What’s your opinion of gender roles in Japan?


Nikki Halligan
Linguist, 26
In my last job, men were promoted over women. The discrimination came from the women, who would fawn over the male staff and mistreat female staff. In my current job, I was promoted because of a lack of females in the industry.

Narumi Yano
Administrator, 28
I recently discovered a law that allows women to take a day off when they have their period. I don’t know anyone who has ever used this. However, it would be an embarrassing thing to ask for as most bosses are men anyway.

Hisaya Mori
Office worker, 24
Overwork is a major problem for men in Japanese society. When I explain the situation to people from other countries, they don’t believe how stressful it can be. I believe this issue to be a major contributor to the suicide rate in Japan.

Indiana Vatikiotis-Bateson
Student, 19
I think the culture here is a little discriminatory. I grew up here and I remember feeling that there were things I could and couldn’t do because I am female. I have also experienced firsthand sexual harassment on trains.

Aya Sakabe
Hemp artist, 35
Japanese society is still very conservative and there are traditional roles for women. I have never had personal experience of direct discrimination, but we are limited in daily life. Things have definitely improved though.

Kevin Birkhahn
Teacher, 29
It seems that men are treated more like children in Japan. Females tend to mother and look after the males. I think this is especially true in the workplace, where I have experienced this myself to an extent.