Women's lower status a risk for Asia's future, report says

By Elaine Kurtenbach

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Which all sits rather uncomfortably next to projected reports of the Japanese economy forecast to shrink considerably over the next 20-30 years. Embracing true professional equality for women is one way Japan can arrest their economic slide, but that would mean the men of Yamato doing the unthinkable and accepting women as their equals, not to mention their bosses.

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South Korea's is 51%!? Unbelievable. When you read surveys of elementary school children on their dreams for the future, their answers are still highly gendered. Boys want to be sports stars and doctors and salarymen, girls want to be kindergarten teachers. Not surprising considering the (lack of) variety in role models. I don't see many people around me pushing for change, either. They just sit back and accept it (or complain about it and then tell me there's nothing they can do anyway - shouganai). I still have hope, though.

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I wonder whether they evaluated the role of wife and mother in Asia in comparison to the rest of the world. Surely theyd rate high in status. So maybe this article should read working women's status.

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Japan: We hate women we hate young people with no experience we hate immigrants we hate our own color even more we hate change

oh what is this country going to do?

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Is happiness for a family given by the woman holding a high position she does not fit for or does not wish? WHAT IS THE POINT IN REACHING PERFECT EQUALITY? None. Meritocracy or bedding, same struggle for men and women...

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ilsayit is right.

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I'llsayit: Exactley. I think that a lot of girls in Japan are still being brought up with the idea that they could live a very respectable and happy life as a housewife or part time worker and have a happy family. There is nothing wrong with that it that is what the woman wants.

I wonder what would happen if they isolated the working women population to compare how they are doing with their male counter-parts. It would be espcially interesting to know about those women who didn't have children or take time off for family matters...maybe they are closer to their male counterparts in respect to salary and position than we are led to believe.

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well it took the west a few hundred years to change this and also female activists to start and/or accelerate the change, in the east the whole culture is different and it will take a lot longer for men & women status to become equal.

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There is nothing wrong with that it that is what the woman wants. There is nothing wrong with that. If that is what the family can afford. Thing is, many families can't afford to pay for school, juku, club... on one salary. And this is where women only getting 60% pay is wrong.

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tmaria: agreed. But it doesn't seem to be very clear. Is it 60% in the same position, at the same company with the same signority? Probably not. There are quite a few women who chose to do part-time jobs for less money so they can still take care of the family. Also, if they take maternity leave or refuse overtime, they may be passed over for a promotion. I don't necessairly agree with it, but if a women hops in and out of the workplace between having kids or looking after her parents and can't devote herself to her job as much as her male counterpart, then wage gap is bound to happen. However, if that is not the case, and the woman is doing the same as the man, then it should be equal without a doubt.

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I don't think so. Considering working women here get stuck in crappy positions, I would assume that it the total. Thing is, women get stuck in crappy jobs because something like 70% quit when they get married/have kids. Companies don't see the point in training the women for better positions because they fear they'll just quit and that is wasted company money. Which came first, chicken or the egg?

Plenty of women do PT work for LESS pay so they can fall under the 1.3 million a year and be covered by their husband's pension and health care. It isn't so much to take care of family. "PT" females often work 30-40 hours - and their kids are in school, have club, go to juku...

Indeed, they may be passed over for promotion - but so would a man which is why many men, legally entitled, won't refuse overtime nor use paternity leave. That isn't just a female issue but a worker's issue in this country.

I agree with you - if females aren't doing equal work, they don't deserve equal pay. Thing is, women often don't get the chance to do equal work OR they don't want to do equal work. I know a lot of well educated J women who just can't stand the PT workers who take less pay for the tax breaks. They are selling other women short. If you were hiring someone and one offered to work the same hours for less, who'd you hire? Companies here do that all the time. I don't blame them. I blame the government for having such a pathetic tax break for SAHM in this day and age.

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Most Japanese and Korean women are not ambitious enough, and most Japanese and Korean men are too misogynistic. Sorry but that's just how it goes, it's like looking at the Republicans/conservatives in America. Conservative women don't want to progress, and conservative men want to keep women behind. That's just how it goes.

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most Japanese and Korean men are too misogynistic. I don't know. I think indeed the old guys are but I think the younger generations are more than happy for the most part to help with the kids and the house. Thing is, they shouldn't "have" to if they have a wife that stays home and she sees that as her job. You can't have your cake and eat it too. My husband and his coworkers love kids, those with them help look after them (days out alone on the weekends, help with homework...), cook, clean, do the shopping... Men WILL help out if they have to. If they don't? They won't. The guys I know with wives who work FT most certainly help out. They have to. The wife would kill them if they didn't!

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Jonathan PrinAPR. 20, 2012 - 11:54AM JST Is happiness for a family given by the woman holding a high position she does not fit for or does not wish?

What nonsense, Women and Men should be equally entitled to the same job positions. Gender should be a non issue. Women are brilliant, smart, creative, artistic and a million other things. Turning smart brilliant women into housewives is a shame and waste.

If a woman wants to be a housewife, that's her choice. In a society such as this, she really does not have much choice!

Happiness for the family has nothing to do with a Woman's job position.

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Is happiness for a family given by the woman holding a high position she does not fit for or does not wish? WHAT IS THE POINT IN REACHING PERFECT EQUALITY? None. Meritocracy or bedding, same struggle for men and women...

...says a man.

A woman should be no more expected to be a housewife than a man a house-husband.

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Men and women are not the same.

Women can provide fresh, natural and healthy breastmilk to a newborn. Men cannot. That's an unavoidable fact of nature.

If either of them were to be home, it should be the mother.

If I were a one year old and I could speak, I would ask my mom to stay home and take care of me.

Why does society value money and corporate success over time and attention with children.

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South and Alias, where are you on the population threads where western women are questioning the want of so en to have a job?!?! Heck, women who want to work are being questioned as to why they want kids!!! More posters like you both are much needed!!

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In Asian society the social economic status of women is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation. It's commonly conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group. When you view this through a social class lens, privilege, power and control are emphasized. Furthermore the social economic status also reveals inequalities in access and distribution of resources therefore it is relevant to all realms of behavior and social science, including research, education, and advocacy. For that reason the social economic status is a key factor in determining the quality of a women's life and will affect the lives of children and families. As a result income, earning ability, psychological health, and physical health will also impact the overall well being of life for women. Thus getting involved by supporting legislation and policies that explore to work and eliminate social economic disparities in your country is what you can do as a private citizen and a women to make a difference and hence create a better future.

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Never, not all moms can breast feed. That's a fact if nature. So... Why can't dads stay home?! To state that women are the better parent is just sexist.

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tmarie - so in the case where the mother can provide breastmilk is it not logical that she be the one that stays home.

Also the mother carries the baby so she should take time off anyways so as to not stress the baby in the womb.

Considering the inherent physical differences between men and women it only seems logical to me that the women be the one who stays home with the child to provide him or her with warmth, care and guidance.

Most children seem to prefer their mothers, especially immediately after birth. Perhaps that's also instinctive and biologically ingrained.

Company profits are important but if a woman has to choose between company profits and taking care of her child I hope she would choose her child.

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Choice is a personal thing, as is the freedom regardless of gender to have the freedom and opportunity to decide without interferance or restrictions on education and career.opportunities. Restricting financial renumeration on the fact that an employee is female is fundamentaly wrong as is any promotional advancement..restriction..Perhaps I was ahead of my time years ago when I was the breadwinner and my husband was the stay at home father. Society at that time would have considered such an arrangement quite extraordinary. I was able to procure employment with a financial reward equal to the male employees.Frankly I would never have made my skills availiable to any prospective employer who practiced gender discrimination

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Never, if she doesn't want to stay home and dad does, why shouldn't dad stay home? You can express milk and she gets the work she wants, dad gets the life he wants and baby gets looked after. Men can provide "warmth, care and guidance" as well.

Take time off? You do get this is a recent thing right? Women who thousands of years didn't get maternity leave. Squat, give birth and get back to the fields. Working doesn't stress the baby. Women stressing stress the baby. Being pregnant doesn't mean a women is an invalid or sick.

Most children seem to prefer their mothers, especially immediately after birth. Perhaps that's also instinctive and biologically ingrained. Ever thought that is because of socialization and the fact that modern medicine in western countries often makes the women the caregiver from the minute the baby is born? Babies who have their mothers die in child birth seem to manage with just dad.

Why would you hope she would chose the child? I think she should have the right to do what is best for the family - and for some women, that is to work. You seem to be forgetting that Japan is facing a huge crisis with population because women don't want to have kids. Why? Because many of them want to work. This country makes it nearly impossible for a women to have a kid and then get treated fair and paid properly. Might have something to do with your line of thinking that only women seem to be able to care for their kids.

You also have to look at what jobs many women here do. I don't think being a public school teacher or a kindy teacher is making any company profits...

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When I take my morning train and I look at all the faces of the commuters I see very few people who "want to work".

It's undeniable that among mammals, it's universal that the mother is the primary nurturer of the child. No doubt it's biologically ingrained in all of us to seek our mother's comfort and attention. If that mother is absent for 12 hours a day then the baby misses out on necessary love and motherly attention which hampers his or her emotional and perhaps physical development.

As for the so called shortage of workers, there's an army of unemployed university graduates in Japan dying to find work. Let's employ them first before we ask mothers to abandon their babies.

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Never, than those people only have themselves to blame for doing a job they don't like. Easier to continue on doing something you don't like than making an effort to find something better. I love my job and want to continue doing it.

It also isn't universal that mom is the primary giver. Plenty of mammals when dads looks after the kids and in some cases, there is no caregiver. You're trying to use nature as the be all end all if your thinking but there are exceptions. Why can't humans also be the exceptions?! Hope you marry/have married someone like minded in this topic because not all humans feel the same way you do. Clearly. If they did, Japan would the having the issues they have now.

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So by your accounts, children who grow up with no mothers are hampered emotionally and physically?! Seriously?! You think dad, grandparents, siblings, caregivers aren't good enough?!

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Umm, Yes. Ever child deserves a loving, caring and attentive mother. It's their birthright.

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Um, no, not it isn't. If it was, women wouldn't die giving birth.

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