Almost a third of Japanese women say that they have been sexually harassed at work, with one in four facing unwanted physical contact, according to an extensive new survey published by a government institute (pdf in Japanese).
A quarter of the women said that the harassment was done by their immediate supervisor.
|Type of workplace harrassment||Share of women who experienced it*|
|Comments about age, appearance or other external characteristics||53.9%|
|Unnecessary physical contact||40.1%|
|Comments or questions on sexual issues||38.2%|
|Excessive questions about private life, such as marital status and children||36.8%|
|Being forced to sing karaoke together, pour alcohol or take a certain seat at parties||35.2%|
|Persistent questions to go out for meals or on dates||27.5%|
|* Among those who experienced sexual harassment (28.7% of total)|
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has made getting more women into the workforce a key part of his plan to revive Japan’s moribund economy. This is crucial, given the country’s daunting demographics—the number of working-age people in Japan could fall by half by 2060.
But progress is proving slow. Matahara, or maternity harassment, is a problem—60% of working women reportedly resign after having a baby. And more than 60% of survey respondents said they endure harassment without reporting it, according to the Japan Times. Those who have complained—about one in 10—said they were punished for speaking up, including being demoted.