According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Government, one-third of working women blamed harassment at the workplace as the cause of issues related to mental health.Discrimination of women in Japan is prevalent. Japanese society is male-dominated and ranks 110 out of 149 in the global gender gap. The country also scores the least on the G7 countries’ gender equality.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced a policy named Womenomics aimed at the empowerment of working women. Despite the Prime Minister’s efforts, a significant gender gap still exists.The survey was conducted with a sample size of 2374 individuals suffering from issues relating to mental health. These individuals were identified between January 2010 and March 2017.
A total of 740 women took part in the survey, and 16.6% said they were victims of abuse of power, harassment, and bullying. 19.7% of the respondents said they faced sexual harassment. 21.9% of females blamed a traumatic event like an accident as the cause of mental health issues.
This survey was undertaken and published as a Government-issued whitepaper to prevent death due to overwork. Japan is known for its punishing work hours, a culture commonly known as “salaryman.” The Japanese have tried dealing with this problem for years. The problem is so rampant that the Japanese have a word for overwork related death – karoshi.
Men were also surveyed. Of the 1634 men responded that work-related problems were the most significant. 23.1% men said that a change in their job role is the cause of mental health issues. 15.9% blamed harassment and power abuse, while 15.3% attributed the decline in mental health to having issuers with seniors. 12.8% of workers said that they had worked continuously for two weeks.
The survey also studied the pattern of suicides in the country. Their number was highest for office workers. Forty-one office workers had committed suicide, said the study.