少子化対策の日本と「尊敬] Japan’s declining birthrate and respect…..

英字新聞にExperts say Japan must change how it is handling low birthrate.(少子化の専門化に変わった対応の必要がある)の記事が目に留まりました。その記事は長々と経済情勢、政治政策や他の国々との出生率の比較を取り上げた。納得行くデータや政策ばっかりと思いました。しかし、日本政府は出生率上昇にこれだけの力を入れているのに一向に良くならないのにもっと深い原因があるのではないでしょうか。私は4人の子供を産み、仕事で忙しい主人に代わって育児は殆ど一人でしました。今年からめでたく大学院に入る事になりました。この事についてたくさんの方々に「尊敬をする」との言葉を掛けて頂きました。その言葉は嬉しいと同時に気持が複雑です。何故かと言えば私は孤独に耐えながら評価をされない育児をしている時に誰ひとりからも励ましのことばもなくて立派な仕事として認めてくれなかった。評価されるのは外で働く人だけです。特に男性。育児は立派な社会貢献じゃないですか。私の娘たちが子供を産む適齢期になりました。私は愚痴を一つも言った事がないけど、私の生き方を見て専用主婦の社会的地位が低い日本では仕事をやめて子供を産むと思えません。根本的な問題はこれではないでしょうか?社会全体が若いお母さんたちを受け入れ、評価して上げたらどうでしょうか??育児を仕事としてもっと尊敬しましょう!

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I have just read an article in the Japan Times – Experts say Japan must change how it is handling it’s low birthrate. The article goes into great length in explaining Japan’s political and economic policies to stem the problem and it compares Japan’s birthrate to  other developed countries. It makes sense but when you consider the effort Japan is making to rectify the problem and no successes in sight doesn’t it make you think there might be a deeper problem that is being ignored? I have raised 4 children mainly on my own as my husband had a busy job. This year I start Graduate school. I have been surprised how many people have congratulated me and told me how much they respect me for what I am doing. These kind comments have been gratefully received but they have also left me feeling confused. Why? When I was busy raising my four children I battled loneliness and no one ever once commented on the good job I was doing. The only people highly regarded in society are still those who work outside the home. Isn’t raising children the most important job in society? My daughters are now of childrearing age. I have never complained to them but after seeing how I struggled in a country like Japan when the work of mothers receives no praise I can’t imagine them giving up their careers and staying at home. Isn’t that where the real problem is? Respect for women who stay at home? Society as a whole should be more supportive of young mothers and give them praise and respect for the important work they do!

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