Japanese Women Face a Future of Poverty

In a recent study it is found that Japanese women are likely to run out of money at least 20 years before their death.

Japan , is a developed country with 71% of it’s before population employed, still driving the future of women towards financial ruin. Many factors including social structure, are responsible for it.

The average life expectancy of Japanese people is much higher than people of any other country. The birth rate is much lower in Japan, which makes the elder people more vulnerable to poverty. There has been a constant increase in the population of ‘single old-age women’ from 1980.( Or those without family and partner). Single women face difficulty saving for their future, or after-retirement years.

One “reason why women’s retirement savings is lower than men’s is that the lifetime salary is low,” said Yoshiko Nakamura, a financial planner and president of Alpha and Associates Inc.

The most common factor that leads to low savings of women is the inequality between pay of full time and part time workers. Even though, 71% women are employed in Japan, most of them work as part time employees. Since, it becomes quite difficult for women to manage work along with household. It is seen that women either leave their job during their pregnancy, or continue working as a part time employee after their pregnancy.

Many private companies have started giving tax deduction benefits to those with partners earning less than a certain amount. While some companies have made their working hours flexible for women, it’s still not easy for women to maintain a balance between their full time job and raising kids.

Yanfei Zhou, a researcher at the Japan Institute for Labor Policy & Training contends there’s a gap of 200 million yen ($1.82 million) in lifetime income between women who work full-time and women who switch from full-time to part-time at the age of 40.

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Aastha Kochar

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