Tonight, I had a very interesting discussion about Kyoto city’s policy regarding LGBTQ people. It has just been decided that job applicants for any position in Kyoto city are no longer required to indicate their gender on the application form. This is a measure to protect people from the LGBTQ community (mostly, T people, that is) and Kyoto is among a number of other big cities who did this or similar things (like Tokyo or Osaka). It will take a long, long time to trickle down to smaller cities and villages in the countryside, but it’s a start.

Japanese GeishaThe funny thing is that this measure has interesting repercussions – for women in particular. Without the required declaration of male vs. female, the statistics as to gender proportions in Kyoto city’s workforce will at best not be accurate any longer, at worst disappear at all. Of course: who cares? It’s not that important, is it?

Hint: Gender equality / affirmative action. Kyoto city is also committed to gender equality and tries to hire more women into their ranks. But without any kind of data as to gender, how do you know that you have “enough” women in the “right” positions?

Kyoto city employs thousands of people, from the mayor all the way down to people who cut trees and mow the grass in public places. It’s not as simple as walking through the offices and counting people… That’s an interesting problem, isn’t it? I’m sure Kyoto city will find some solution, but it does show that no decision stands completely isolated on its own.