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Poor Women in Rich CountriesThe Feminization of Poverty Over the Life Course$
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Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314304

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314304.001.0001

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Feminization of Poverty in Japan: A Special Case?

Feminization of Poverty in Japan: A Special Case?

Poor Women in Rich Countries

Kimiko Kimoto

Kumiko Hagiwara

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how and why the poverty of women has become apparent as an issue in contemporary Japan. It argues that the mechanisms that force women into poverty were already functioning in Japanese society, even at the time of the economic boom of the late 1980s. It is likely that these mechanisms were simply rendered invisible due to a number of factors. It is also conceivable that this phenomenon was already deeply rooted in the relationships among families, women, and the company society system that was built by large corporations after World War II. The first part of the chapter analyzes the characteristics of the social welfare system during the establishment and consolidation of the company society system, in order to consider how these are connected to current poverty among women. The second part focuses on single mothers and elderly women, presenting a number of indicators of their poverty.

Keywords:   Japan, poverty, poor women, Japanese women, single mothers, elderly women

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