chapter  6
17 Pages

The double responsibilities of care in Japan: emerging new social risks for women providing both childcare and care for the elderly

ByJUNKO YAMASHITA, NAOKO SOMA

Introduction The objective of this chapter is to examine the experiences of Japanese women who now are facing ‘double responsibilities of care’ because they are simultaneously providing elderly care and childcare. This problem can be contextualized in a number of ways. Japanese women increasingly tend to delay both marriage and childbirth, and Japan has an ageing population due to a severely declining birth rate and rising life expectancy. Policy developments to deal with these new realities have been limited. Through analysis of the experiences of Japanese women, we attempt to identify the current and future risks to women, communities, and society in Japan. Our research also contributes to the existing literature on care, gender, and feminist social policy.