Fewer married women agree men should be the breadwinners: survey


The proportion of married Japanese women who believe that wives should focus on the housework while men work outside the home fell 2.8 points from five years ago to 44.9 percent last year, a survey by a state-run research institute said Friday.

The proportion of married women who agree spouses should have separate surnames fell 1.3 points to 41.5 percent, down for the second time straight, the survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research also said.

The survey, conducted every five years since 1993, received valid responses from 6,409 married women nationwide in July 2013.

The proportion of married women supporting the view that wives should focus on the housework fell to 42.9 percent in 2003 from about 54 percent in 1993 and 1998.

The rate climbed to 47.7 percent in 2008, showing signs that a return to traditional family attitudes was in the offing, before dropping again in the 2013 survey.

Among respondents 60 or above, the support figure topped 50 percent. The lowest rate was found among respondents in their 50s, at 36.0 percent.

For people 40 or below, the percentage rose as the age group fell. The proportion of those in their 20s who support the view was 41.6 percent.

The percentage of married women who believe they should not have jobs until their children are about 3 years old dropped 9.4 points to 77.3 percent.

The share of married women who want husbands to take equal roles in housework and child-rearing fell 1.9 points to 80.5 percent.

In reality, wives have an overwhelmingly heavier housework burden than husbands, and 68.6 percent said they did not expect men to help out.

On ties with parents, 31.3 percent said they lived with the parents of either the husband or the wife, topping 30 percent for the first time ever. Among those not living with either set of parents, 72.2 percent said the mother of the wife or husband lived within 60 minutes of their home.