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Women’s issues big at Naha City center

Date Posted: 2004-11-12

Women wanting information on a wide variety of topics have a place they can call their own in Naha City.

The Prefecture Women’s Union Center Tiruru in the Nishi area is geared to serving women on everything from concerts, lectures and exhibitions to conferences and counseling.

A big moment for the Center came a few days ago when renowned psychologist Chikako Ogura presented a program on Japanese and Okinawan people. She offered analysis of both men and women in the current generation, focusing on trends in marriage.

Statistics and Ogura’s observations are that society’s moving toward marriage at an older age, or not marrying at all. The reasons are complex. Women, she says, are wanting to marry men who are rich, or at least wealthy enough to provide a comfortable lifestyle. They also want to pursue higher education degrees.

Another concern, says the psychologist, is that women are apprehensive about whether they can maintain a household together. She points out the growing independence of Okinawa and Japanese women.

On the other hands, men have a different perspective on what they want in a mate. Physical attributes are driving them, says Ogura. Men want a cute, beautiful woman, one who is both smart in good physical condition. She says men also want a woman who wants to help build the home nest.

“There aren’t any people who can meet all conditions,” she says, “but men must get the conditions for marriage down. Men who want to marry beautiful women must remember that those women aren’t likely to be doing the housekeeping or cooking.”

Ogura says men “who want to marry homely women, who are not very beautiful or who are perhaps overweight, and not as smart, will have more success.” She says such women tend to be more loving and protective of their men.

From another perspective, Ogura says it’s becoming more popular to skip marriage, or at least, to delay it. “It’s your choice to marry or not marry, but it’s important that people keep the ideology necessary for a healthy life.” She says Okinawan people are particularly oriented to living healthy, happy lifestyles. On Okinawa “everyone wants to get work, but they want to work for only a first class company.” When that fails, though, “they don’t even try to find a job”, noting Okinawa’s high unemployment rate.

There are plenty of jobs around, she says, but many aren’t acceptable because of men’s pride. That’s wrong, says Ogura. “Do any job at first.”

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