The purpose of this study is to consider the sense of working for women in Japan. At first, I categorize working women into two types. One is “Women Working In Metropolis” (WWIM). The other is “Women Working In Country” (WWIC). WWIM means working-type of women who are well-educated professionals (incl. office workers) in big cities. WWIC means working women who have such level of education as high school and engage in factories in tiny cities or country areas.
Based on these two categories und the theory of exchange, I investigate how the sense of working for women changes in Japan. I make an approach to look at the exchange relationship between the labor force offered by women to companies, families and society and its considered value.
At present, the Japanese government attempts to promote women’s participation in society. Main aims of the government are to create an environment that allows women to take part in the decision- making process in organizations, that urges economic self-reliance in rural communities and allows working while women raise children.
However, from what I gather, these policies mainly pursue the economic rationality and do not necessarily correspond to the real sense of “gender free”. Since even “admitted inequality” exists, we need to achieve real gender equality. By analyzing the change in working conditions and styles, my aim in this presentation is to show which opportunities and difficulties exist for Japanese women’s advancement.
Ms. Ryoko Asai is PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science and Economics, Meiji University, Tokyo. She holds an B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Political Science from the same university. Ryoko Asai has been working as research assistant at Meiji university’s Research Center for Crisis and Contingency Management and the Graduate School of Governance Studies. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at the Nihon University’s internship program preparing course.