Subject: [cwj 92] Women join hands to protest sexual discrimination ruling
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 14:08:11 -0700
Seq: 92

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September 1, 2000

Women join hands to protest sexual discrimination ruling 

Yomiuri Shimbun

OSAKA -- Hundreds of people, mostly women, formed a human chain around
the Osaka District Court building in Kita Ward, Osaka, on Thursday
afternoon to
protest the court's dismissal in July of a sexual discrimination suit filed
by two
female employees of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. 

In their suit, Katsumi Nishimura and Eiko Shirafuji claimed the company had
passed them over for promotion and wage raises simply because of their sexes. 

Although the court acknowledged that the employment system the firm used
when the women were hired in the 1960s violated the Constitution because it
differentiated between jobs for men and women, it rejected the suit, saying
the firm's policy was typical of the corporate world at the time. 

The women have appealed the ruling. 

About 330 people listened to speeches made by the plaintiffs and their lawyer
before joining hands and encircling the court building. 

Nishimura said, "I am sure the protest will make people all over the country
aware of the importance of equal rights for men and women." 

Laura Dales, an Australian graduate student at Ritsumeikan University in
said, "Women in Japan and across the world need to demonstrate against this
kind of discrimination." 

Adriane Richter, a German student at the university, described the court's
ruling as "unjust."
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