Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Japan’s powerful patriarchy often bypasses women. That won’t be easy to fix


Experts say that some men of that generation believe that women are left at home, or that they should attend meetings, but remain silent.

But Tokyo’s economics student Momoko Nzo says those ideas have driven a rhetorical oath between political Gorkhaland and youngsters born in the 1990s, an era of economic tightness called the “lost decade”.

A 23-year-old woman prepares to agitate for change, runs nozo “No Youth, No Japan,” a student-led social media initiative established more and more in 2019 60,000 followers On Instagram, which promotes political literacy and aims to persuade largely disgruntled youth to use their vote to influence the future.

“We are sharing information on online platforms such as Instagram because we want youth to listen to their voices and count their votes,” said Nojo.

Generational division

From the late 1940s to the late 1980s, Japan rotated its economy. Powered by male white-collar workers, the country became the world’s second-largest economy after the United States.

Born in the late 1930s, older leaders, such as Yoshiro Mori, the former 2020 chief of Tokyo, and an official of Japan’s ruling party Toshihiro Nikkai, who recently received international condemnation for their sexual remarks on women, from a generation. The forthcoming is called “Dankai Sedai,”. Baby Boomer in English. He is known as a generation who, after his defeat in World War II, brought Japan to an independent stage on the global stage, being an independent journalist from Japan.

During the economic miracle, women were largely occupied with clerical and secretarial roles in the domestic sphere or offices, largely due to the attitudes of the time.

“(Dankai Sedai) thinks then that society did a better job and the economy was better – there’s that ego there,” Chu said.

Both Mori and Nikkai said that women should keep quiet. Chu states that his disparaging remarks towards women were an example of traditional and outdated views on the place of women in society, suggesting that men should remain the primary breadwinners and women should stay indoors.

Student activist Nujo says that young people face a different reality than a boomer in Japan.

While lifelong employment to white-collar workers was ensured when Japan’s economy flourished, today, many working adults face unstable job markets, snail-pace pay raises, and the prospect of never owning a home.

“It’s been nearly 20 years since the bubble burst, but it’s getting harder for us to see a bright future where we can chase our dreams,” Nozo said.

For example, in the last decades, Japan has seen dramatic increases in part-time and temporary employment – because, in part, for the partial legalization of temporary and contract works 1986 And full legalization in 1999.

In 2019, Japan had 22 million part-time and temporary employees, up from 17 million in 2011, according to the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

That same year, 39% women 14% were employed part-time in the workforce, compared to men. This leaves women at an unfair disadvantage as non-regular workers earn about 40% of their regular workers on an hourly basis and receive less training in their workplaces, According A report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“We feel anxious about the future and wonder if we’ll get a steady job that pays us enough to raise children. Will we get the same salary that our parents had? Will we, too Will get a pension? We are a generation with all those types of concerns, ”added Nojo.

Traditions die hard

A former defense minister, Tomomi Inada, says the male old guard’s unconvincing attitude toward women symbolizes problems with Japan’s power structure, where women and minorities still have little representation.

The government had planned to hire women in 30% of senior management roles by 2020, with the last year quietly pushed back to 2030.

And in Japan, only one in seven MPs are women – less than 14% compared to the 25% global average as of January 2021 and the 20% average in Asia, According Inter Parliamentary Union, an organization compiling data on national parliaments.

The problem, Inda says, is the widespread belief that politics is still a man’s world. “The notion that good women understand how to behave and not advance themselves still exists today,” she said.

Inada has supported the enforced electoral quota which proposes to make 30% of the candidates for election in Japan’s ruling party woman. He argues that increasing female participation increases accountability for policies related to women and is beneficial for men as well.

But according to Nobuko Kobayashi, partner at EY-Parthenon, a strategic consulting group within E&Y Transaction Advisory Services, it’s not always easy to shift the mindset that binds people to traditional gender roles in Japan.

“When the idea of ​​being one step behind a man starts quickly in your mind, when you’re an adult, it’s harder to break,” Kobayashi said.

Kyodo News last month Survey More than 60% of active women MPs found that it would be difficult to increase the number of women in Parliament to 35% by 2025.
The TV Ashishi advertisement - which was later taken over by the company - greatly criticized women in Japan.

From clicktivism to activism

last month Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi expressed displeasure over an advertisement featuring a female actress, stating that “gender equality is outdated.” The network later apologized and took down the commercial following a Twitter storm.
Twitter has long been the dominant social network in Japan. 51 million active the user. According to the 2020 report, it is the second largest market for social media sites globally behind the US Hootsuite, A social media marketing company.

The large user-base has resulted in a plug-in generation of young Japanese students, such as Nojo, who are student activists, who are broadcasting their complaints online and holding those responsible for their actions and words.

“Political dinosaurs were very clear about all of this, but they were suddenly felt,” said Jeffrey Kingston, a Japan expert at Temple University.

Thousands of Japanese women join campaign to ban workplace high heels requirements

Kingston gives the example of the backlash that took place on social media when Mori, the former Tokyo 2020 chief, tried to hand over another octagonal figure as his successor. The move eventually failed when she was replaced by a 56-year-old woman by former Olympian Seiko Hashimoto.

Kathy Matsui, Japan’s former deputy head and chief strategist for global investment bank Goldman Sachs, said that while sexist comments swept under the carpet 10 years ago, now “foot-in-the-mouth” comments are unforgivable. “Because of social media, you can’t overcome it easily,” she said.

In recent years, campaigns such as #MeToo and #KuToo – in which women petitioned against wearing heels to work – have made headlines in Japan’s gender inequality and human rights issues, even as the movements Failed to support Country as they did in the West.

changing of the guard

Matsui, a former banking strategist, says that there are many young people in Japan, who do not share the traditional values ​​associated with their fathers and grandfathers, are also taking to social media to raise the voice of women.

A professor of political science at the University of Sofia, Koichi Naikano, said that young, men dislike public figures who make derogatory remarks because they see it as a frequent symbol in the workplace. He said, “They think, ‘I know the man’.”

But Nakano argues that not all controversial remarks from the top result in the dismissal. For instance, earlier this year Mori’s resignation came in the form of public skepticism towards the Olympics. “Ministers often make lewd comments in Japan, but they often stop the hook. But people understand that when the situation is right, protests on Twitter can be effective,” he said.

Although Mori’s marked ster marked a watershed moment, the fight to make Japan a more diverse and gender-equal society is not over.

An 18-year-old woman cast her vote at a polling station in Himeji, Japan on July 10, 2016, for the election to the Upper House of Parliament.
In 2015, a new Japanese law reduced the Minimum voting age 20 to 18, Marking such a change for the first time in more than 70 years when the age was reduced to 25. That new law allowed nearly 2.4 million 18- and 19-year-olds to exercise their democratic rights in a national election for the first time in 2016.
However, the turnout was lower than expected, with only 46.8% 18- and 19-year-olds participated. Figure fell 41.5% In the lower house elections the following year.
Nojo stated that Japanese youth are less involved in politics than their counterparts in the US and Europe, because they feel dissatisfied with the status quo and do not vote, while doing what they do Bending right.

“In Japan, many people are conservative. If you take America, young people support Biden and in Europe, young people are liberal, whereas in Japan, people in their 20s don’t go to the polls. They have to.” Politics is suspect and politicians, ”she said.

Kanam Nakama, a fourth-year student at Meiji University in Japan, who identifies as a conservative and runs a political YouTube channel, said that youth in the country think politics is too complex.

He discussed political issues ranging from the role of the media in Japan to geopolitics during the Geo Bidness Presidency. He said that young conservatives find old remarks made by older men in positions of power “shameful” and that their peers believe that women should not stay at home.

For Nojo, Mori’s ouster set a precedent. However, she wants the older men of the ruling elite to reflect their behavior and the need for greater representation of women in positions of power. He said the issue is never about an old man at the top, but a need to improve the behaviors and systems that propagate them.

“It’s really about the problems at the heart of organizations – even more Japanese society,” Nozo said.

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