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Work-Family Balance of Families with Small Children: How to Achieve Gender Equality in Parenting

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  • Takahashi Mieko
    Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka University
  • Kamano Saori
    Department of Population Dynamics, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
  • Matsuda Tomoko
    Faculty of Sociology, Bukkyo University
  • Onode Setsuko
    Faculty of Contemporary Home Economics, Kyoto Kacho University
  • Yoshizumi Kyoko
    Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Otemon Gakuin University

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Abstract

In recent years, the Japanese government has been championing the “active utilization” of women in various realms of society. However, framing this as an economic strategy has excluded a more multi-faceted and long-term consideration of the true well-being of each individual living in Japan. Crucial in this consideration is how individuals can, without constraint, choose both work and family life so as to live a balanced life with dignity, as exemplified by the practices in welfare-advanced countries in Europe.<br>In this session, we have invited experts on work-life balance in different realms from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, where a greater degree of work-life balance is enjoyed than in Japan. We attempted to explore the direction Japan can take by learning from experiences and practices, as well as problems encountered, in these countries. Particular attention has been paid to the role of fathers, and more broadly, on gender equality in parenting.

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