Over the last 20 years, many women have started working after graduating from college. This is probably because the 10-year-recession has forced women to work after their husband’s wages were cut again and again. However, it is still very common for women to get married instead of working right after graduation. Mainly this is because the discrimination of women exists in the work place.
For example, a man and a woman go on an interview for a company and they are identical. The company will pick the man even though the woman has the exact same skills as the man does. The company chooses him over her just because there is a potential that women may leave the company or take a long break for marriage and pregnancy.
Even if a woman luckily got into the company, it would still be a challenge for her to have a career in the company. There are only few women at the managerial level in most companies. This is for the same reason: men are more likely to work in the company forever while women might give up their work life for their family.
Furthermore, there is a strong belief that women should be the one who takes care of all the house work.
Here is one very common conversation you hear in a Japanese family:
Wife: “Honey. Today is Sunday, you should help with the housework a little bit.”
Husband: “Oh come on! I’ve worked the whole week! I’m the one who brings money to the family, you’re the one doing nothing in the house. You have more time than I have, why do you need my help? Give me a break.”
(Although the husband is just being a coach potato on Sunday.)
One study shows that if this kind of conversation goes on in a family too many times, it may lead to divorce. While, Japan has a very low divorce rate, it does not mean Japan has more happy marriages.
I guess it just because Japanese women are more patient. Because Japanese women are more patient, it leads Japan to a male society. Although there are some changes where women and men are close to equal, as you can see, Japan is still a very male society compared to other countries.