40% want wives kept out of workforce


About 40 percent of respondents in their 20s to 40s believe husbands should work full time while their wives stay at home, a recent survey has found.

Those who favored the idea accounted for 39.3 percent of the male respondents and 43.0 percent of the female respondents, according to the survey by the Meiji Yasuda Institute of Life and Wellness.

The results are in stark contrast with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aim to increase the ratio of women in the workforce as part of his government’s growth strategy.

Among the unmarried male respondents, 34.2 percent preferred the idea of working husbands with stay-at-home wives, compared with 37.9 percent in favor among the unmarried female respondents. The proportion came to 42.5 percent among the married male respondents and 46.1 percent among their female counterparts.

The results were “unexpected,” an analyst at the institute said. “This, however, may be because many believe that the current situation is not good for women to continue working after childbirth.”

Of all male respondents, 64.4 percent said women should concentrate on parenting while their children are very young. Female respondents who supported that view reached 70.9 percent. The survey was conducted over the Internet in late March. Valid responses totaled 3,616.

  • Demosthenes

    This has got to be a joke…. Please, someone tell me this is a misprint, or a repeated headline from the 1950s or something….

    • Rambler

      Yes, it is disappointing that 60% of people still believe that work outside the home is more important than looking after home and family. Still much more sane than in English-speaking countries, though.

      • Firas Kraïem

        If you re only looking at “English-speaking countries” for comparison, then it’s not surprising you still buy into the false dichotomy of work outside the home versus looking after one’s family. Then again, English-speaking countries are not exactly known for their high standards of living, with the possible exception of Canada.

  • Rambler

    I must say the headline is misleading and biased. To be “kept out” of the workplace implies FORCE, such as legal compulsion. The headline is saying that 40% favor “banning” women working. However, what 40% of people actually are preferring is the FREE CHOICE for the wife to stay at home. This is not a fine distinction but the absolute diametrical opposite. Shame on you JT for your low standards.

    • kension86

      As far as being biased goes, you already reveal your own bias when you said you are disappointed at the other 60% of the people in the poll (who do not believe that wives should stay home without job outside). In fact, the last paragraph of the article did mention 64% of the men believe wives should concentrate on parenting when children’s young, so your disappointment at the 60% is uncalled for.

      And indirectly calling English-speaking countries “insane”….

  • Elis Kulla

    Both parents can not work in a country where working extra hours is normal everyday and you can not take holidays because other coworkers will have to share your workload. If Abe wants to make women more involved as a workforce, a deep reform is required, in order to make both men and women work normal hours, with paid extra hours and a lot more worker-protection policies. If you do not give man the opportunity to be home early, then women can not and will not work. Kids and family life is important.

  • Is this because 40% of men are ‘conservative’….or simply pragmatic men who ‘need their mommy’. lol

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    In the short time I’ve been posting here I’ve noticed other people’s comments fall in to 2 camps, those that point out areas where they think Japan needs improvement, and those who defend it everytime. I can’t deny I usually inhabit the first group, to me, I have a right to point out what I consider to be this country’s bad points. I live here, I have for 15 years, and likely will do for some more time to come. I pay my taxes here and all my income is spent here. Just because I wasn’t born here doesn’t mean I should be vilified for giving my opinion. I also point out the bad points about the country I was born in (England) and the one I grew up in (Australia). I don’t however resort to insulting any of these three countries, or their inhabitants, simply because I find some things not to my liking. I think it does the people who leap to Japan’s defence here, on any and every topic, a disservice to do so.

  • xperroni

    “Should my wife work, or stay at home?” Socrates might have said this is the wrong question to ask. “What does my wife want to do with her life? What do *I* want to do with mine, for that matter? How can we help each other out?” Now those are questions that might be worth asking. Then again, I guess polling surveys aren’t particularly conductive to nuanced thinking…