Discrimination of working mothers persists in Japan
News On Japan via Denver Post -- Nov 18
To resume work after the birth of her first child, Terue Suzuki moved back to her family home on weekdays to get help with baby-care, leaving her husband in the house they shared.
"It was like a weekend marriage," Suzuki, 45, who works at a Japanese telecommunications company, said of the arrangement that started 14 years ago. "I had a satisfying job and really wanted to go back to it. In Japanese society, when a woman chooses work instead of staying at home to look after her husband, she's called a devil wife."
Limited day care, peer pressure and job inflexibility mean Suzuki remains a minority in Japan, where 70 percent of women quit work with the birth of their first child, said Nana Oishi, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. That level compares with about a third in the United States, according to Goldman Sachs.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government set a goal in July to boost the proportion of working women within eight years to spur an economy that has had two recessions since 2007. Increasing the number of employed women might bolster gross domestic product by as much as 15 percent, according to Goldman Sachs.
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