May 2005 Archives

"Current trend in Gender Studies in the USA"

(Lecture in English)

Dr. Mary S. Hartman
University Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Director, Institute for Women's Leadership at Douglass College, Rutgers University
"Mary S. Hartman has been a pioneering historian, a founder of women's history...." -- Catharine R. Stimpson, New York University
Mary S. Hartman is university professor and director of the Institute for Women's Leadership, a consortium of six units based on the Douglass campus. From the early seventies, she joined in creating one of the nation's first Women's Studies programs at Douglass, and in 1973 co-organized the first Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, which has since become the largest inter-disciplinary forum for scholarship in the field.

On March 28, 2004, the Osaka District Court ordered Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. to pay roughly 63 million yen in compensation to four female employees. The women claimed they had been subjected to sexual discrimination in wages and promotions. In a series of sexual discrimination suits brought against the three companies of the Sumitomo Group, this is the first time that a court has ruled in favor of the female plaintiffs. However, Sumitomo Metal Industries has remained firm in their decision to lodge an appeal, and do not appear to show any signs of expressing an intention to reform their internal personnel management. This is an issue which reflects the dark side of certain Japanese corporations and demands urgent reform.

ICU Graduate School : Hirano, Ryo

In 2004, the Japanese Diet enacted a judicial reform law for a jury system to come into effect by the year 2009. Paving the way for public participation in the judicial process is a significant breakthrough for the realization of democratic ideals. However, there are still a number of unresolved problems with the jury system itself, one of which is the lack of a gender perspective. Legal gender research has called attention to the 'masculinity of the law'. The framework and the practice of law is based on male ideology and there is insufficient implementation of human rights policies for women or sexual minorities. Thus, a jury system must be gender equal and care must be taken not to allow the influence of gender bias in trials. Our group has actively pushed for the government to formulate legislation to address these issues. Although the legislation was not established, we have succeeded in increasing awareness and instigating debate regarding gender issues in a number of meetings of the Lower House Committee on Judicial Affairs.

Senshu Univ. Graduate School : Tamura, Naoko

The Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies (PGSS) at ICU started in the Spring Term of 2005. Also starting this term is the new foundation class, "Approach to Gender Studies", in which 15 scholars lecture on the possibilities of gender and sexuality studies in a diverse range of fields, including natural science.

Moreover, on Friday, May 27, CGS will commemorate the establishment of PGSS with a guest lecture, "What Can Gender and Sexuality Studies Do?" by Chizuko Ueno, a professor of Tokyo University and a recognized authority on gender studies.