Japan: When Being Equal Is No Fun

When Being Equal Is No Fun

Under Japan's old Confucian and Meiji codes, the role of the Japanese woman was well defined and faithfully followed: to obey her father, then her husband and finally, in old age, her sons. Even those women who make up roughly one- third of the Japanese work force have been treated as a species apart. They have been banned by law from working more than two hours of overtime in any day or, with a few exceptions, past 10 at night, and allowed monthly menstrual leave with full pay in certain strenuous jobs. All that changed last week when, after months of...

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