GenTime project to host symposium showcasing Japanese data newly available to Oxford researchers

The Department of Sociology’s GenTime project will host statisticians from the Statistics Bureau Japan at a symposium on 9 January as they showcase high-quality, hard-to-access Japanese statistical data that can now be used by scholars at Oxford.

Access to the data has been a key component of the GenTime project’s research into gender inequality in time use; an ERC-funded project led by Professor Man-Yee Kan. Whereas previous research into gender inequality in time use has relied heavily on data from Western countries, the GenTime project is harmonising this with time-use data from East Asian countries (including Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan).

Their comparative analyses have uncovered key differences in gendered trends of time use around the globe. Examining data sets from 1985 to 2016, the team found that – across all analysed countries – women do more paid and unpaid domestic work (or ‘total’ work) than men, but that this gender gap is closing at different rates. While women in Western countries and Beijing undertake one extra hour of total work per day compared to men (a figure that has remained static since 1985), the gender gap in total work time in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan was much higher than one hour in the mid-1980s, but has been decreasing ever since.  

Professor Man-Yee Kan, who leads the GenTime project, said:

‘The Japanese time use data used in my project were collected from over 100 million individuals over three decades, which have shown robust and reliable trends in gender equality.

‘My project has benefited greatly from these high quality data. Researchers interested in studying Japan or including Japan in their comparative research will find the symposium very useful, as it will introduce Japanese data available to researchers outside Japan.’

Building on the success of their project, the GenTime team are also in close discussions with the National Statistics Center, Japan, about establishing a secure data facility at University of Oxford to allow UK-based researchers access to the anonymised statistical data, facilitating the inclusion of Japanese data in comparative research.


The programme for the symposium can be viewed here

Man-Yee Kan giving a lecture to students