Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-10-99

Japanese Women Fight Sex Discrimination

Historically, Japanese women have been paid significantly less than their male counterparts and were expected to be subservient towards their bosses. Many were hired because of their "eagerness and fresh faces," and were expected to quit upon marriage.

Although a new gender equality law was instituted in Japan four months ago, social attitudes haven't changed much in response. Nevertheless, lawyer Katsuko Terasawa noted that "Full-time Japanese women now have the law, and a raised consciousness, and increasing courage to bring a case to court. It is not so possible any more to have a woman doing important work and not getting paid what she should."

But the corporate world is much slower in altering its attitudes towards women in the workplace. Due to the sagging economy, may jobs on the "low rungs of the ladder" -- those usually held by women -- are being made temporary or part-time positions. The secretary of the Tokyo Womenís Union, Keiko Tani, stated, "The situation is getting worse. We don't have the luxury to fight for the same salary as a man when our very job is in danger."

One of the most significant problems that Japanese women are facing is the traditional idea that women should stay at home and raise a family while men are "the warriors for the company." "We have to abolish the principle that men are responsible for work and women are responsible for the family. Work and family matters both ought to be shared equally," commented Kiyokawa.

Media Resources: The Washington Post - August 10, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/22/2014 US Ranks 16th in 2014 Social Progress Index - The Social Progress Imperative recently released its 2014 Social Progress Index, ranking the United States in 16th place among 132 countries. Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, a Republican who led the report team, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he was surprised by the ranking. . . .
 
4/22/2014 Florida Supreme Court Recognizes Anti-Discrimination Protections for Pregnant Workers - The Florida State Supreme Court ruled last week that pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Florida employment law. The 6-1 decision allows Peguy Delva to proceed with her lawsuit against her employer, real estate developer Continental Group. . . .
 
4/21/2014 Arizona Governor Signs Bill Allowing Suprise Inspections of Abortion Clinics - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last week allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a warrant. HB 2284 repeals an Arizona law that requires a judge to give approval for inspections of abortion clinics. . . .