Women in Asia: Tradition, Modernity and Globalisation

By Louise Edwards; Mina Roces | Go to book overview

10 Being women in Japan,
1970-2000

Elise K. Tipton

School of Asian Studies
University of Sydney

The women's liberation movement in the United States of the late 1960s and early 1970s had more than a ripple effect on women in Japan as well as other countries like Australia. It stimulated a second wave of feminism in the post-World War Two period consisting of a proliferation of women's groups and organizations demanding equality in employment opportunities and pay, sexual liberation, reproductive rights, and equal political representation.Although membership in women's groups and activities declined during the 1980s, an Equal Employment Opportunity Law was passed in 1985, a majority of girl high school graduates proceeded to tertiary education and more than half of all married women could be found in the paid workforce.During the early 1990s'onna no jidai' (the era of women) became a catchphrase connoting freedom, affluence and independence achieved by women. And most recently, in the late 1990s the phenomena of 'yellow cabs' and schoolgirl prostitution suggest to some sexual liberation and empowerment for the younger generation of women. Does this mean that during the past three decades Japanese women have abandoned the ideal

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