5 Women Sue Japanese Government For Depriving Them The Joy Of Bearing Their Surnames After Marriage

Five women are suing the government of Japan over a law
requiring spouses to adopt the same surname. The women say the law is
unconstitutional and violates married couples’ civil rights, and are demanding
“By losing your surname … you’re being made light of, you’re
not respected … It’s as if part of your self vanishes,” said Kaori Oguni, a
translator and one of the five women involved in the lawsuit.
A decision by the supreme court, due on 16 December,
coincides with prime minister Shinzo Abe’s push to draw more women into a
shrinking workforce. Despite that, many in his conservative ruling party are
opposed to any legal change.

An 1896 law says spouses must adopt the same surname to
legally register their marriage. The law does not specify which one, but in
practice, 96% of women take their husband’s name.
Conservatives say allowing couples to choose whether they
share the same surname or not could damage family ties and threaten society.
“Names are the best way to bind families. Allowing different
surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and
the basis for social welfare,” Masaomi Takanori, a constitutional scholar, said.
Others say it is time for a change. “The world is more
oriented towards individuals now,” said Shunsuke Serizawa, a social commentator
on gender and family roles.
“Separate surnames is a natural extension.”
Many working women face the hassle of juggling two names:
their maiden name for professional use and their legal, married name, required
on official documents.

“If changing surnames is so easy, why don’t more men do it?”
said Oguni. 

Follow Us on Facebook – @LadunLiadi; Instagram – @LadunLiadi; Twitter – @LadunLiadi; Youtube – @LadunLiadiTV for updates


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here