Honestly I do not understand why not more women are found in the business environment, especially now with the financial downturn there is even a stronger need to be a business women. In 2009 Japan was ranking 101st in the “gender gap index” study by the World Economic Forum (international nonprofit group that measured the economic opportunities, political empowerment of women by nation). Iceland was number one, and as another example the U.S. was listed as 31. Japanese women make up just 9 percent of senior officials and managers, for sure a tiny share compared with other countries: U.S. 43 percent, 17 percent in China and 38 percent in France (according to Catalyst Inc.,). Where have the Japanese women gone?
Honestly I do not understand why not more women make sure they have their own career. Especially now with less stability at work, global financial downturn, how come many women even prefer to shift all the financial responsibility to their husband? If you respect and love your husband, you want to share the pressure for making a living. I am shocked to see that according the the Mainichi Daily News recently more women think wives should stay at home to focus on housework and childcare. Yes, childcare is an important and timeconsuming duty, but one should consider the consequences for the husband too. Furthermore as much as 47.9% of women under 30 years old (increased by 12.2 points!!) are neglecting from my viewpoint their respect towards their partner. Everyone knows that providing for a family is hard, stressful work, but how come women tend to neglect their love and repects for their husbands and just shift the responsibility completely?
I agree with Katsuma san that Japan had been isolated from global changes in sexual equality for so long that most people are simply not used to dealing with diversity, including foreigners and the disabled, not just women (interview in LA Times). Building up a career is not easy and furthermore finding a job after having giving birth to a child seems to be a nightmare. I do hope so much that Kazuma san is right in her interview: “If you look at the economic indicators for women in Japan, we are not going backward compared to 10 years ago. It’s just that progress has been slow compared to the rapid progress elsewhere.” I really do wish more women would show appreciation and love for their partner, making sure to support the household. Isn’t this what a partnership is all about?
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)