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Megan Sharman

on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of PROS

Female Workers in Japanese Silk Factories:Did the Costs Outweigh the Benefits?
Women played a key role in helping Japan compete economically with other Industrialized Western countries. Over 80% of the workers in the cotton and silk industries were female.
The temporary status of the young workers was used as an excuse for the low wages they were paid ( 9-13 sen-Document C)
The young girls that worked in the factories were expose to dangerous working conditions: regular 12 hour shifts, unsanitary dormitories, outbreaks of illnesses such as bronchitis and tuberculosis.
(Women, Work, and the Japanese Economic Miracle.)
The majority of young female workers were contracted to work for just one to three years for a mill.
Factory worker recruiters used tricks and half truths to entice the naive rural families and their young daughters. The fathers would often jump at the earnest money offered to them for their daughters, which was to be paid back 20 fold if the contract was broken.
Japan became the world's second largest producer of silk and cotton. Some historians attribute this to the efficiency of the female workers themselves and not the machinery.
(Women, Work, and the Japanese Economic Miracle.)
The costs for female Japanese factory workers outweighed the benefits for them to work. Granted they were an integral part of Japan's rise in the world's growing economy, they were also taken advantage of. They lived in inhumane conditions, and worked grueling hours. In the end no amount of economic growth was worth the degrading treatment the Japanese women received.

Some silk workers hated the factories. They longed to return to their rural homes, poor or not. They only stayed and worked to help supplement their families' incomes.
(Document G)
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