Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Results Are In-Womenomics Is Working

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Results Are In-Womenomics Is Working

Article excerpt

Women in Japan are turning their dreams into reality as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abes initiatives to get more women in the workforce are taking off. There has been a dramatic transformation--women are achieving their full potential, giving back to their communities and boldly taking their lives in a new direction.

Since Abe's government came into power in 2012, more than 1 million women have reentered the workforce to find careers they love. The laser-like focus on improving working conditions for Japanese women has significantly increased the rate of female participation in the job market, and since 2014 that participation rate has been higher than it is in the U.S.

The recent surge in the employment rate for women is the fulfillment of promises made over decades. Since 1991, Japan's Parental Leave Law has entitled men and women to take a year off after a child is born. And to get paid to do so! Yet it's only recently that Japan has seen tangible results from its efforts to create a friendlier workplace, especially for working mothers. Good-bye to working long hours and rushing home to take care of children as Japan plans to provide enough resources to take care of 500,000 children by 2018. Thus far, the number of women who go back to work after having their first child has increased by more than a third since the establishment of Womenomics.

Of course, change can't happen without the numbers to track it and back it up. So starting this past April, larger companies across all industries must establish quotas for hiring and promoting women to executive positions and all Japanese companies are strongly encouraged to do so. …

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