Lone mother households and poverty in Japan

New social risks, the social security system and labour market

Authored by: Yuko Tamiya

Routledge Handbook of East Asian Gender Studies

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138959897
eBook ISBN: 9781315660523
Adobe ISBN:


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Lone mother households are at a high risk of financial hardship in Japan. One of the reasons why lone mothers and their children are at risk of poverty is that the social security system that was established on the premise of male breadwinner households in the 1980s still exists. This system does not respond effectively to the new social risks caused by changes in demography and the labour market. Lone mothers face serious difficulties reconciling balancing work and care, resulting in job poverty, truncation of childcare time and strengthening mutual assistance through family reunification.

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