Work Style Reform – How Can Women (and Men too) Shine? Gender Time Gap and Gender Equality in Japan and Germany

The challenges of demographic change and the demand for more participation of women in the labor force require family-friendly working conditions as a fundamental prerequisite for better reconciliation of family and working life. Employers have recognized and acknowledged that fathers also want opportunities to reconcile their work and family commitments.

All women should be able to fully develop their abilities and thus "shine": This is a declared goal of the Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzô. To achieve this goal, however, many hurdles still have to be overcome. In modern society, in which gainful employment is the basis for an independent life, every citizen must have the opportunity for a living income. In this working society, working time is a crucial factor in people's lives; their lifestyles and opportunities depend on how long or short their respective working lives are, how long they work, weeks and days, and whether they work full-time or part-time. The factor of (working) time thus creates a difference between working people and the way people work. And this difference also determines the gender difference.

In Japan, working hours are extremely unequally distributed: Some have to work over long periods of time, some have no work at all and some - 70% of them women - have to work part-time without social security. But even in Germany there is still a large difference in working hours between men and women (about 8 hours per week, 2016). And the part-time rate among mothers is even 70%, while only 6% of fathers are employed part-time.

So it is above all the (working) time that decides whether one can build a livelihood, whether one can reconcile work, family and other areas of life and also combine professional work with caring for children, sick and old people. And this in turn will determine whether and how the still existing gender-specific differences and inequalities between the sexes can be reduced.

The conference shall investigate how home, company and society can shine more and how equal opportunities for men and women can contribute to this goal. The conference shall also help to prepare the ground for a better work-life balance of women and men. We want to discuss this with stakeholders from business, politics and academia, and look into hurdles and challenges as well as into opportunities.

Date: 6 November 2018, 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Keidanren Kaikan
(1 Chome-3-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo)

Language: Japanese/English (simultaneous translation)

Hosted by: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB), Keizei Koho Center (KKC). Supported by: German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)

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Tokyo, 107-0052

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