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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 24 - March 1  > Zenroren releases results of regular survey on women workers
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2016 February 24 - March 1 [LABOR]

Zenroren releases results of regular survey on women workers

February 25, 2016
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) women’s department on February 24 published the results of a survey of women workers regarding current conditions at their workplaces.

The Zenroren women’s department has conducted the survey almost every five years since 1992 with the purpose of using survey results in movements working to create necessary legislation and increase public awareness of women empowerment. The latest survey was held one year ahead of schedule in order to make use of the findings in public discussions regarding the revision of the law on childcare and family care leave.

In the survey, those who do not work overtime amounted to 14.1% of regular workers and 47.5% of non-regular workers, both decreases from the previous survey in 2011. The percentage of workers who experienced power harassment slightly increased to 21.9%.

Among full-time workers surveyed, 52.7% called for an increase in the number of staff at their workplaces. Public sector workers gave the highest response rate of over 60% to this demand as they are suffering severe staff shortages.

In the survey, 35.1% of women workers said that they were unable to take more than two weeks of child and family care leave due to the understaffing situation.

Regarding questions about maternity and child-rearing of regular/non-regular women workers, 14.9% of the respondents experienced so-called “maternity harassment”, discriminatory treatment of women workers due to their pregnancy or childbirth. Among non-regular workers who suffered maternity harassment, the largest portion or 51.5% said they received verbal attacks and 34.8% said they were forced to quit their jobs or move to another job. The survey also shows that 27.5% experienced a threatened miscarriage or a premature delivery. By occupation, nurses indicated the highest rate of 37.4%.

As measures to improve the current system for work-family life balance, more than 60% of women workers pointed to the need of introducing a family responsibility leave and extending leaves for caring for a sick child.

Zenroren women’s section chair Nagao Yuri at a press conference in the Labor Ministry office building commented on the survey results and said, “Our survey reveals the extent to which many women workers are exhausted. We will work hard to create workplaces where men and women can work without having to deal with anxiety and stress.”

Past related articles:
> Women endure more exploitative working conditions (Part 2) [November 21, 22, 2012]
> Women endure more exploitative working conditions (Part 1) [November 15, 16, 20, 2012]
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