Sunday, April 17, 2016

Issues of working mothers in the US and Japan

San Francisco is going to introduce a legislation of mandate paid parental leave. Surprisingly, it will be the first case paid parental leave is guaranteed in the US.

The Guardian: San Francisco becomes first US city to mandate fully paid parental leave

Most developed countries have established financial support for working mothers. It is for enabling women to keep their jobs. When a trained woman has to leave the job, it will cause a considerable loss for the employer for spoiling time and money, as well as the women herself for losing a job. Furthermore, many developed countries are facing the shrinking population. Supporting parents are necessary policy to maintain a modern society.

Aljazeera: US: Parenting in a country with no paid maternity leave

I am wondering why the US has kept the no-treatment for working parents. I am not sure, but some alternative solutions may be provided. Regaining a job is easier in the US compared to Japan. Nursing homes and professional caregivers are also available.

On the other hand, Japan has a challenge on this issue. Recently, an anonymous description on the internet ignited broad discussion. The author moaned that she could not get daycare seat for her child and cursed Japan. This writing was referred in the parliament as expressing the suffering of working mothers.

Reuters: Angry Japan parents demand more daycare as PM struggles to respond

Abe administration is emphasizing the enhancing the social power of women. Therefore, this simple writing was utilized by opposite parties as a good material to criticize the administration.

Indeed, the shortage of daycare center for children has been issued for a decade. There are several reasons. As caregivers are not paid adequately, people are not willing to be a child caring nurse. Nursing homes are difficult to be built because nearby citizens are opposing it concerning about the noise. Since there are a few cases reported of crimes by nurses abusing children, unauthorized daycare centers are sometimes distrusted.

In addition, not a few Japanese have a traditional idea that women should take care of their children on their own instead of using a daycare center. Some conservative politicians developed a group to encourage families to keep traditional lifestyle. It looks a little ridiculous that ruling Liberal Democratic Party most of whose members are conservative claims the importance of women to work.

Discrimination for working mothers is problematic as well. I previously wrote a case in which a nurse was forced to resign after getting pregnant. In Japan, Paid leave for parents has been legalized. But it seems no more functional. To begin with, many companies are reluctant to employ women who are likely to get pregnant. I myself, was told by one of my colleagues about the possibility of early retirement of young women when considering to employ an assistant. I think that such implicit discrimination is dominant in Japan.

My past entry: Blame to a pregnant worker: awful problem in Japan

It is difficult to determine which is more friendly to working mother, the US or Japan. As far as my understanding, there are some voices which support the US. I am afraid that many Japanese are disliking children as whole Japan is getting older. It is a big issue in imagining the form of Japan in the future.

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