A jaw-dropping (× jot of×と聞こえました・・・・じぇんじぇん違った) outburst during this meeting of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.
Visibly shaking, Assembly member, Ayaka Shiomura struggles to keep her composure. Male members from an opposing party are heard heckling her off camera as she calls for more services for women. “You’d better get married quickly,” one man shouts. Shiomura says another yelled,“Can’t you even bear a child?” “Heckles kept coming one after another”, she says.
“Shiomura finished the speech with tears in her eyes and her voice breaking. She later posted on facebook "it was like a punch in the gut." “I want whoever did this to come forward”, she says.
The outburst is filling outrage on the streets of Tokyo.
"I couldn’t believe how the men responded", says this man.
This woman says, "I’m so embarrassed by the lack of decency among Japanese men."
Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe says women in the workforce are underutilized and underpaid. Here in Japan women earn thirty percent less than men. Abe has a plan called womanomics to equalize giant gender gaps in pay and power. But even in his own central government women holds just three percent of management jobs. Abe wants thirty percent by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
These heckles about getting married and having children are a jarring reminder of widely-felt fear in Japan - a fear that fertility rate would fall further if more women focus less on family and more on career. Social stigma so strong, not even powerful women elected to office are immune.
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