The international community and even the current government has been encouraging Japanese women to go out there and make their mark in the labor force, but according to a survey conducted by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, 1 out of 3 women just want to get married and become a full-time housewife. That means 34% of unmarried women between the ages of 15-39 have no desire to become part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “economic solution” of female power in the workforce.
The slightly good news is that there is still a larger number of respondents, at 38%, who said they did not want to become homemakers, while the rest of those who were surveyed had no opinion on the issue. The bad news for the women who just want to settle down is that only one in five said they wanted their future spouse to be a stay-at-home wife. What the poll did not show though is how many people actually did not want to get married. 40% said that their goal is to have a moderate but stable lifestyle, satisfied with having 200,000-300,000 yen (about $2,000-3,000) a month.
It is a growing concern in Japan that despite the high level of education, many still resign from their work when they have children, either because of practicality or bowing to social pressure to just take care of their offspring instead of going back to work. The male-led labor force is shrinking because of Japan’s greying population and eventually it will strongly affect the country’s finances. Experts, including International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde, have said that an increase in the participation of women in the workforce can rescue Japan’s economy. Abe has taken heed and has promised to establish policies that will encourage women to work more and for companies to hire more women. His administration is targeting that by 2030, there will be 30% female senior government officials, compared to the present situation where only 2 out of 19 Cabinet members are women.
[ via AFP ]