Govt. report urges policy reviews as marriage, family forms diversify

A Japanese government report on gender equality says systems and policies need to be reviewed as marriage and family forms have diversified.

The white paper was approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The annual report includes a look at marriage and family in an era where people would live to 100 of age.

The report said that government research has found and statistics show that forms of marriage and family are changing. The number of households where a female spouse serves as a full-time homemaker is declining, a survey by the internal affairs ministry and others showed.

Such households used to account for a majority. As of last year, households with working couples far outnumbered those with a female full-time homemaker, the survey shows.

The report also showed that in 2020, the number of single households of women aged 20 or older grew to 3.1 times the number in 1980. Single male households also increased by 2.6 times in the same period.

A Cabinet Office survey held last year showed that most single women who said they are not desperate about getting married thought so because they do not like the constraints of marriage. The next-most common reason was that they had yet to meet the right person.

The white paper said in order to better respond to the change, government policies and various arrangements, such as the wage gap between men and women, need to be reviewed.