Japanese Women Dodge Men ISO Mommies, Stay Single

Plunging birth rate causes national alarm
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2008 10:46 AM CDT
Japanese Women Dodge Men ISO Mommies, Stay Single
With gender roles firmly defined in Asian marriages, only one-third of women continue to work after having children.   (Shutter stock)

"WANTED: Female to cook, clean, wash my socks, bear and raise my children, and generally enable my workaholism—all while maintaining your own career in a sexist environment." Sound good? Given the choice, many Japanese women are saying to heck with marriage and staying single, reports the Washington Post, which is all well and good for Sarah Jessica Parker, but the nation's birthrate has plummeted to alarming levels.

The issue has become so dire that, faced with a looming workforce shortage that could wreak economic havoc, Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda is dirtying his hands with work-life balance solutions—pushing companies to send overworked men home at night to improve family life, and the nation's birthrate. In a nation where just .5% of men take parental leave, while only 33% of women keep working after having kids, "The burden falls almost exclusively on women," says one professor. (More Japan stories.)

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