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While Japanese women's status has improved in the last decades, traditional expectations for married women and mothers are cited as a barrier to full economic equality.
Late 19th/early 20th century depictions of Japanese women, Woman in Red Clothing (1912) and Under the Shade of a Tree (1898) by Kuroda Seiki.
A common occupation for young women is that of office lady, that is, a female office worker who performs generally pink collar tasks such as serving tea and secretarial or clerical work.
Japan has a strong tradition of women being housewives after marriage.
Wives could not legally arrange for a divorce, but options included joining convents, such as at Kamakura, where men were not permitted to go, thus assuring a permanent separation.
In the 17th century, the "Onna Daigaku", or "Learning for Women", by Confucianist author Kaibara Ekken, spelled out expectations for Japanese women, stating that "such is the stupidity of her character that it is incumbent on her, in every particular, to distrust herself and to obey her husband".Lebra's traits for internal comportment of femininity included compliance; for example, children were expected not to refuse their parents.Self-reliance of women was encouraged because needy women were seen as a burden on others.In 2015, Article 733 of Japan’s Civil Code that states that women cannot remarry 6 months after divorce was reduced to 100 days.The 6 month ban on remarriage for women was previously aiming to "avoid uncertainty regarding the identity of the legally presumed father of any child born in that time period".