About the Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality
The plan was adopted by the Government in December 2005 and stipulates elimination of all kinds of gaps between men and women in educational sphere by the year 2015 as well as envisages that by the year 2020 women are going to have occupied at least 30% of leadership positions. The plan also promotes efforts as well as encourages voluntary "Positive action" in every field.
In its Gender Equality Declaration, which is premised on due compliance with the Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality, Hiroshima University has pledged commitment to promote gender equality using the 6-strategies Basic action plan as well as to provide a positive contribution to creation of gender-equal society.
About Positive action
The Basic Law on Gender Equality (in effect from June 23, 1999) defines Positive action as actively providing either men or women with opportunities in extent necessary to redress existing gap between genders.
What is implied here is that, providing there is an equal number of men and women in population, if in all kinds of occupations, of which society is composed of, there is a disproportion between genders, the less represented one must be preferentially employed until the gap is filled. Some may incorrectly interpret it as illegal reversal discrimination, but it is not so. "Positive action" is approved by the Article 8 of the revised Equal Employment Opportunity Law (in effect since April 1, 2007) as a measure to redress conditions which hinder equality of opportunities for men and women.
Hiroshima University's Policy
In no way does gender equality presupposes discrimination in favor of women. Hiroshima University promotes gender equality in order to establish such working and educational environment that would empower members to exert and mutually develop their individualities and abilities regardless of gender identity. In Universities, the issues of creation of working environment based on principles of equality of opportunities and "the right person in the right place", as well as being aware of such principles and using them to bring up the future generation, are especially important. For Universities are responsible for training people who will occupy leading position in society.
Women ratio in Hiroshima University
The ratio of women among students in Hiroshima University is slightly higher than the average ratio among other National University Corporations in Japan - it is close to 40% either on Undergraduate or Graduate levels. That is, the men/women ratio in every field is approaching to 50/50 value. On the other hand, the ratio of women among Hiroshima University teaching staff is not much higher than mere 10%. In order to increase such a low ratio of women among teaching staff members, Hiroshima University enforces a policy of "Positive action".
Concrete measures to increase ratio of women among teaching staff (Positive action in Hiroshima University)
Hiroshima University plans to reach a goal of 20% ratio of women among its teaching staff by April 2022.
On May 20, 2008, the Education and Research Council in accordance with the Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality set up the following target values for ratio of women appointment for teaching staff positions in every Department.
・Ratio of women among Doctoral Course students in each Graduate School (as of May 1, 2007)
・Appointment goals specified in The third phase of the Science and Technology Basic Plan
(Overall goal for Natural Science field - 25% (Physics - 20%, Engineering - 15%, Agriculture - 30%, Medicine - 30%))