Discrimination faced by women and girls in Japan 2018

A survey published by Ipsos in 2018 revealed that the most common issue women in Japan faced was balancing work and caring responsibilities. The amount of unpaid work carried out by women, such as housework and childcare, was seen as the second major problem according to the survey respondents in Japan. While a total of 48 percent considered those two obstacles as most profound, about 40 percent named sexual violence and sexual harassment as the most prominent concerns among the female population in Japan.

The nail that sticks out in Japan

Japan is among the most innovative and technologically advanced countries in the world, but also home to traditional gender roles and prone to putting pressure on those who do not conform to social expectations. Voicing concerns or openly speaking one’s mind is not necessarily appreciated among the wider population. For Japanese women, challenging the status quo not only requires courage but might also result in detrimental implications on their private and professional situation. Notwithstanding, female empowerment and activist movements are discussed increasingly in Japan, yet only a rather small percentage of Japanese would describe themselves as feminists.

Sexual harassment and workplaces discrimination in Japan

Incidents involving chikan, a Japanese term used for groping, are repeatedly covered not only by domestic, but also international media. But while chikan commonly refers to molestation in public places, such as crowded trains or secluded spaces, sexual harassment oftentimes coexists with workplace discrimination. The latter is frequently displayed by inappropriate physical and verbal behavior towards women at their workplace, but also by trying to keep women away from certain university degrees, professions and positions. Another form of discrimination encountered by women in Japan is being persuaded into leaving their job after marriage or childbirth. Those, who wish to combine work and caring responsibilities, often resort to part-time employment or struggle with finding support from official stakeholders, such as the government or private corporations.

Most difficult issues faced by women and girls in Japan as of March 2018

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Source

Release date

March 2018

Region

Japan

Survey time period

January 26 to February 9, 2018

Number of respondents

approx. 1,000*

Age group

16-64 years

Special properties

multiple answers possible

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

*19,428 respondents in 27 countries around the world were surveyed via the Ipsos Online Panel System.
Data was weighted to match the profile of the population, therefore the survey generated nationally representative samples.

Original question: "Which two or three, if any, of the following, do you think are the most important issues facing women and girls in your country?"

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Statistics on "Women in Japan"

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