IGWS Newsletter Vol. 34
- Report on the 4th Period of Lecture Series : "Career/Labor and Gender"
- "Women's Career Development"
- "Be Fully Equipped When You Work - Things You Have to Think About Before Beginning Work"
- "A Record of A Small Country Which Does Not Take Full Advantage of Women ― What Do We Need in Order to Work Happily?"
- Students' Feedback on the 4th Period of Lecture Series
- NPO Corporation Launched ―An essay written by Kiyoko Ueno, Aichi Shukutoku University alumna
- The Things I Feel Every Day ― Including Gender Perspectives―An essay written by Shuji Yamamoto, Aichi Shukutoku University, Associate Professor
- A Student's Report on 2012 Aichi International Women's Film Festival
- Announcement about the 26th IGWS Seminar at Aichi Shukutoku University
Report on the 4th Period of Lecture Series : "Career/Labor and Gender"
1. "Women's Career Development"
( Speaker：Ms. Keiko Fukuzawa, Visiting Professor at Showa Women's University)
Ms. Fukuzawa, who has been tirelessly writing and giving lectures about human resource development and employment, explained the changes in women's working environment since the late 1980s, and predicted some more changes which might occur in the next 25 years.
It has been 26 years since the enforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. There have been many changes in the circumstances surrounding women and their work. A positive change is the continued social advancement for women, and although the number is still low, the number of female managers has approximately doubled. However, there is also a problem. The number of "part-time" female workers as well as "part-time" young male workers has increased, and 60 % of women still stop working after the birth of their first child. At present, it is difficult for fathers to participate in childcare because they have to work long hours. Thus it is difficult for women to go back to work.
Ms. Fukuzawa predicted that in the coming 25 years changing jobs will become commonplace. It will be essential for women to work because the income from only "one breadwinner" is not enough to support a family financially. As a result, women will go out to work and men will share household chores as well as childcare.
At the end of her talk Ms. Fukuzawa made some encouraging advice to working women: the way in which we make momentous decisions in our life is important. Basically, it is ok to "drift", that is to say have flexibility to respond to priority situations. However, you should constantly keep your desired direction in mind.
2. "Be Fully Equipped When You Work - Things You Have to Think About Before Beginning Work"
( Speaker：Mr. Hiroyuki Ida, Part-time Lecturer at Ritsumeikan University)
Mr. Ida, who is deeply knowledgeable about the issues surrounding social policies, labor, and poverty, began his lecture by saying, "Our society is awful". He explained the current situation based on the enacted laws and business conditions and commented that the number of "freeters" (literally 'free timer', and used to describe young people who choose short-term, part-time jobs over full-time positions) or people without jobs is increasing, with the emergence of words such as "working poor" and "haken-giri" (temporary worker cutbacks). In the 1980s and 1990s, the way society viewed "freeters" was fraught with certain contradictions: in order to obtain a full time job, they were told to give up the thing they wanted to do and instead choose what they could do, whereas in the job interviews they were continually asked to explain and appeal to what they wanted to do.
The actual working environment is awful, with an increase in part-time employment, wage inequality, and bullying in the workplace. The number of part-time positions has increased, whereas full-time workers are forced to endure harsh labor. Afterwards Mr. Ida explained the changes in the labor market, and he pointed out the things we should know before beginning work. He indicated the problems solved by "Unions", and concluded by saying, "There is a system that can help you. You don't have to force yourself to adjust to a harsh working environment".
3. "A Record of A Small Country Which Does Not Take Full Advantage of Women ― What Do We Need in Order to Work Happily?"
( Speaker：Ms. Mieko Takenobu, Professor at Wakou University)
In part 3, Ms. Takenobu, who worked for Asahi Shimbun for 35 years as a reporter, showed us one recipe for working happily. We should think about the reason why women have difficulties in employment. It is not due to the women themselves, but due to the social structure. She indicated how much Japan does not take full advantage of women by presenting some index figures such as Gender Gap Index (GGI). The rate of non-full-time male workers, especially among young men, has increased. So-called "herbivorous men" have emerged as a form of adaptation to the changes in the structures of industries. In fact, even after the enforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, our system to support working women has not sufficiently improved. So how can the system improve? We need to change the structure of society. At the end of her speech Ms. Takenobu added that we should, while working, continue striving towards a more comfortable working environment.
A Student's Report on 2012 Aichi International Women's Film Festival
On September 2, we (the Gender Studies group) participated in the "Aichi International Women's Film Festival 2012" held at Will Aichi. We saw one movie called "Fisherman", which depicts the importance of ties between people, the importance of compassion toward others, and other valuable things necessary to survival in our lives. It is a very heartwarming movie.
After we saw the movie, we held a gathering with other participants to share opinions about the movie. We, the students, had opinions about the ties between people, and some of the general public mentioned ethnic problems, while others pointed out the behavior of the hero from a parental point of view. We felt the points of view differed in accordance with people's generations. In addition, Sha Li Qiong, the director of "Fisherman", joined us part way through the gathering. We were very nervous to express our opinions in front of the movie director, but it was a valuable experience.
To read the Japanese original newsletter, click here and download a PDF file.