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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 2 - 8  > Women earn between 40% and 80% of men’s wages
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2023 August 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Women earn between 40% and 80% of men’s wages

August 2, 2023
Wages of female regular workers in Japan have been kept low, ranging from about 40% to 80% of those of male workers.

Akahata reported this on August 2 based on a Labor Ministry's corporate database on the pay gap between women and men. In July 2022, all enterprises with more than 301 employees became obliged to publicize the wage disparity between their male and female employees.

According to Akahata, female wages stay at 74.9% of male wages in Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. whose chairman of the board is the chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). Regarding female regular workers, their earnings still lag 24.1% behind male wages in Sumitomo Chemical. In Totota Motor Corp. whose chairman of the board of directors was once the Keidanren chairman, wages of female workers account for 66.7% of those of men, and female regular employees earn only 66.5% of what their male counterparts earn.

The male-female pay gap is particularly wide in the financial and insurance industries. Nippon Life Insurance Company keeps female workers' wages low at 40.1% of male workers for regular workers and 33.3% for non-regular workers. At Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, non-regular workers are all women, and the company does not even make public its male-female pay gap.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko said, "Each company should set a target and work out specific measures to eliminate the gender pay gap. The government should also draw up an action plan to eliminate the imbalance and not leave this issue up to each company."

Tamura pointed out that the starting wage for non-career positions is lower than that for career positions despite doing the same job, and that non-regular positions are overwhelmingly assigned to women. She said, "The government is responsible for allowing such indirect discrimination to exist. The JCP will work to improve labor legislation drastically in cooperation with trade unions and female workers in order to put into practice 'equal pay for equal work' and equal treatment between regular and non-regular workers."
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