The next time you hear somebody claim that working mothers hurt society, tell them about Japan’s “devil moms” (and then immediately stop talking to that person, they are probably crazy and insecure about their own abilities to work/not be stuck in the 19th century).
America isn’t the only country that has a bone to pick with mothers who choose to work. When Japanese women entered the work force the women who were married were called devil moms. Society believed that a woman’s place was at home taking care of her husband, and if you were a married working mom the judgments and scrutiny was even worse. They claimed that these women were not only hurting Japanese society, but that they were also ruining their economy by taking jobs away from men.
The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshikino Noda doesn’t see these women as devil moms, he sees them as the key to economic recovery. In 2010 66.5% of women aged 25 to 44 were employed, and Noda hopes to get that number up to 73% by 2020. Despite the relatively high number of working women, almost 70% of them quit their jobs after having children because of societal pressures, poor maternity benefits, and severely inflexible jobs. Those grim statistics are why Noda is pushing for companies to give their female employees the benefits they deserve for their good work and growing family. Maternity leave could be longer, jobs can be more flexible, and if change this big happens the way society views working wives could change as well.
If there were as many female workers as there are male workers, the Japanese workforce would increase by 8.2 million people. The next time somebody tells you that working women hurt society, tell them that their archaic views are hurting society and the economy.