Japan has been famous for its gendered division of labor for a long time. There is a deep-rooted notion that men work outside, earning money and women stay at home, taking care of children, which makes the rate of women's participation in labor low. According to Japanese Cabinet Office (2013), continued employment of women after having the first child is only 26.8%. There are mainly two reasons why women quit their job after giving birth to a child; to focus on housework and childrearing, and the difficulty in managing both work and childrearing. .
Now, it can be safely said that Japanese society is changing for the better for women. The number of women who go on to 4-year-college greatly increased in the past several decades. According to Danjyokyodosankakuhakusyo 2011 (official paper on gender equality), the percentage of women who go to 4-year-college was only 12.5%, whereas that of men was 34.2%. In 2010, however, 45.2% of women go to 4-year-college, whereas 56.4% of men do. The wage inequality between men and women is decreasing. The gap between men and women is getting smaller. Accordingly, it is reported that the rate of female participation in labor is gradually increasing, and some systems supporting women such as parental leave are becoming accepted to people. .
However, women still have difficulty in continuing working outside after giving birth to children. This paper examines current problems related to women's work and childrearing, focusing on role conflicts, women's well-being, and supports from family including husbands, government and companies, and in the end looks for possible solutions. .
Although the society is changing to the direction of gender equality, it is not yet perfectly equal. Yazawa argues that in Japan, gender order, which is supported by social structure and cultural practice, is still widely maintained (184). Although the number of people against the idea that "Men should work outside, and women should housekeep" is increasing, 46.