chapter  7
45 Pages

A Postwar History of Women Workers

WithKumazawa Makoto

This chapter sketches the postwar course of women at work and offers a plea to eliminate gender discrimination in Japan. It considers the impact upon women workers of the new labor management policy, especially the new "qualification system" and the system of classifying workers by ability. Reviewing postwar history, the right to be protected from difficult work has obstructed women who seek an equal partnership at work and has diminished the spiritual strength of working women. Three factors interact to determine the conditions of female workers. The factors are corporate labor policy, supply response, and minority factions. On the periphery are the working women in nonregular positions, who take of the simple and supplemental work in the companies, while at the same time taking care of the home. When women in Japan look for a job as either operative or office worker, most "naturally" choose those classified as general positions over managerial track positions.