Patriarchal Japan has a Breakthrough Moment
The author of this article, Hanna Beech begins by elaborating on how she was so surprised to be in Japan and be served tea by a man. Japan has only just recently begun to address the issue of inequality among the sexes in the work force. Although it seems that a large percentage of women graduate from college with degrees, that is not evident when looking at the low percentage of women who are actually in higher positions in management, 6.2% to be exact. It is encouraging to see the Prime Minister of Japan taking some initiative in this issue. He has encouraged the women of Japan publically in speeches saying that it is no longer a matter of choice to create a equal environment, but “a matter of urgency”. Although the Prime Minister seems to take steps as such, things don’t seem to be progressing any faster in Japan, if at all. This is interesting because Japan would increase its GDP by 5% if they employed women more like other developed countries. This would be better for the entire country all together. Although Abe, the Prime Minister seems to be encouraging this, “comfort women” still seem to be a systematic habit within the Japanese military which does not help the situation. The percentages of women law makers and political involvement has also dropped since he has been in leadership. Despite all this women still seem to be pushing against the current. Population has dropped dramatically because women have not been getting married.
At the end of this article Beech talks about stereotypes being internalized within her. It is very interesting that such negative stereotypes could exist even in such a developed nation as Japan. It is important to note that these stereotypes at imbedded within the culture and therefore progression happens little by little and there is a lot of strain and oppression that comes when women try to progress in leadership roles. Because of practices such as “comfort women” in the military women have little mobility in the work force because of gender stereotypes, which creates gender inequality, which creates a social problem. In this specific case of gender inequality we have the issue of the glass ceiling. Women are given the opportunity to achieve higher positions theoretically but in reality they cannot get any higher. In this case the Prime Minister of Japan is encouraging women to be involved equality in general, but we see a lag even a decrease in women actually being in those types of positions. This patriarchal society develops a sort of social construction list perspective, which stagnates women in Japan’s working force.
Oct. 4. 2013