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Gender, Family and Fertility: Why Japanese Women Having Fewer Children?

Kojima, Kazue (2013) Gender, Family and Fertility: Why Japanese Women Having Fewer Children? PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract Japanese women are having fewer children than ever before. There have been many quantitative studies undertaken to attempt to reveal the reasons behind this. The Japanese government has been concerned about the future economic decline of the country, and has been encouraging women to have more children. Although the Japanese government has been supporting women financially, it has not focused on gender equality, making it more difficult for women to be able to pursue their chosen careers. Japanese women have greater access to higher education than ever before, yet the Japanese patriarchal social structure still compels women to rely on men and all but eliminates their independence. The Japanese male-dominated society is resistant want to change. Family ties are still very strong, and women are expected to take care of the household and do unpaid work, while men work outside the home and earn a paid salary. In the labour force, women do not enjoy the same level of equality and opportunity as their male counterparts, as it is naturally marry, have children, and take care of the family. The system is skewed in favor of the males. Women are not able to pursue the same career path as men; even from the start, women are often considered as candidates for potential wives for the male workers. In the course of this research, I conducted a total of 22 interviews of single and married Japanese women. I set out to explore and discover the causes behind why Japanese women are choosing to postpone marriage and have fewer children, as well as touching upon the much deeper issue of gender inequality due to the Japanese patriarchal social structure. Women cannot live how they want to and only for themselves; they must always put their families first. This study reveals the struggles of Japanese women and how many are confused, and how some resist the patriarchal system. Many women waste their education, careers, knowledge and experience, all in the name of maintaining family ties and the patriarchal social structure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605190
Depositing User: Kazue Kojima
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2014 07:44
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5164

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