UN committee wants regulation of Japanese games that “reinforce sexual violence against women and girls”

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has reviewed Japan’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women at Palais des Nations in Geneva, and has suggested there is much room for improvement.

The committee today posted its findings on the matter, encouraging Japan to work to stamp out “gender stereotypes” and put an end to “sexual violence against women and girls.” It did concede that the nation has implemented new policies and procedures that have improved the situation, but that more work is necessary.

“The Committee is particularly concerned that… stereotypes continue to be the root causes of sexual violence against women and that pornography, video games and animation such as manga promote sexual violence against women and girls,” the committee report reads.

“The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/JPN/CO/6, para. 30) and urges the State party to… effectively implement existing legal measures and monitoring programmes in order to regulate the production and distribution of pornographic material, video games and animation that exacerbate discriminatory gender stereotypes and reinforce sexual violence against women and girls.”

Kumiko Yamada from the Women’s Institute of Contemporary Media Culture doesn’t agree with the report. Her full reply to it is available (via translation here, thanks to Reddit user RyanoftheStars) should you wish to read more.

Essentially, Yamada agrees that women’s rights need to be protected, but that Japanese video games and manga depict things like sexual violence against fictional characters. Therefore, they aren’t part of the problem. She furthers that a lot of the potentially offensive items are made by female artists themselves.

What do you make of all this on International Women’s Day?

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.