It is undeniable that Japan is a rigid, collective and perfectionist country that presents good and bad examples to the world. In the midst of all this, women receive a lower salary than men, which causes controversy worldwide and on social networks. So are women being despised in Japan?
Another issue that can downplay women in Japan is the high exposure of sexual content in the media. Are Japanese women really safe in Japan? Are they victims? Are they treated as they deserve? we will discuss several subjects in this article.
Unfortunately Japan is over 100 in the ranking of 144 countries on gender equality (Brazil is close to 100). No developed country in the world reaches this level as low as Japan, although South Korea is in the worst position.
Many countries in Asia are in the worst positions when it comes to gender equality. It is clear that this ranking examines not only salaries or opportunities, but several factors that make us think. Only we will not consider this ranking as something absolute!
Is the Japanese women's salary really lower?
The shortest and simplest answer is yes! Women usually earn up to 27% less than men. However, some research claims that the pay difference is not in the gender itself, but in several other factors that we will examine.
A certain researcher said that sexism is the least of Japanese problems, the Japanese consider hierarchy much more important. This Hierarchy places a big wall between women, which hinders growth in the job market.
The same researcher says that despite the stark wage differences between men and women, Japan, paradoxically, is a country with more equal pay than the USA. This is because everyone in the same hierarchy receives the same salary.
Since childhood Japanese people have been taught about equality between jobs, do the same tasks and receive the same rewards, but there will always be those of higher level with greater prominence and greater reward.
In the US we hear rumors of women in the same jobs earning less than men. In Japan, this would be considered a major insult, scandal or illegal. Unfortunately, this must happen on the sly, especially among foreigners and factories. I have no doubt that authorities turn a blind eye to certain cases.
The excuse for these events is that women's work is lighter, has less workload, or requires less effort. Perhaps a company will invent this excuse in the contract to pay a lower salary, but in practice women end up doing services at the same level as men.
Simply put, in Japan there is a gender inequality that is drowned out with lame excuses that women's work is different from men's.
The mindset that women are housewives
Although most women in Japan work, what makes promotion difficult and a high office is the possibility for a woman to have a child and give up work. What causes men to dominate the hierarchical system in large quantities.
It may sound silly, but culturally the Japanese don't usually hire maids to look after their home, the woman performs the full function of housewife, with the help of your husband (if you have one). Perhaps this is a reason why women work at lower wages.
Companies also offer jobs already specifying which gender they want to hire. It may seem absurd, but they are not ashamed of specifying roles for a given sex along with salary in job ads. Especially in contractors!
Of course, there are those women who excel in the office, manage to develop a good career and high position. Most of the time she is a single woman who has enormous authority in the workplace.
Unlike what many people imagine, Japanese women are not docile and fragile. In many ways they are strong, persistent and more influential. Most women are trained, and about 77% of part-time jobs are performed by women.
Harassment and sexual abuse with women in Japan
Statistically speaking, Japan is among the safest countries for women. The chances of a woman being sexually abused is 27x higher in the USA or 100x higher in Brazil.
We should not rely on statistics, because most cases are not reported to the police. Especially in Japan, where reputation is important, so many women end up hiding that fact.
Many probing cases happen in Japan, at schools, work, trains and on the street. It is not uncommon for strange men to appear inviting random women to a hotel offering lots of money. Many bizarre cases involving perverts happen in Japan, but for the most part nothing worse happens.
Japanese people are generally extremely pacifist and do not like any kind of conflict, which makes it easier for predators. There is no need to be afraid, as for every bad man, there are thousands of decent men. Japanese women are aware of this and have developed their own techniques to ward off perverts.
The Japanese are aware of these problems, especially those that happen on trains. You may even find posters warning women about these perverts who pass by, strongly encouraging them to scream chikan in case it happens. Fortunately there are wagons exclusive to women.
Japan's women have earned their place
Throughout history Japanese women have been treated in different ways. As in any country at war, women were abused and treated like objects. Unfortunately Japan has spent much of its history in constant wars, which has made women suffer throughout history, making them stronger.
Women's participation in Japanese society varied widely over time, and depended heavily on hierarchy and social class. Prostitution was a very common business, with time women gained a lot of prominence making art instead of selling themselves, if making geishas.
In the Heian period women became emperors, they could own property and be educated. Even so, arranged marriages without mutual love were common. Things only got better for women after World War II.
Some women stood out, like the famous author Ichiyo Higuchi who had his face on the 5000 yen banknote. Asako Hirooka was a businesswoman, banker and even founded a college.
Japanese women over time have gained fame in the world for following standards of modesty, tidiness, courtesy, conformity and self-confidence.
There are many other points to highlight about women in Japan. They have an important role in Japanese history and society. Although Japan has downplayed women in the past, nowadays they have power in hand.
Unfortunately, gender inequality happens all over the world, as well as racial problems and those from different social classes. Japanese women turn around and fight for their goals instead of regretting situations.
Complaint is not part of Japanese culture, one of the main reasons for success, to act rather than complain. What do you think of this subject? Complement the article with your comments and share it with friends.