Mothers in Japan have a high risk of pre/postnatal depression and face obstacles in rejoining the workforce and attaining leadership positions after childbirth. The gender gap in Japan is one of the worst in the world, and the pandemic has further aggravated the situation. This summer, WIT will launch the Board Fellow Program to support direct-service nonprofits in maternal health, which will build their organizational capacity and contribute to advancing women's wellbeing and gender equality.
1 in 4 mothers in Japan suffers from postnatal depression. 46.9% of women leave their work after childbirth, finding it hard to continue working and take on leadership positions. The child poverty rate among single-mother households hits 55 percent. The gender gap in Japan is one of the worst in the world--121st out of 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum. Japan has the second-worst pay gap among OECD countries. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the situation.
Nonprofits are serving the needs of mothers in ways the government and private sector cannot address alone. However, such nonprofits often work with limited resources and capacity. We need more cross-organization and cross-sector collaborations to tackle the systemic issues effectively. To that end, WIT will launch the Board Fellow Program to connect nonprofits and corporations, cultivate trust relationships and shared goals, and accelerate leadership development and collaborations among them.
This project will strengthen the leadership and organizational capacity of 9 innovative nonprofit leaders serving mothers, and enable them to develop effective programs and reach more mothers in need. We will engage about 15 corporate leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities with the nonprofits and collaborate with them. By cultivating cross-sector collaboration, we will contribute to advancing the wellbeing of mothers, preventing child abuse, and creating more inclusive workplaces.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).