Couple apologise for ignoring pregnancy timetable by conceiving ‘before their turn’
The lady was punished for becoming pregnant before it was her “turn”
However, the timing reportedly clashed with “shifts” drawn by the childcare centre director, which listed when female staff were allowed to marry and have children.
The plight of the woman, who has not been identified, highlights the unsettling practice of some Japanese companies dictating when female staff are allowed to marry and have children, depending on their level of seniority.
Her experiences came to light after her husband, aged 28, wrote a letter outlining their plight to Mainich Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading newspapers.
Describing how his wife felt “glum and anxious” after finding out she was pregnant, the husband wrote: “The director at the child care center where she works had determined the order in which workers could get married or pregnant, and apparently there was an unspoken rule that one must not take their 'turn' before a senior staff member...”
The couple formally met with the director to apologise about the pregnancy in person, but the husband claimed that his wife has since been “chided” for “selfishly” breaking the rules of the child care center.
He added: “Childcare providers sacrifice their own children to care for the children of others. It is a noble profession that nurtures children who will forge the future of this country.
“I respect my wife for her commitment to her profession and continue to encourage her. The conditions of those working to nurture and care for children are evidence of a backward country.”
The case has prompted a flood of support in Japan, a nation famed for both its shrinking birth rate and a chronic shortage of public childcare establishments.
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