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Why is there a gender gap in Japan?

1. Introduction

The gender gap in Japan is a long-standing issue that has been discussed for decades. While the country has made strides to reduce the gap, there is still much work to be done. This article will explore the history of the gender gap in Japan, the social and cultural factors that contribute to it, and the current initiatives being taken to close it.

2. Historical Context of Gender Gap in Japan

The roots of the gender gap in Japan can be traced back to ancient times when Confucianism was used as a justification for male superiority over women. This view was further entrenched during the Meiji period (1868-1912) when Japan began its modernization process and adopted a more patriarchal system of government. The traditional Japanese family structure also played a role in reinforcing this view, with men being seen as breadwinners and women having a more subordinate role within society.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Social and Cultural Factors Contributing to the Gender Gap in Japan

In addition to historical factors, there are several social and cultural factors that have contributed to the gender gap in Japan. These include traditional gender roles that are deeply entrenched within society, lack of access to education and employment opportunities for women, and pervasive sexism within Japanese culture. Furthermore, many employers continue to practice discrimination against women when it comes to hiring or promotions due to their beliefs about female capabilities or their desire for male employees who can stay with the company longer due to their greater earning potential.

4. Challenges Women Face in the Japanese Workplace

Women face various challenges in the workplace due to their gender such as wage gaps between men and women, lack of access to leadership positions, sexual harassment, discrimination based on pregnancy or marriage status, and limited job opportunities available for them compared to men. These challenges make it difficult for women to advance their careers or achieve financial independence which further contributes to the gender gap in Japan.

5. The Impact of the Gender Gap on Japan’s Economy

The gender gap has had an adverse effect on Japan’s economy as it has resulted in an underutilization of female talent which could otherwise be contributing significantly towards economic growth if given equal opportunities as men have traditionally been given throughout history. Furthermore, it has led to an aging population as fewer young people are entering into marriage and having children which will eventually lead to a labor shortage if not addressed soon enough by policy makers.

6. Government Initiatives To Close The Gender Gap In Japan

The Japanese government has implemented several initiatives aimed at closing its gender gap such as encouraging companies through incentives or regulations such as quotas for female representation on boards of directors or executive positions; providing tax benefits for families with two working parents; increasing access to child care services; mandating paternity leave; promoting flexible work arrangements; increasing awareness about sexual harassment; providing training programs for women entrepreneurs; and promoting female participation in STEM fields among other measures.

7.The Role Of Civil Society Organizations In Closing The Gender Gap In Japan
Civil society organizations have also played an important role in closing the gender gap by advocating for greater rights for women through campaigns focused on raising awareness about issues such as pay equity or sexual harassment at work.They have also provided support networks for working mothers by offering childcare services,legal advice,career counseling,mentorship programs,networking events,etc.Additionally,they have helped create spaces where women can come together share experiences,find support,gain knowledge,etc.

It is clear that while progress has been made towards closing the gender gap in Japan there is still much work left ahead before true equality can be achieved.However,with continued efforts from both government initiatives and civil society organizations this goal is achievable.It is important that all stakeholders remain committed towards achieving this goal so that future generations can benefit from a more equitable society where everyone regardless of their sex can reach their full potential.


1) “Gender Equality: A Global Perspective.” United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Accessed April 28th 2021 https://www.undp-aapsoenvision2030dialogueseries2021/gender-equality-global-perspective/

2 ) “Gender Gap Index 2020 Report.” World Economic Forum (WEF). Accessed April 28th 2021 https://www3weforumorg/docs/WEF_GenderGap_2020Reportpdf

3 ) “Closing The Gender Gap: How To Achieve True Equality In Your Workplace.” Charles R Tokoyama CEO Of Japan Insiders Accessed April 28th 2021 https://wwwjapaninsidersnet/closing-the-gender-gap/

Why is Japan so patriarchal?

Japans conservative patriarchal culture is heavily influenced by the Buddhist and Confucian values ​​upon which the country was founded. These values ​​have existed throughout Japans long history and have contributed to traditional ideas about the proper roles of men and women.

Why does Japan have low gender equality?

Japan has not followed the trend of other countries – even those that are not considered advanced democracies – in closing the gender gap. Japans poor ranking in the GGI rating is due to the lower status of women in the workforce and the lack of representation of women in politics.

Why is Japan most masculine culture?

Why is Japan a masculine culture? The most common explanation for this is that Japanese society lacks the extended family system that underpins many communal societies such as China and Korea.

How are girls treated in Japan?

Japan has a strong tradition whereby women become full-time housewives after marriage. When mothers go to work they often choose low-paying part-time jobs to accommodate their childrens and husbands schedules. Taking care of the house and household chores is mostly seen as the role of women and working women are ready to fill this void.

Has a woman ever ruled Japan?

In 593 and twice as many as in the early modern period (Edo period) there were eight female empresses in early Japanese history (six female empresses including two who ruled twice).

Does Japan have feminism?

Feminism in Japan began with the womens rights movement that dates back to ancient times. The movement resulted from the introduction of Western ideas to Japan during the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Japanese feminism differs from Western feminism in that there is less emphasis on individual autonomy.

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