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Woman Wins Sex Discrimination Case

Date Posted: 2000-03-05

Last Wednesday, February, 23rd, a Japanese court in Osaka District ordered a company to pay over 5 million yen in damages to a woman for sexual discrimination in failing to promote her worker for over 27 years. The court ruled that the failure of Sharp Electronics Marketing Corp. to promote Ms. Tomoko Haneda, a clerical worker, could not be justified in terms of ability.

I think we need to build a society where you can work normally and have your work recognized as a matter of course, Haneda said in a nationally televised interview.

Ms. Haneda, 59, who joined the company in 1964, didn't get a promotion until 1991. She sued in March 1995 for some 35.000.000 in damages. The damages awarded to the lady set a landmark as the highest so far in Japan any case of sexual discrimination in the workplace. According to a news observer, however, there have been previous cases in which women were awarded more money in back pay. In Japan, where males are still favored in politics and industry, some companies still hire women on a separate track from the men. The women are sometimes expected to quit when they get married. In 1986, a law was passed to promote equal employment opportunities for women, but the promise of equal pay for equal merit is still far from having been fulfilled.

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