existing in the modern era and hence made the listeners feel unpleasant. The apology may be for whatever reasons possible but the remarks are a hard to forget as they reflect upon the existing thinking even in high profiled people containing bias against women. It reflects upon the thinking that women's role is confined to home and the hurdles culture creates for women's freedom and development. The remarks though targeted to Japanese women aren't confined to them. They address a wider picture of the portrayed image. When policy makers or people in influential position bear this mindset then progress towards a free, fair and equal society seems a distant dream and an on-going fight. Surely it has been an on going fight and a battle with such mindsets and a restructuring of the role of women is essential. These remarks would surely strengthen the cause and is an eye-opener to the modern day existing biases towards women even in a developed society like that of Japan.

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