“Sayaka Osakabe, founder of a new non-profit outfit called Matahara Net, which campaigns for the rights of pregnant women at work, says that before ‘shining’ women just need to be allowed to work without being harassed. Matahara, (a contraction of ‘maternity’ and ‘harassment’), is illegal but rife.

“The worst examples involve bosses urging pregnant women to have abortions. One woman who now works for Matahara Net landed a prized ‘career-track’ job at a big bank alongside her boyfriend, who worked in another department. After she became pregnant, a manager told her he would ‘crush’ both her own career and that of her boyfriend if she went ahead and had the baby. In 2011 she took the hint and had an abortion.”


(The Economist, “We’re Busy. Get an Abortion,” Tokyo, print edition, 5 Sept 2015)

Japanese Workforce, Pregnant Mothers, and Abortion


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