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'Equal Employment Opportunity Law System' and Women (cont.)

Bill Gordon

October 1998

7. Conclusion

In Yoneda's section on '"Equal Employment Opportunity Law System" and Women', she generally provides an accurate picture of the employment situation of women in contemporary Japan. The two key system characteristics she identifies, long working hours and non-regular employees, play key roles in restricting women's opportunities in the work place. However, Yoneda's description of the 24-hour-a-day working environment adds nothing to the understanding of the employment situation of Japanese women. Also, in my opinion, Yoneda's description of Japanese women's employment situation is not complete since she fails to mention the key structural features and practices that lead to employment discrimination against women, namely the lifetime employment and seniority-based wage system, the dual-track employment system, and societal attitudes.

Since the implementation of the EEOL in 1986, the employment situation for women has only slightly improved. The strengthening of the dual-track employment system, the long working hours required for career-track employees, and the increase in female non-regular employees have served to restrict true equal employment opportunities for women. Improvements in the employment situation for Japanese women will only come about with fewer working hours for both men and women, more companies providing women-friendly policies such as leaves of absence, mid-career hiring by companies into good professional and managerial jobs, and pay more correlated to skills and abilities rather than seniority.


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Introduction | Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3
Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6 | Section 7 | Bibliography 
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