Bear — seal colleagues, do not give birth — will not help the economy. The dilemma faced by many Japanese women. And even after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced full support for women easier to live with them: you still have to choose between career ambitions and family happiness. In some cases, such a problem is nipped in the Bud: the potential of mothers simply do not take in University. How Japanese women live under the pressure of stereotypes and reproductive violence — in the material “”.

Two gray-haired Japanese shamefully bowed their heads before the assembled journalists. One of the ashamed of Tatsoi Fujioka, head of the Committee on promotion of equality at the Tokyo medical University. He tries to explain to reporters how the official’s son was enrolled, despite the low score in the entrance exam and who received marks above, I had to look for another school.

“I think the fact that we are not fully aware of what the rules are in modern society,” explained Fukuoka, which is responsible for gender equality at the University.

For what has been coined his position, he apparently did not penetrate.

The scandal broke in August 2018, when Medical University, Tokyo caught in a systematic underestimation of the points for the entrance examination of girls. As it turned out, this unwritten policy was carried out in 2006 and was aimed at reducing the number of students-physicians.

After the scandal began testing. For six months, similar violations were found in 9 of the 81 medical universities of the country.

Eight years ago, newly elected at the time Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced the policy of comprehensive support to women. Since the implementation of these plans in the coffers of the Tokyo medical University took about 13 billion yen (more than 122 million dollars) of subsidies from the state. At the same time the University management deliberately failed ideas of the government to increase the number of women doctors in Japanese hospitals.

Situation — a clear indication, how does the plan Abe. After coming to power, the Prime Minister promised that the Japanese will be lived very well.

“We will build a society in which women Shine”, — promised the head of government in the office eight years later meets one woman to 19 men.

Newspaper the Japan Times noted that the number of employees in the government apparatus as a whole is also not significantly increased and remains “shockingly low” at 3.7 percent. At the same time, despite the desperate attempts to narrow the gap between women’s and men’s salaries in 2015, the gap was 25.7%, one of the highest indicators among countries of the Organization for economic cooperation and development.

a required By law

Japanese women have a hard time: the country is facing the problem of an aging population and save the economy from stagnating in such conditions can only women. However, views on how they can carry out their mission and to give back to the middle, diverge. Some believe that women should go to work, to actively contribute to production and consumption. Others criticize hardworking — why sit in the office or standing at the machine, if you can just have a lot of Japanese, so that they ensure economic growth? Meanwhile, to reconcile motherhood and work in Japan seems completely impossible.

Those who had to deal with the corporate culture of Japan, surely marveled at the discipline and loyalty of employees. Of course, they can spend hours playing solitaire “solitaire” on the computer, but before the boss will not go home. The more time an employee spends at work, the more valuable it is for the company. At least, as commonly believed, but what is the real effectiveness of such ostentatious workaholism, no one was particularly interested. Processing, in fact, mandatory for all Japanese workers (and occasionally such actions even lead to death — karoshi), and although the Japanese themselves realize the absurdity of such a tradition, to do what they can not do anything.

Women, despite the appeals of the government and its “support” to hold back much more difficult. By law, during pregnancy, they can be freed from heavy physical labor, they are also guaranteed a six-week maternity leave before birth (14 weeks, if you are expecting twins). Leave to care for a child lasts until the year before the first day of the child — to care for him by both the father and mother.

During the first six months of each departed on maternity leave the parent pays two-thirds of salary; subsequently, if you sit with your child remains one of the parents, the amount cut up to 50 percent. If after six months on the job is no one of the parents, they leave before the end of continue to pay two thirds of salary. The employer is not obliged to accrue salary, instead of the insurance company, so technically the firm’s financial losses is not.

Women are afraid that if they leave, they do not prolong a work contract. Thus, according to the Ministry of health, labour and welfare for the year 2015, for the 12 months went back to work only 31.8 percent mothers, worked full time. In the same year, only two percent of men who have the right to maternity leave, took the opportunity to participate in the care of the newborn.

Problems appear later: if the mother needs to pick up the child from kindergarten or take to the doctor to stay late at work he�� can not. In the end, even if she’s left early, and went out on time, it is considered less effective than sitting until the last colleagues.

the Stop trying to give birth to, prevent

The story of a Japanese Subject, Osakabe gained popularity in 2014, two years after Abe promised women “the shining”. After the first miscarriage, she asked the chief to slow down her load, and the response advised me to postpone delivery for a few years and focus on work. When Osakabe got pregnant again, the chief showed up to her house and asked to leave, as her absence in the workplace “created trouble”. Losing a job is a woman not wanted and returned to the office, as it turned out, at the cost of your child’s life.

After a tragedy a second time, the woman again went to work. And the first thing they asked her head — whether she is menstruating and whether they do my husband sex. The patience of Osakabe burst, she quit and sued the employer in court for harassment. The case was high profile and attracted the attention of the public and journalists. Suing the company 1.7 million yen (15.6 thousand dollars), Sayaka started to support Japanese, matahara subjected to harassment due to maternity (maternity harassment from the English). In the end, she still gave birth to a baby and created the organization engaged in supporting working mothers.


According to information on the organization’s website, in Japan, about 60 per cent of women are forced to leave work because of pregnancy. It is also noted that matahara “contagious”: a girl, watching as pressed their colleagues, decide either to resign yourself, or not to have children. At the same time, faced with the harassment of the mother often say that if I knew what will turn their situation — would not have children. Others note that employers forced them to feel that pregnancy is bad.

Organization of Osakabe identifies four types of harassment of mothers, and not all of them exist only at work. The first is the imposition of traditional gender attitudes. Parents, relatives and even her husband dropped the girl on the brain: “Baby is your priority, so you need to stay home and take care of his education.” About money, according to traditionally-minded Japanese have to take care of her husband. As noted in the organization, this behavior is not always intentionally thoughtful act of demotivation, often harmful advisers — just the victims of our limited thinking.

The second type of harassment — the deliberate humiliation. Colleagues and boss are attacking the woman claims, saying that they have to adjust to her new schedule, this causes inconvenience. The fear of being uncomfortable do pursues the Japanese since childhood, and the feeling of shame is one of the most effective tool��in people management in almost all Asian societies. Colleagues can also directly blame the pregnant woman in selfishness and that she gets more days off. As far as the output of a pregnant woman can be considered a day of rest is a moot point.

Another type of harassment is not just a humiliation, and direct pressure. The user can inform the women about their “problematic”: the chief does not need an employee who leaves the office early, and the “special relationship” to give it to anyone not going. The climax matahari is considered a “survival” of the pregnant woman from work.

The result is that if a woman surrenders without a fight — that is, leave immediately after learning about the pregnancy, she will be unemployed, but at least will save the nerve cells. Those who decided to go to the end, have to face psychological violence for many years.

Jekonomika with a big “W”

Following proclaimed in 2012 to the principles videomike or JEKONOMIKI (from women + economy) Prime Minister Abe, the government is trying to improve the situation of Japanese women in society. The program aims to support and promote women in the service, to improve the situation in this matter was assumed by 2020.

To 2012 in the labour market were involved in 61 percent of Japanese women, but the majority of them (53 percent) worked part-time or engaged in low-skilled jobs. And one of the points in the Abe program is a threefold increase in the number of women in leadership positions, from less than 10 to 30 percent in 2020. However, in reality, achieve this doubt — even in the local elections in April 2019, only 6 of the 59 mayoral positions were held by women.

Not everyone in the Japanese Parliament consider it necessary “female” measures, but supporters vimanmek actively promote these ideas. The Deputy UNOCI of Mitashi believes that Abe’s plans are very useful for the economy as a whole. “We need the taxes that women could pay,” he says.

In turn, the enemy videomike in Parliament Shoji Nishida believes that quotas are a bad way to help women. “Companies will go bankrupt trying to comply with government requirements. Either the firm will collapse, women will occupy positions only nominally,” he notes. The logical question, in this case, what to do, Nishida indicates that do not consider gender balance is 50/50 a good idea.

Another important way to help women back to work is the increase in the number of kindergartens. The government has already allocated funds for 500 thousand places in the new nursery.

Some firms do follow the election promises of the Prime Minister and, I must say, succeed in their performance. Cosmetic company Shiseido, for example, takes responsibility for the care of children erase��nits, which make up 80 percent of the workforce. In addition, Shiseido on its own initiative has reached 30% women in leadership. One of them is Amy Watanabe — joined the company right after graduation from University. During the work, she married and had two children. According to her, support employers helped her to keep a career and be a good mother. Just to work after childbirth in Shiseido back in 96 percent of workers.

Help and support employees care not only cosmetics manufacturers. The owner of the company for the production of food Calbee, Akira Matsumoto believes that traditional processing is harmful not only working mothers, but generally to all employees. When the company opened a kindergarten, and over the past few years, the number of women leaders in Calbee has increased four times from 6 to 24 percent. “It is impossible that business operated exclusively by men. The change was necessary,” he said. He admits that not everyone likes his rules, however, the doors to the exit before the unhappy no one closes. In this case, while no one because of the rules not quit, said Matsumoto.

Do not forget managers and support men. Some large firms, such as the construction company Taisei, encourage their maternity leave. Some use the opportunity to help his wife, but for most it is still beyond the basics: many men are embarrassed and even ashamed to leave work for the child, because this, in their view, should be dealt with wife. And those who are still on leave, returning at a disadvantage, since they must return to their previous rhythm of work and processing leave time does not allow all the pressure from society. At the same time, Taisei for couples also holds seminars on how to combine family and career and share the responsibilities of spouses.

In January 2020 the positive example, the Japanese have been filed by the Minister of the environment, the son of the 56th Prime Minister Shinjiro Koizumi. He became the first member of the government of the men who went on maternity leave. “I’d like to see the Ministry of the environment staff, undeterred, was able to take leave to care for children,” he said. Part time Koizumi worked for two weeks.

the Double standard

At the same time the Prime Minister Abe, it seems, does not meet its requirements: the number of women in Parliament Japan is on 159th place. In his office in 2018, the two he left only one woman — Minister of regional development Satsuki Katayama. Abe immediately criticized for appointing only women in not the most prestigious and important post.

Katamu also forced to change dress to the Parliament: immediately after the appointment ceremony, she had to go to the store for more APadashim dress code attire. By the way, the dress code at work is also a sore point for the Japanese. Activists constantly struggling with a strange and even harmful rules: a ban on wearing glasses, change hair color, the mandatory wearing of high heel shoes.


On the question of why in the midst of conducting vimanmek Abe sent the second female parliamentarian to resign, he replied evasively. He said that only accelerates, and soon the women in the office will be more. Katamu the Prime Minister called “a standing of three women”. And dismissed from the post of interior Minister Seiko Noda stated that it is concerned that the study was almost entirely male.

Critics drew attention to the fact that seats in the Cabinet claimed 12 women, however, hit him very often men supporting the party of Abe and advocate for revising the pacifist Constitution.

“He appointed old friends and reliable allies, to ensure stability,” says Jeffrey Kingston, head of the Institute of Asian studies at Tokyo’s temple University. According to him, even the appointment of Katayama — no more than window dressing.

According to Isabel Reynolds, Bloomberg, in the next couple of years big changes of the Japanese should not wait. “Women are on the lower rungs of the career ladder, they will definitely not be to decide in which direction will move the gender policies of companies,” she said.

To Japanese girls have appeared greater “specific weight”, it is necessary not only to speak about the importance of their support. Japan, like any other country with strong traditions, need more time to complete prejudices of the older generation gave way to the more advanced youth.