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The Japanese government is urging companies to take women’s health into account

The government on Friday called on companies to take women’s health into account to promote their active participation in society.

Companies must tackle health issues unique to women to increase the number of women in leadership positions, the government said in a white paper on gender equality.

The white paper states that men tend to develop prostatic hypertrophy and other male-specific diseases in their 50s or later, while diseases specific to women are seen across a wide range of ages, from their twenties to their fifties, the period in which they are most effective.

Women typically develop menstrual disorders between their 20s and early 40s, and endometriosis between their 30s and 40s. Symptoms of breast cancer and menopause peak around the ages of 40 and 50, which coincides with the time when women are typically appointed to leadership positions.

The white paper states that there is a link between health awareness and motivation for promotion for both men and women.

For example, 29.9% of women in their twenties who believe they are healthy want to be promoted, while this percentage is lower, at 20.1%, among those who do not believe they are healthy.

Women need support to ensure they can build their careers without reluctantly leaving their jobs, the White Paper said.

“A society in which women can work comfortably despite their health problems will also enable older people, people with disabilities and men to work comfortably,” the white paper said.

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