The number of female officials (directors, executive managers, and auditors) in the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operative (JA-Zenchu) increased to 1,277 as of July 31, 160 more than that of last year, the JA-Zenchu reported Thursday, Nov. 6, at the council meeting. This resulted from activities trying to follow the guideline of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) that promotes increase in the number of JA’s female officials like last year. It seems that the JA-Zenchu wants to take women’s power and pave the way for its consistent reform.
This result was surveyed by JA-Zenchu and the National Council Agricultural Corporative Women’s Associations (JA Joseikyo). Among 699 Japan Agricultural Co-operatives (JA) in Japan, 153 have 3 or more female officials, and 334 have 2 female officials. Keiko Okawa, president of JA Joseikyo said, “This resulted from the effort of the union president and many other people who listened to women in each area and understood them. Joseikyo will continue to promote women’s participation with JA as one.”
The number of prefectures that have female officials in all JA at prefecture level amounted to 23, as Iwate, Akita, Saitama, Tokyo, Mie, Wakayama, Ehime and Oita joined.
The number of JA amounted to 72 that achieved 3 principal indicators of women’s participation in JA operation:“more than 25 percent of regular union members,” “more than 10 percent of general representatives,” and “2 or more directors” in each JA. The percentage of female officials in all JA reached 10 percent, increased by 2 points.
The number of JA that has no female officials was 159, decreased by 52 compared to that of last year, which accounts for 20 percent of all JA. They couldn’t reach the target of the Third Basic Plan of Gender Equality, which aimed to have more than one female official in all JA branches by fiscal 2013.
The Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office will hear about the results of efforts toward the target from the MAFF and others, and examine a new goal setting for the next plan.
Tsukasa Nishino, director of the Living Activities Promotion Division, said, “The number of female officials increased by 160 in a year, whicn is the highest ever. This proves that the JA is willingly changing trying to take various opinions. We’d like to continue our support to appoint women as officials in all the JA branches.”
(Nov. 7, 2014)