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Japan

Women's Vulnerable Economic Base

The younger generation is more likely to divorce than the older one. Couples divorce for various reason. The most common is mismatched personalities and values; the second is inadequate support by the husband; and the third is violence by the husband. Wives propose the majority (70%) of divorces. The primary reason for the low divorce rate in Japan compared to other developed countries is that women lack an economic base to live by themselves: 75 percent of middle-aged married women have no job or are unstable part-time workers. The second reason is that the Japanese wage system is based on a family wage system, and the major income earner is the husband. Men get additional fringe benefits for supporting wives and children; women who are full-time workers only get their wages. A woman can require the employer to pay fringe benefit to support children only when she makes more money than her husband and is approved by a local government to be head of the household. The third reason for the low divorce rate is the expectation that women should stay home with children combined with the long working hours typical in Japan. These factors make it too heavy a burden for a woman to both work full time and take care of children. Thus, most of women leave the workplace when they have children. When women's economic base is provided by her husband, divorce means that she has no way to support herself and her children.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsJapan - Mating And Marriage, Gender Roles, Masculinity And Men's Suicide, Decreasing Number Of Children - Leave for Working Parents, Conclusion