Postwar Japanese Women and their Roles Introduction In the post war period, the Japanese women did not have an alternative to leaving work while their children were still young. Large corporations in Japan required continuous service from their employers, in order for them to receive high status. It was difficult for women to re-enter a large company after a career break and if there was chances of re-entering one would not be eligible for a seniority pay.
After the war, the role of a Japanese woman had to change at it became that of a housewife, they were forced to leave paid labor and return later after their children were in school. They engaged in low paying jobs or factory work. This forced women to work under exploitive and unhealthy working states not only to improve their own lives but also better the lives of their families. These women lived in congested and often diseased dormitories where they were treated as virtual prisoners. Gender stratification In the Japanese history, gender has been a significant principle of stratification. This occurs when men are given a greater privilege and authority over women due to their gender differences.
Gender roles have been prejudiced by a traditional mindset (Dower 1999). This is not uncommon in Haruko’s world where her husband cultivates a political and a social network and enjoys his time with friends drinking saki while Haruko continues with her back breaking work. sho-ichi and Haruko’s world are dramatically different. Sho-ichi become a recognized leader in the community and enjoys the priveleges of travelling to other countries for training. In business, men and women had separate stance in terms of salary, promotion and the type of work assigned.
Women agreed that they were non-career workers or short-term employees who did not require equal tasks with male counterparts. Women engaged in clerical tasks and services for their male supervisors. This benefitted the Japanese industry since the role of women allowed men to prioritize work over other things. Although women were ruthlessly exploited they became essential to the country’s success (Bernstein 1996). This was disadvantageous to women since they were invisible and men seemed to be the only moving forces in the country.
On the other hand, Haruko has no time to socialize since she has to be present twenty four hours a day. Women nearly assumed total responsibility for the home and children and like Bernstein they justified their jobs as an extension of their responsibilities of taking care of their families. Women had got use of their husband’s job requirement of long hours and much commitment. Women preferred to take part time jobs after marriage to give them more time to handle their households and care for their children. Most women believed that staying at home was ideal for their children and the society especially when the children were young.
Additionally, social images of work outside home disallowed women to...