Womenomics vs. Women: Neoliberal Cooptation of Feminism in Japan

Abstract

The recent gestures toward "womenomics" under Prime Minister Abe's leadership in Japan offers another location from which to examine the relationship between the prioritizing of market demands and what has been dubbed the "trickle-down feminism" of liberal feminist demands. This article addresses the blind spots of economic policies that focus on increasing work opportunities for an elite segment of women. While recognizing that the promise of promoting more women to higher-level positions does address long-standing frustrations about the institutionalized sexism of political and corporate culture in Japan, this paper seeks to reposition the rhetoric of "womenomics" alongside the reality of the feminization of poverty in Japan.