Does Japanese Women's Labor Force Development Cause Gender Inequality?: A Focus on Maternity Leave Substitute Jobs in the 1940s-70s.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Chisato ATOBE, Shizuoka university, Japan
In this paper, I explore the social segregation surrounding female labor in recent years in relation to the historical case of the Japan Teachers' Union (JTU)'s movement. The Women's Bureau of JTU had been demanding a substitute teacher system for maternity leave since 1945. This system was finally established in 1961.

A previous study insisted that this system realized the continued employment of women after childbirth. On the other hand, we can point out the system had a problem in that non-permanent substitute teachers support permanent teachers. That is, despite aiming for gender equality, the substitute teacher system has created a new unstable employment for women. Thus, this system has made the issue of gender inequality more serious. However, the previous study did not regard the process of establishing the maternity leave substitute teacher's system.

Therefore, I considered, from the interview survey and historical document analysis, how the maternity leave substitute teacher system was formed, and whether the problem of the treatment gap between regular employment and irregular employment had to intervene in the institution establishment process.

As a result, female teachers revealed that they attempted to overcome poor treatment, paying attention to the treatment of substitute teachers during maternity leave at the time of system planning. On the other hand, in an era when the housewife increased in Japan, this movement did not spread beyond gender. Also, they could not realize the original concept of maternity leave substitute teachers being regular employees pooled into each county or city. This historical case suggests that it may lead to a disruption of hierarchy, for example between permanent and non-permanent employees, if we don't have a comprehensive view of female labor when we think about the contemporary policy issues in women's labor force development.