Japanese women still face a 100-day wait before they can remarry following legal changes approved Tuesday by the country’s cabinet, a move condemned as discriminatory by a UN rights group.

The revised law will allow women to remarry immediately if they have medical proof they are not pregnant

The approval, from conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration on International Women’s Day, came after Japan’s Supreme Court ruled in December that the six-month waiting period for women to remarry after divorce was excessive and should be reduced to 100 days.

The revision, which will be submitted to parliament for approval, would also allow women to remarry immediately as long as they have medical proof they are not pregnant.

But the revision to the civil code, which dates back to 1898, is not enough to rectify Japan’s sexist laws, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said in a report released Monday in Geneva.

“The Civil Code still prohibits only women from remarrying within a specified period of time after divorce notwithstanding the decision of the Supreme Court, which shortened the period from 6 months to 100 days,” the CEDAW report said.

It also condemned a Japanese law which requires married couples to share a common surname as discriminatory against women because it “in practice often compels women to adopt their husbands’ surnames.”  Read More

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