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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 18 - 24  > Japan drops to record-low of 121st place in global gender equality ranking
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2019 December 18 - 24 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan drops to record-low of 121st place in global gender equality ranking

December 18, 2019

Japan ranked 121st among 153 countries, a record low, in the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 which was released on December 17 by the Switzerland-based think tank World Economic Forum.

This highlighted the fact that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s policy on the promotion of women’s empowerment has made little progress and Japan’s gender disparity has widened.

In the report, each country was ranked through measurements of the gender gap in the fields of economy, education, health, and politics and Japan came out 121st among 153 countries in the overall ranking, far lower than 110th among 149 countries in the previous report.

Japan received a particularly poor mark in the field of political empowerment, 144th. In the education attainment ranking, the nation went down to 91st from 65th in the previous report, mainly due to a gap in the enrolment rate in tertiary education. In the area of economic participation and opportunity, the latest report cited a widening gender wage gap in Japan.

Iceland was recognized as the most gender-equal country for eleven years in a row, followed by Norway, Finland, and Sweden. The United States was in 53rd position, China 106th, and South Korea 108th.

Commenting on the report, Doshisha University Professor Okano Yayo said, “Japan did not just gradually slide down the ranking, rather I would say that Japan intentionally maintains gender inequality.” She noted that this point can be seen in the absence of women in the world of politics, which could have been easily addressed if political leaders had decided to promote women.

Okano continued to say that as politics is about people’s participation in decision-making, the general public should be blamed for the current situation. She underscored the need for people to do away the idea that decision makers must be men.

Past related articles:
> Workplace gender gap hinders women workers from continuing careers [June 21, 2019]
> Japan lags behind international community in gender equality [March 6, 2018]
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