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This thesis will use narratives from five female alumnae of Japanese high schools and university to construct a more complete understanding of how education reform actually affects women in high school and university. After the Equal Employment Opportunity Law (EEOL) of 1986 was passed, it was praised as successful after the number of employed women rose. However, further study showed that women were not joining the workforce to their full capacity, and were relegated to smaller positions with less pay. This demonstrates a need to carefully examine the consequences, intended and unintended, of implementing reform. This study will examine how successful education reforms were at promoting gender equality by exploring the narratives of five women who went to Japanese high schools and universities from the years 1960 to 2014. Lack of role models for women, lack of societal support systems for women, and a lack of representation of women in education are expected to be influential factors in this paper. These are all capable of being managed with carefully designed reform.
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