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Japan has lowest share of women studying science: OECD report

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Japan also has the lowest share of women in positions of political and business power in the world (nevermind just the OECD).

We often tout preserving traditional culture but the tradition of seeing women as lacking in intelligence and leadership ability is one that should be let go sooner rather than later.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Those female who qualified, their result will be changed so they just couldn't get into university to study.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/08/tokyo-medical-school-admits-changing-results-to-exclude-women

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Well said @letsberealistic! I agree fully.

From my own personal experience, I also find this to be true when talking with female students about what they want to do in the future. Many Japanese young ladies talk about being kindergarten teachers, office workers, opening bakeries or cafes, and other less science/math oriented work. I'm not saying these jobs are bad of course, but the number of ladies interested in that work is clearly disproportionate to what it should be. I think, and this is just my opinion, that these jobs appeal to them because they are not "threatening" to men, and are easy to quit when you get married. Many women here still have the traditional ideal that men work and women stay home and take care of the house and kids. They don't consider how vulnerable that makes them to the whims of their partner or in case of his death or abandonment. Being financially independent from your partner is just crucial to women's lives, and I wish more women here will get into science and math work. It's hard, but so well paid and secure. It seems a lot of eastern European women have figured that out.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The full report is available in English to view online or download as a 473 page PDF at: https://www.oecd.org/education/education-at-a-glance/

The 2021 Japan specific profile from OECD is available here: https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?plotter=h5&primaryCountry=JPN&treshold=5&topic=EO

It is an amazing and important read.

Examples.

While Attainment figure are very high, attainment and achievements stats for women remain low:

> The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.4 %, rank 5/45 , 2020)

Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Japan has one of the smallest shares of women graduates from tertiary programmes. (51.7 %, rank 34/36 , 2019)

In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (22.5 %, rank 44/44 , 2019)

In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively low. (27.5 %, rank 40/43 , 2019)

In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (17.2 %, rank 41/44 , 2019)

In Japan, the share of female tertiary graduates in the field of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.4 %, rank 37/38 , 2019)

Teaching stats for women need work:

The share of women among teaching staff in primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.4 %, rank 41/44 , 2019)

The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (43 %, rank 40/40 , 2019)

The share of women among teaching staff in upper secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.8 %, rank 42/42 , 2019)

The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education (bachelor's, master's, doctorate or equivalent education) is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (22.8 %, rank 32/32 , 2019)

The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.4 %, rank 39/39 , 2019)

The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48.2 %, rank 34/34 , 2019)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have two daughters and the elder of the two studies electronics at one of the Kosen technical colleges. It's a five year program that covers senior high and the first two years of college. The Kosen schools were established in the 1960s and there is one in most prefectures. They are run and funded by the national government independently of local BoEs, and seem like a really good setup. Anyway, out of forty on her course, there are only eight girls.

It looks like science courses at private university can cost a lot more than arts courses, up to 50% more. I would imagine that it is also much easier to fail them. If college is just a rite of passage on the route to employment and respectability, where the college name matters more than what you actually study, it makes sense to students to choose something cheap and undemanding, especially if they are female and have visions of becoming a housewife anyway.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan? Behind on gender equality and equal opportunities for women, and just behind in general? Color me shocked...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Omg I'm so shocked! Not surprising since 99 percent of Japanese women have only one goal in life: to be a house wife.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I used to think this was a problem but now I read these kinds of headlines and think "So what?"

Woman make different choices to men and that's fine. Yes, occasionally women are excluded from certain things (and so are men), but on the whole given a free choice they do other things. To rectify that you need mass social engineering, and it doesn't make women any happier: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/18/womens-rights-happiness-wellbeing-gender-gap

If you actually analyse the evidence it's really not that bad: https://quillette.com/2020/07/27/the-myth-of-pervasive-misogyny/

If anything, the people throwing their arms up in the air and complaining about this are the ones who are discriminating against women for making different choices

2 ( +8 / -6 )

the proportion of women entering natural sciences, mathematics and statistics at the tertiary education level in Japan was at 27 percent, far below the OECD average of 52 percent

Japan is maintaining the average equality in OECD, the others are already slightly biased against men:l

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If anything, the people throwing their arms up in the air and complaining about this are the ones who are discriminating against women for making different choices

If the choice is raising your own baby/toddler, I'm all for it. Having other people raise your baby/toddler is not ideal. Babies being collectively raised in facilities is actually a common theme in dystopian novels like Brave New World.

I am in favour of "stay at home mothers" of young children and think society should support them. However, what Japan supports is "full time housewives". Mothers of older children and childless housewives have far fewer chores to do and are less worthy of state support. Maintaining a household with grown or zero children is not a full-time job and not deserving of the free pension and health insurance many Japanese housewives get. Japanese women may choose to be housewives, but some of it is going to be due to incentives like this. The choice is people gaming a system, not freely choosing how they want to live.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More surprising is this still can be a news headline. Everybody already knows it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan is maintaining the average equality in OECD, the others are already slightly biased against men:l

Yeah surprising that there are still more women by 4% overall considering Japan has only 27%.

But I wouldn't characterize it as bias though, pending more info

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan also ranked at the bottom among 37 comparable OECD countries in terms of how much of national wealth was spent on educational institutions in 2018.

This, to me, is the stat that needs to be addressed most urgently

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think this is all very easy to explain, as I have been saying for over 30yrs here MOST Japanese women simply DO NOT want to become salarymen......and who can blame them, I sure dont want to become one!!!

And yeah people should also look at happiness, western women are the lest happy EVER since records were being taken, yet so many of them pretend they are ""OK"" & its not turning out well for many women but they dont want to admit they are not enjoying life working the same as men.....

Its causing a lot of problems, Japanese ladies simply dont want to work in these fields & they should be free to choose as they wish & same for those who wish to persue STEM type careers!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This take is causing a lot of problems too. Whose side are you on anyway?

Put real simple, if the problem is these old wrinkles, you know the one's, drivers, suits and ties- who live for screwing over, then Japanese ladies do want or don't is totally beside the point. The game is scam.

Its causing a lot of problems, Japanese ladies simply dont want to work in these fields & they should be free to choose as they wish & same for those who wish to persue STEM type careers!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Many men are also affected and they all even don’t make it into such news and statistics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is the solution to force more women into a field they may not be interested in having a career in? There is something to genders having different preferences and goals in life. As long as the women have an equal opportunity to pursue their ambitions, all is fine. Last time I checked, Japanese women have those rights.

"The country needs to inspire women to pursue these studies"

Gender shouldn't make a difference. Who cares if all scientists are all men or all women? It is their choice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The problem isn't the STEM professions keeping women out, but rather the old school culture instilled in Japanese from a young age that women are meant to quit whatever job they have by age 30 or so to stay home and make lunch for a salaryman. Why would one bother with all the work of starting and earning an advanced degree when they're only able to put it to use for a few years?

And for whatever reason, women even in more equitable countries have a similar phenomenon. I remember reading that Sweden spent lots of money and effort trying to recruit more women to STEM, but they simply din't want to sign up at nearly the same rate as men. Cultural problem, or simple preferences based upon gender differences? If it's the latter, it would be a career-ender to study it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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