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A path toward gender equality : state feminism in Japan

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Title:A path toward gender equality : state feminism in Japan
Authors:Kobayashi, Yoshie, 1955
Contributors:Kuroda, Yasumasa (advisor)
Political Science (department)
Keywords:Japan -- Rōdōshō -- Joseikyoku
Women's rights -- Japan
Women -- Government policy -- Japan
Women -- Employment -- Law and legislation -- Japan
Date Issued:2002
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:This dissertation is the first study of state feminism in a non-western nation state, focusing on the activities and roles of the Women's Bureau of the Ministry of Labor in post-World War II Japan. While state feminism theory possesses a strong capability to examine state-society relationships in terms of feminist policymaking, it tends to neglect a state's activity in improving women's status and rights in non-western nations where the feminist movements are apathetic or antagonistic to the state and where the state also creates a vertical relationship with feminist groups. To apply the state feminism theory to examine activities of a state institute for women in non-Western nations, I created new analytical factors, domestic and international master frames, which show how policymakers and activists collaborate on policymaking at a domestic level and how policymakers utilize international standards to create the domestic master frame. Using the two-level-analysis of domestic and international politics in terms of creation of master frames together with the existing institutional and mobilizing structural variables, this dissertation presents a detailed study of the activities and roles of the Japanese women's bureau as an initiator and facilitator of gender equality in the process of agenda setting for the equal opportunity laws by utilizing international influence to persuade the opposition and as an interest mediator in the process of decision-making for them. The empirical evidence presented also demonstrates that the change of roles arose from the lack of the following factors: 1) limited resources and institutional capability caused by the marginalization of the women's bureau within the government, 2) the lack of a domestic master frame on the issue of gender equality between the women's bureau and women activists, and 3) the lack of mobilizing structures that provide women's groups the access to political decision-making to reflect their opinions. The combination of these factors hindered policymaking on gender equality and created a gradual and incremental progress toward gender equality in Japan. The way to gender equality in Japan is different from the western nations. Yet, this is a way that other non-western nations have also advanced and will follow in.

Description:Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 253-274).
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Also available by subscription via World Wide Web
xiii, 274 leaves, bound 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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