Stagnant Women’s Employment Participation in Japan
Women’s economic activity in Japan remains relatively weak, even though it has not entered the phase of full housewifization as in other advanced Western countries such as the USA and Germany. In this chapter, this puzzle is expounded by examining the inconsistent policy orientations of the Japanese government since the postwar period. The tax and social security systems conformed to the type of household, namely, households with male breadwinners and female homemakers. Keeping these programs intact, the Japanese government launched other initiatives intended to promote female labor force participation and increase the birthrate. Partly because of this inconsistency, a substantial gender gap in terms of economic activity remains.
KeywordsJapan Women’s economic activity Tax and social security system Gender division of labor Politics
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