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Tuesday, 18th December 2012
In Business In Japan,

Japanese women struggling to balance work with children, survey reveals

Although the number of Japanese women leaving work following the birth of their child has reduced, it still stands at 54.1 per cent.

That is according to a government survey conducted by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry which followed the fortunes of women who had given birth to their first child in May 2010.

The number of women who made the decision to stop work after childbirth was 13.3 per cent down on a similar survey in 2001.

This increase in women staying in work after having children was put down to improved working conditions and better childcare leave, the ministry said. 

Despite this positive change, the recent survey revealed that more than a third of women – 35.3 per cent – decided to stop full-time work as they were struggling to cope with balancing work and bringing up their children.

Some 10.5 per cent of those questioned said they had been forced to leave work following the birth of their child as they were asked to leave or actively fired.

More than  a quarter of those women involved in the study - 25.6 per cent - said that they had to stop work as they were experiencing health issues which had been bought on by their pregnancies.

Of those questioned, some 40.7 per cent said they had left work of their own accord in order to be at home with their children and commit to becoming full-time mums.

Within six months of having a baby, the vast majority of mothers who have full-time jobs - 93.5 per cent - were due to take childcare leave. In contrast,two just  per cent of fathers questioned said they were planning to do the same.

Some 3.6 per cent of those questioned admitted that they had not taken any maternity leave as they were concerned about economic conditions or a negative working atmosphere.

When women stop working in order to bring up their children, they often have problems when they want to resume their career. A study conducted by the Centre for Work-Life Policy revealed that only 43 per cent of Japanese women who wanted to resume their careers were able to secure a position similar to the job they had before having children.

Written by Mark Smith