Japanese Women’s Rights and Their Roles in the Contemporary Aging Japan from the Perspective of Selected Social Problems
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The article analyzes selected women rights in comparison to the past, contemporary social problems of Japanese society and stereotypical social roles of women. Taking into consideration the future of Japan, the most important problem of Japanese society is that Japan suffers from declining fertility-rate and rapidly aging population. In the next 50 years there will probably be only 84 million Japanese people (currently slightly above 127 million). The working age population (15–64) will fall by nearly half from today’s level of 80 million to 42 million. Along with the change of the customary perception of female traditional social roles, the professional activity of Japanese women seems to be the only solution. What is more, new laws giving the same rights to Japanese woman as Japanese men have, should be implemented. This article examines women’s basic human rights in contemporary Japan, including historical background, Japanese Prime Minister Sh. Abe’s policy toward women and attempts to find improvements in the women’s lives connected with attempts to change the laws and traditions of this patriarchal society. The assumption is made that though Japanese women can exercise their rights thanks to the newest Constitution, their lives are often subdued to old patriarchal traditions and perceptions of their roles as well as regulations established after World War II.
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