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Friday, 21st December 2012
In General Japan News,

OECD report shows high gender pay gap in Japan

Japanese women have to endure the biggest discrepancy in pay compared to their male counterparts according to a report conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The study looked at a group of 30 countries considered to be among the world's most developed nations and revealed that Japanese women were at a much greater disadvantage in terms of pay gaps between men and women.

On average, Japanese mothers earn 61 per cent less than men, compared to a pay gap average of just 22 per cent.

The report revealed that the issue of pay gap between the sexes increased considerably once women had children.

While overall the average pay gap between men and women is 22 per cent when families with one or more children are considered, it falls to just seven per cent for those who do not have any children.

The report stated that "overall the wage penalty for having children is 14 per cent, with Japan and Korea showing the greatest gap".

According to the report, women in Japan often stop working once they become mothers and can find it hard to go back to their regular jobs. The result is a situation where "in the dual Japanese labour market, women often end up in relatively low-paid non-regular employment".

The study's findings are in line with a recent government survey conducted by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry which revealed that 54.1 per cent of women in Japan stop working once they have had children.

In addition to childbirth, the country's tax system does not encourage those who are married to continue working.
The report states that instead, the state "provides financial incentives for dependent spouses to limit earnings and avoid paying income tax".

Countries suffer by not providing incentives for women to stay in the workforce once they are married and have had children, the OECD suggests.

Angel Gurria, OECD secretary-general, highlighted the importance of eradicating a gap in pay between the sexes as a means of boosting a flagging economy.

"Closing the gender gap must be a central part of any strategy to create more sustainable economies and inclusive societies," she said.

Written by Mark Smith

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