The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)

IAWN Contacts: Kaoru Yoshitani and Michiko Kikawada

Michiko & KaoruIn Nippon Sei Ko Kai we have a Women’s Desk and a Gender Project in the Province’s Peace and Justice Committee. We are also preparing a website for the Women’s Desk.

We contribute to the Gender Project newsletter ‘Talitha, koum’. The IAWN Newsletter is circulated electronically via ‘Women’s Desk Net’ among the women’s groups mentioned below.

 

 

The main issues and concerns that impact women and girls in Japan - within the Church and in the broader community:

  • A low percentage of women in decision-making bodies, especially in the national political field. Japan is ranked 104th on the Gender Gap Index (as of 2014).
  • 69.2 per cent of part-time workers are women, that is, 9.94 million out of 14.36 million (2012).
  • The average wage of female workers in 2012 was 70.9 per cent of that of male workers.
  • An increasing number of single mothers living in poverty.
  • A high ratio of nursed elderly people and children.
  • Child pornography.
  • Trafficking in persons.
  • The problem of sex slaves (‘comfort women’) of the Japanese war-time army.
  • Domestic violence, harassment and other forms of violence against women.
  • Sexual violence around US military bases.
  • Marriage issues with female foreign residents in Japan.
  • High ratio of women assuming the husband’s family name, and disparity of age of marriage couples.
  • The TEPCO nuclear power plant accidents continue contaminating the environment and putting people as well as all organisms at serious risk in Japan. Children are more susceptible to radiation. Mothers are anxious about thyroid cancer or unknown disorders their children have had or might have in the future.

Our Province is responding to these issues in these ways:

  • The women’s Conference (2006, 2013): discussions about recovery of independence; equality of gender; community building without harassment; each person as a bearer of mission; equal partnership and cooperation.
  • In 2006, the Anglican Church in Japan adopted a resolution to constitute a Women’s Desk in the General Synod. Since then the Women’s Desk has been working on issues concerning women in Japan Province.
  • Setting up study groups and campaigns for prevention of harassment.
  • Handing out ‘Anglican Women at Prayer’ for empowerment of women belonging to churches.
  • Making a review of the Guideline for the Realization of Woman Priests (1998) and examining the meaning and context of the Guideline today.

Women in church leadership and decision-making:

  • 24.2 per cent of the members of the standing committees of 11 dioceses are female. A goal has been set for 30% women members in every decision-making body in NSKK by 2020.
  • Commitment to advocacy for issues concerning women clergy.
  • Cooperating ecumenically and spreading networks for the empowerment and leadership of women through making contact and coordination among women’s groups (women clergy, Mothers’ Union, Girls’ Friendly Society, “Concerned Women Group”, the representative of National Council of Churches’ Women’s Committee, RIGRIMA [NGO], ACWCJ, the Gender Project, and former delegates of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, etc) according to need, and facilitating their sharing of information and challenges.
  • Making contact and coordination with international networks. Our Province nominates two or three delegates to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women every year.