Workplace Obstacles For Women Force Government Birthrate Incentives

Japanese culture and work environment where business meetings often begin after 6:00 p.m., where working unpaid overtime is routine and expected, and where employee transfers to different cities are frequent, force many Japanese working women to prioritize their jobs over bearing and raising children. The country’s birthrate fell to a record low of 1.34 babies per woman in 1999. In an effort to boost the birthrate, the Japanese government is offering incentives including subsidies for women raising children and extended paid leave for new parents. A few companies and government agencies are slowly beginning to accommodate working women’s needs, but a large-scale shift in the Japanese business approach to working women has not yet been realized.


The Washington Post http://washingtonpost.com 24 August 2000

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