Japan: the army of skilled women who only get underemployments

  • mariko hi
  • From BBC News in Japan

Yumiko Suzuki with her husband and two children

Credit, Yumiko Suzuki

Photo caption,

Yumiko Suzuki spent seven years at home raising her children before returning to work.

There are many smart, educated women in Japan who could be pulling the country out of its current economic recession into a spectacular pandemic recovery.

But the country’s rigid labor system – along with the predominantly male leadership – remains a huge hurdle preventing women from getting better-paying jobs.

Critics warn that the country is at risk of becoming a nation of frustrated housewives with college degrees.

Japan’s own timetable for significantly increasing the number of women in leadership roles by 2020 passed silently at the end of last year, without even coming close to that goal.