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'Household Managers': Women's Employment in Japan

Elizabeth Gaver

Despite modern Japan’s evident economic success, persisting inequality between men and women is still apparent in the work field, furthered by societal expectations that drive women away from employment and overwork men. This presentation argues the causes of inequality for women in the work field, including societal expectations and the two-track system, as well as analyzes the effects on women’s lifestyle and careers, including the wage gap and prevalence of non-standard employment. Furthermore, this presentation argues the increasingly detrimental effects of employment inequality on Japanese society as a whole, such as the declining fertility rate. Lastly, this paper will focus on domestic attempts by the state to combat this issue. This research is important, as the problem of inequality in employment is a worldwide phenomenon. Therefore, it is important to study its causes and effects in other states in order to best understand and develop possible solutions.