Japan looks to close gender gap in society and workplace

According to a World Economic Forum report, Japan has the largest gender gap in East Asia and Pacific, with women unrepresented in the workforce.
By: | July 15, 2022

Japan ranked 116th out of 146 countries in gender gap rankings this year, taking the last place among the East Asia and Pacific group, and among the group of seven major economies (G7), highlighted the World Economic Forum (WEF) in a report.

In Asia, the Philippines was the best-performing country, coming in at 19th place. South Korea ranked 99th, while China took 102nd place. 

The next worst-ranked G7 member was Italy, at 63rd place. The other G7 members — Germany, France, Britain, Canada, and the United States — ranked between 10th and 27th.

In the workplace, the share of women working part-time was more than twice that of their male counterparts, and the average income of female workers was only 57% of what a man earned. 

“The outcome shows that the situation in Japan lags behind other nations and we must take it humbly,” said Japan’s top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno at a press conference in Tokyo, reports Kyodo News.

He added that Japan will make it mandatory for companies to disclose information on gender wage gaps, train more women in the digital field, and increase wages for people working in sectors with many female employees, such as health care, as well as elderly and childcare.

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The WEF report also highlighted that only 9.7% of Japan’s parliamentarians were women, while just 10% of ministerial positions were held by females, noting that the country has also never had a female prime minister.