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The Perspective Of Gender: The Sexual Harassment Of Women, Case Of Study: Japan

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In the structuring of any research work it is necessary to establish a knowledge structure, which will be followed during the investigation, this will be in two moments; General Structure and Specific Structure.

General structure; specifying the orientation of the content of the work, it is necessary to indicate the succession of activities to be followed in the writing for the best order and easiest intelligence of the object and purpose of the dissertation, (1) in a first moment the next concepts will be established, gender issues, human rights, women’s rights, gender perspective, sexual harassment, (2) the second part of the present investigation will deal with the description of sexual harassment of women in Japan, through a comparative study of schematization, (3) at the last moment of the structuring of this research work will be carried out the construction of a scheme of gender perspective and women’s rights, which will be based on the social theory of globalization or also known as the theory of the three concepts, regarding the sexual harassment of women in Japan.

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Specific Structure; Regarding the specific contents in each section regarding the explanation of the general structure, the present research project will be divided into three sections of study, (1) in order to specify the words or phrases that make up the institution or principle; necessary division, since there are complex concepts, which in their wording bring together various contents, (2) with respect to the second and third sections, its wording is aimed at meeting the requirement of specificity requirement, which is essential in all scientific production of knowledge, on the other hand, the appearance of novel or isolated concepts will be observed, with respect to gender issues and women’s rights.

Concepts

Gender Issues; The objective of gender equity is to offer all people, regardless of their gender, the same conditions, opportunities and treatment, but taking into account the particular characteristics of each one to guarantee the access of people to their rights. Therefore, it is not a question of eliminating differences, but of assessing them and giving them equivalent treatment to overcome the conditions that maintain social inequalities. Gender equity is related, in this way, to concepts such as equality, justice and dignity. Finally, gender equality is to give each person what he or she deserves, leaving aside discrimination towards men or women, being the basis of social justice, which allows the development of a just, balanced society, where Human Rights predominate. (García-Leiva, 2005)

Human Rights; are inherent rights of all human beings, with the characteristics of universality, interdependence, indivisibility and progressiveness, with the aim of eradicating any type of distinction of nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other condition. We all have the same human rights without discrimination. (UN, 2018)

Women Rights; are human rights, they cover all aspects of life: health, education, political participation, economic well-being, not being subject to violence, as well as many more. Women and girls have the right to the full and equal enjoyment of all their human rights and to be free from all forms of discrimination: this is fundamental for the achievement of human rights, peace and security, and development sustainable. (UN, 2018)

Perspective of Gender; establishes a social theory that tries to explain the characteristics, relations and social behaviors of men and women in society, their origin and their evolution, highlighting the real existence of the feminine and masculine gender, without dominion of one over the other, without hierarchies and without inequalities. Also allows for the design of policies, from different spheres, contribute to generating actions in favor of women, to changing gender stereotypes and to defining a new concept of justice to treat equals equally. From these public policies it is necessary to promote innovative projects and programs that link, attract and retain an increasing percentage of women to work and public life. (Gamba, 2008)

Sexual Harassment; it is produced by discrimination based on sex, which includes those pejorative treatments that are based not only on the pure and simple verification of the sex of the victim, but on the concurrence of reasons or circumstances that have a direct and unequivocal connection with sex of the person, such as at work, in a service relationship or at school.

It constitutes discrimination based on sex: (1) All treatment unfavorable to women because of pregnancy or motherhood, (2) Any treatment or negative effect arising from the exercise of judicial and extrajudicial actions tending to demand compliance with the principle of equal treatment between men and women and to avoid discrimination, (3) Condition a right or expectation of right to the acceptance of a situation constituting sexual harassment Sexual harassment is any behavior, verbal or physical, of a sexual nature that has the purpose or produces the effect of threatening the dignity of a person, in particular when an intimidating, degrading or offensive environment is created. (Burgos, R. y Cortes, G., 2001)

If it is true, the analysis of The Perspective of Gender about The Sexual Harassment of Women in The Work, could be done since two perspectives the first it could be since the legal and criminal aspect, making the analysis of the laws and the motivation of criminal to commit the crimes, however this perspective for us will be very limitative, because it will be impossible know the true causes that why happen this social phenomenon in the Society, because the true objective of the law is only judge the fact that happened, for that exist the second perspective, the which is the analysis since the point of view of the sociology in which the issues of gender fall.

The Theory of Social Globalization

The theory of social globalization seeks to explain that globalization is not a phenomenon, but a system, whose main objective is to integrate the rest of existing systems under the scheme of globalization, which contains five basic aspects (Bauman, 2011, p 30), which are:

  • Positive Concept; The positive concept inside of this scheme are the human rights, because the human rights must be understand how the main axis of any kind of human activity.
  • Negative Concept; the negative concept inside of this scheme are the laws, international agreements, protocols, etc, It is negative because it establishes limits to the states and behavior of the citizens.
  • Formal Power; they are the institutions as states, international organizations (UN, OAE, EU, ASEAN), International court, that one law, international agreement or other type of legal document give some legal jurisdiction to apply his decisions.
  • Informal Power; they are the institutions as the family, schools, non-governmental, the society, religions, they do not have any kind of legal power, if not a moral or social power, NGOs, INGOs, any kind of institution that be local, regional, national, international or with any denomination, with the characteristic that the institution will be able to exercise the informal power inside of the state and the society.
  • Concepts of Balance; the three concepts developed for Bauman, in his theory about the society, work how the catalyst of the system, because is necessary take in consideration these three concepts, inside of any structure, inside of the state and the society, for work in a good way, they establish a minimum standard of integration for the globalization. (Bauman, 2011, p 54)

This theory understand the concept of women rights and the gender issues since one perspective, the propose of this theory is when you try to make a differences between certain sectors of a system, it is possible that his action result in an affectation and create more inequality, this theory will be used to understand and make the analysis of The Perspective of Gender about The Sexual Harassment of Women in one case study in Japan.

The Sexual Harassment of Women in Asia.

The United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 established an Action Platform defining objectives and actions to advance the women’s rights, including the elimination of sexual harassment.

In Asia diverse studies show that the sector of women that suffered sexual harassment, have been between the 30% and 40%, these were realized in Japan, China, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea. (UN, 2014)

Japan: Culture of Sexual Harassment?

It has already been a quarter of a century since the first court case in Japan related to sexual harassment was held in Fukuoka in 1989, which introduced the term “sekuhara” into the popular vocabulary, the expression took the grand prize to neologism and the word of fashion of the year, and fifteen years since the amended Law on Equal Employment Opportunities was approved in 1999, the first legal measure against sexual harassment in Japan. The fact that, after all this time, so many cases of sexual harassment continue to arise makes it difficult to discern whether the situation of Japanese society has improved or not. (Kazue, 2015)

Before to continue with the present research, is necessary say that since the introduction of the term “sekuhara” in 1989, this triggered the development of new terms relative to different types of harassment, such as pawahara (harassment at work), akahara (academic harassment) and morahara (harassment). Lately in high schools one often hears about bukahara (harassment in extracurricular clubs). Perhaps the term with the greatest impact of the list is matahara (harassment to motherhood), which designates harassment related to pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing. This type of harassment includes behaviors such as forcing women to leave work when the company learns that they are pregnant, and causing difficulties if they try to apply for maternity leave. At last, voices have come up that criticize the social and business system that takes for granted that for women it is incompatible to work and have children. (Kazue, 2015)

In Japan, where society is still marked by patriarchy, the main causes of the sexual harassment in japan can find in the social and culture structure of the Japanese people, and his idea about the women and her role in the Japanese Society.

At present, since the Equal Opportunities Law, enacted in 1985, the Maternal Leave Act of 1992, and the Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence of 2001, the Japanese women are as legally protected as the European ones or the North American in practice, however, there is still a long way to go, as evidenced by the fact that none of the first two laws includes a penalty for companies in case they fail to comply.

The historian and official of the City Council of Tokyo Masae Wada argues about one of the great evils that afflict the Japanese Women:

“Many resort to public oppositions to avoid falling prey to sexual harassment” that “invariably” suffer in private enterprise, although in the public they do not get rid of the limitations in promotions if they do not win the “sympathy” of the boss. According to Wada, “the worst is small businesses” and the most harassing, men above 40 years. “Several friends have suffered sexual abuse. They trusted that later their bosses would leave them in peace, but it was not like that, “he said in an interview. Many women put an end to this ordeal by changing companies. Although the laws protect them, there are very few who dare to resort to them. “Now we are talking about this problem among ourselves,” said Masae. “Some are even able to say when they leave the company that they do because they cannot stand the harassment of a certain boss, but I do not know of any who have reported it. That goes against Japanese culture that requires women’s discretion first and foremost. ” The only child and mother of a single child, at 40 years of age, Masae said that on more than one occasion she dealt with her father about the sexual harassment without being able to understand it: “For him it is simply a normal behavior of the man and not understands that it can bother a woman, or that it can be described as harassment.” (Higueras,2009)

How we can see, the problem in the Japanese Society and the sexual harassment against the women, settle in the conception about the role of the woman in the society of japan, but the segregation politics about the sex that the Japanese State apply in the formation of the young people, for example the idea about the have relationships of girlfriends or boyfriends in the secondary school is prohibited, because the student needs concentrate in his studies, this type of policies create feelings of repression inside of population, for that the numbers of sexual harassment is higher between the men of 40 years or more, because how the mostly of Japanese Society repress his feelings not only about the sex if not also the normal life, this type of behaviors create this situations and provoke the increase of this behaviors how the sexual harassment.

The main points to identify inside of the society in Japan about the sexual harassment should be in relation with the perspective of gender and are:

  • Recognize the power relations that exist between genders, generally favorable to men as a social group and discriminatory for women
  • That these relationships have been constituted socially and historically and they are constitutive of people
  • That they cross the entire social fabric and are articulated with other social relationships, such as class, ethnic, age, sexual preference and religion.

For understand this social phenomenon is necessary take in consideration that the gender perspective is to contribute to the subjective and social construction of a new configuration based on the resignification of history, society, culture and politics from women and with women. (Showstack, 1996, p. 30)

Many times the vision of the woman in japan is limited, because, has more risks of suffering physical aggressions or being murdered by someone that they know, often a family member or your intimate partner, this because of the gender conditions that place women as an object that is part of the property of the male. As well as the tendency to be a victim of sexual exploitation, whether in the childhood, in adolescence or in adulthood, to which is added the gender condition of sexual object, and not subject, that is, to be the object that satisfies, the sexual needs of males, for the thought, that exist in japan about the patriarchy.

Also is possible attribute the current conditions that exist in japan at the Macro-system, this make reference to the society as a whole where cultural beliefs and values about power and obedience are produced and reproduced, according to the roles assigned by gender, age, and so on, In this macro-system are located the symbols and representations of violence, the notions, generalized, of authority and obedience, as well as the exclusion of women from the spheres of power and decision making.

Masculinity is linked in the exercise of different forms of domination, while femininity is related to submission, thus, when there is more tolerance to violence, women are in greater risk and vulnerability.

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