Women in Japanese Society

Compiled May 2003

Articles and Essays

National Women's Education Center of Japan (NWEC)
Affiliated with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The newsletter of the NWEC is available from this page: click on the "Publication" link then on "NWEC Newsletter (Biannual)." Past topics covered in the newsletter include: "Recruitment and Employment of Female Civil Servants"; a report on the "International Forum on Women's and Gender Studies 2000"; and updates on women's centers in Japan.

Yokohama Women's Association for Communication and Networking (Forum Yokohama)
The home page of the Yokohama Women's Association for Communication and Networking (YWACN). The newsletter of the YWACN, Forum, is available here. Topics of interest include: "U.S.-Japan Exchange on Women in Public Policy"; "The Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society"; " Current Status and Agenda of Women's Centers in Japan"; " The Myth of Motherhood in Japan"; "The Second Stage of Equal Employment"; and "Women and the Family in Japan."

Japan: Gender Stratification and the Lives of Women
This article is part of the U.S. Library of Congress' comprehensive Japan site, Japan: A Country Study. Scroll to Chapter 2, The Society and Its Environment: Social Organization. "Gender Stratification and the Lives of Women" presents an historical overview of women in Japan.

Japanese Women Now
Part of the Women's Online Media from Japan site. The mission of the Japanese Women Now initiative is to "provide information about [the] contemporary legal/social environment surrounding Japanese women." The site offers articles by Japanese women on such subjects as "Domestic Violence," "Elderly Care and Women," "Present Situation of the Employment of Women in Japan," "Problems of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law," "Sexual Harassment," and other topics.

Gender Information Site
From the Japanese Government's Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office. Offers the article "What's gender-equal society?" and information on "The Basic Law for a Gender-equal Society," and the "Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence and Protection of Victims." also provides transcripts of white papers, reports, and national plans of action.

Japan Access: Women's Issues
Part of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Japan Information Network (JIN), Japan Access is a "detailed factsheet on Japan's economy, society, and culture." This factsheet on Women's Issues offers "The Plan for Gender Equality 2000," "Women's Working Conditions," "An Aging Society," and "An Age of Fewer Marriages."


Part of the Japan InformationNetwork, this site provides statistical data in such categories as women's life cycles, abortions, women in the labor force, women in managerial or Diet member positions, and women and housework sharing.

Tips for Understanding Japanese Women
Part of the Women's Online Media from Japan site, presenting information on women and marriage/family, including statistical data on such topics as family structures, marriage and divorce rates, average age of first marriage, patterns of spouse selection, "1.5 Shock" and fertility, and domestic violence. There is also a link to data on women and politics that provides insight into such issues as women-related laws, political participation by women, government initiatives for gender-equal society, and abortion.