A Japanese Woman – Is She Involved in the Political Campaign Against Gender Inequality? Photo Source: Yu Morita, CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Gender inequality is happening around the world, and Japan is no exception. Seiko Noda is one of the women in Japan who choose to speak out against gender bias, and she’s a great one to do so as she holds an influential role as the General Council’s chairperson.
It is in Japan that Seiko Noda appears to be nodding along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new campaign to increase the number of women in Japan’s workforce. Abe’s administration and the Liberal Democratic Party have received mixed reviews in Japan for encouraging “womenomics.” What is womenomics? It refers to fluctuations of power between men and women in pay rate and more. His political platform has acquired the nickname “Abenomics.”
Shinzo Abe has openly discussed the power that women can provide in Japan’s workforce. While that’s not a major concern here in Canada, or in the US, openly talking about women workers is not often done in politics in Japan. The Prime Minister has demonstrated that promoting more women will help Japan to grow economically.
Seiko Noda, head of the General Council, said recently that a great way to discourage gender inequality, as Abe’s political platform sets out to do, is for women to be more visible in her country. She said that there’s more female role models needed there and indicated the positive effects of women seeing her own position as top lawmaker in Japan, a position traditionally held by men.
Unfortunately, the overriding view there is to keep Japanese women in the home. While that’s gender bias, it’s also harming Japan’s economy. If the population in that country moves as predicted, Japan’s workers will shrink almost in half (for a total of about 44 million people) by the year 2060. How will the economy survive? By increasing the number of women workers, as Abe’s political campaign aims to do, there is hope for a stable economy with more than enough workers.
But, will traditional Japanese men support the initiative of Shinzo Abe the way that Seiko Noda is doing? And, are there are enough women such as Nada who are willing to speak out against gender inequality in Japan and risk being rejected by family and friends for the unpopular activity?
Do you think that the new political campaign be successful? Why or why not?
©2014 Christy Birmingham