The Struggle For Japanese Wome Essay Research

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The Struggle For Japanese Wome Essay, Research Paper It is impossible to judge a book off its cover. Japan is like a bad book with a good cover. On the outside, Japan s cover looks like one in which other countries should envy. When we take a look and see that their income gap between rich and poor is smaller than that of the United States. Generally, the Japanese are known for their teamwork, and equality. If anyone in Japan is making a outrageous salary they are looked down on because that shows individuality, and it goes against teamwork. There is no need for unions in Japan, equality seems to be each companies goal. But like a bad book with a good cover, there is a far different story behind all of this. In all of the great things listed above, Japanese women are not

included in this dynamic. Throughout this report you will see the inequality in the Japanese workplace, the struggle between the Sogoshoku and the Ippanshoku, and how the Japanese women are starting to chose work over home. Inequality in the Japanese Workplace The socialization of men dominating women in Japan starts at a young age. Japanese boys and girls are taught to use different expressions and words. As Japanese girls reach their teenage years, the majority of them have no major goals. 52% of women and 65% of men believe that men s job is to work and women s is to keep house (Family Planning Perspectives,1999). They have grown up to believe that their first job is at home. One of the only things that the Japanese girls have to dream about is their elegant and elaborate

wedding ceremony. Getting married though can hurt women from ever getting hired with any company. Large Japanese companies often encourage women to quit upon getting married, or at least when they have their first child (Newcomb, 1998). If a Japanese woman aims for other goals such as education, she needs to be careful. Most companies will not hire women with four year degrees because they are known to be over-qualified. Usually the women get a two year degree in teaching. If they try for anything more prestigious, most organizations will not hire them. Japanese women are socialized from infancy to limit themselves and not be assertive when it comes to getting jobs. If a Japanese woman does chose to work, it is usually a low-paying job, while the men get positions that pay

exceptionally better. Women s wages are only 62.5 percent of those of men, and women start only 13.6 per cent of new businesses (AHRC,1999). In these low-paying jobs, there is rarely any opportunity to get promoted. Due to the lack of promotions, women usually switch jobs many times through their careers. They are usually limited to clerical and sales positions. While Japanese men hold from 95 to 100 percent of the managerial and official positions. Japan created laws to stop this discrimination from continuing. In the Japanese Constitution, Article 14 states that there should not be discrimination of gender in economic relations. Articles 3 and 26 of the Covenant give Japanese women the right to equal economic opportunities and equal protection. Obviously these laws are not

helping. The discrimination is imbedded in their society to believe that men should have the prestigious, higher paying jobs and the women should not. It is hard for women to be protected by these laws when this practice has been going on forever. Sogoshoku vs. Ippanskoku To fully understand the discrimination that Japanese women face each day in the workplace, you must start at the beginning of their careers. Since the majority of women that work in Japan work in clerical positions, this section focuses on clerical work. The discrimination Japanese women face though is not limited to this particular field. Discrimination in the workplace starts right when Japanese women enter the work force. There is a process in which the men and women go through when they enter the work field