Female Indian immigrants in Japan





In a country that has normalised arranged marriage it is not uncommon to see most women’s future being almost entirely moulded according the kind of person they marry, in terms of their lifestyle aspirations and career. Hence it is very natural that a woman follows her husband to whichever country his opportunities lies. A good percentage of Indian women in Japan are spouses of Indian men working in Japanese companies. Hence in a social setting they are inevitably considered an extension of their husbands with limited agency of their own. therefore it wouldn’t be surprising to see that most Japanese hold a view of a submissive and deeply traditional Indian woman ( somewhat reminiscent of Japanese women of the yesteryears) .

In a conversation with a Japanese friend. he remarked on how most Indian women he interacted with in Japan are homemakers and wondered if the cause was lack of education.

to contrary i believe that lack of education was never the issue, most women are highly qualified however it is the language and cultural barriers that keep them out the work life. Unlike their husbands, it is substantially more difficult to find a work, the main reasons being the cultural and language barrier of course , secondly Japanese workplaces are notorious for being hostile towards women with several cases making international headlines such as a university tampering with the scores of female students to disqualify them in their entrance exams. Such incidents however prove that despite the appalling gender equality in social relations Indian workplaces are much more balanced than their Japanese counterparts hence a drastic shift in the working environments is bound to effect them one way or the other. All of this comes in addition to the embedded racist tendencies of the Japanese society that creates glass ceilings in their professions ( this may apply to both men and women however it is usually the women that takes the larger brunt of it). Child rearing and managing other domestic matters also becomes more cumbersome as being in foreign country it almost entirely falls upon the woman to ensure the continuity and adherence of traditions.

Thus a number of external and internal factors play a variety of roles in prompting many women to give up their careers and ambitions and are sentenced to life in the shadows of their husbands.

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