In the Global Gender Gap 2020 Report, which tracks gender parity in education, health, politics, and economic participation, Japanese women were ranked 121st out of 153 (World Economic Forum, 2019), lagging far behind other Asian countries such as the Philippines, which came in at 16, Singapore, which ranked 54th, and Thailand in 75th place. Although Japanese women are highly educated and in good health, this represents an all-time low for Japan and might be seen as a setback. although the number of working women has increased, most are not engaged in career-track jobs; the number of women in executive or managerial positions, as well as high level government jobs, lags far behind that of other industrialized nations (Shim, 2018). Shambaugh et. al. suggests the less than stellar labor market outcome for Japanese women may be due to the possibility “that work other than full-time and regular employment is a better fit for the circumstances and preferences of some working women” and that they choose jobs which enable them to “balance employment with non-work obligations” (2017). In other words, they may be choosing part-time or lower-level jobs because Japanese working women who are married with children still bear the brunt of childcare, housekeeping, and caring for elderly relatives. Furthermore, they are left with little time for career development activities which might lead to advancement. This, however, is not a uniquely Japanese dilemma. Women in other countries often hire workers to help with domestic tasks. Hitherto, little research has been done to determine the effect of hiring help on gender disparity in the Japanese workplace. In this paper, we will examine the results of a survey on attitudes toward hiring help to better understand why working women in Japan tend to not outsource domestic work.
Kamata, Suzanne and Kita, Yoko
"A Study of Japanese Women’s Attitudes Toward Hiring Domestic Laborers,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 23:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol23/iss4/3