Sunday, February 06, 2005

Women in Japan : the long and winding road of discrimination

In the quagmire of Japanese gender discrimination this
article of the JT attempts to justify its habit at home
and office.

Quotes :

"For the first time since such polls have been taken,
the percentage of respondents to a government survey who
say a woman's place is in the home was exceeded by those
who believe the opposite, it was learned Saturday.

According to results of the Cabinet Office's opinion
poll on the roles of the two sexes in society, 48.9
percent of some 3,500 respondents said they do not agree
with the idea that "a husband should work outside the
home while the wife protects the household," as opposed
to 45.2 percent who said they agree.

When the government started the survey in 1979, 72.5
percent of respondents agreed with the concept, compared
to 20.4 percent who disagreed.

When broken down by gender, the percentage of men who
agreed with the idea -- 49.8 percent -- was still higher
than the 43.3 percent who said they did not.
Nevertheless, the figure was 1.5 percentage points lower
than in the last survey conducted in 2002.

Meanwhile, among women, those who disagreed came to 53.8
percent, as compared to 41.3 percent who agreed.

"In addition to changes in views that have come about
with the increased social participation of women,
difficult economic conditions under which both husband
and wife need to work to make ends meet may be another
factor" behind the trend, a Cabinet Office official

When the survey, conducted in November and December,
asked married people who has greater authority in their
household, 48.5 percent replied that it was the husband,
down 7.1 percent from the previous survey and dropping
below 50 percent. There was a 5.8 point rise in the
number of respondents who said it was the wife, reaching
22.7 percent.

When asked who controlled the purse strings, 67.1
percent said it was the wife, while 14.1 percent said it
was the husband.

When asked their views about working women, 40.4 percent
of respondents said it is better for women to continue
working even after having children, the highest figure
on record. This was followed by 34.9 percent who said
they should resume working after the children get older
and 10.2 percent who said they should stop working when
they have children.

But while female participation in the workforce is
growing, the reality is that men have not been taking up
a bigger share of housework and the burden of household
chores still falls on the wives, according to the poll.

When asked about sharing housework, only 4 percent said
the husband is in charge of cleaning the house, 1.2
percent in preparing meals and 3.5 percent in washing

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