Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Olivia S. Mitchell


Japan’s mix of demographic and gender-equity challenges create a unique case study regarding the rise of elderly female poverty. This paper explores different factors that contribute to high poverty risks among Japan’s most vulnerable population. By analyzing the nation’s economic landscape, gender parity obstacles, and demographic crisis, this paper presents how Japan’s current labor market and pension policies impact the elderly female population. Based on findings from academic research articles, news, and published data, this paper outlines policies for the Japanese government and corporations that would improve financial prospects for women post-retirement. Overall, this paper concludes that the Japanese government must uplift the status of women in the labor market and modernize pension policies to reflect women as individuals, rather than seeing them as dependent spouses of male breadwinners.


women, poverty, pension, retirement, employment, labor market, gender gap, birth rates, population ageing, spousal benefits



Date Posted: 09 October 2020


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.