Social Issues

Japan gender gap widens, worst in East Asia

Tokyo, Jun 21 (EFE).- The gender gap in Japan has widened, according to the new global ranking published by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, dropping the Asian nation to 125th out of 146 countries.

The ranking is Japan’s worst ever, and makes it the worst in East Asia and the Pacific region.

The Global Gender Gap Index annually compares the status and evolution of gender parity in four categories: economic participation, educational attainment, health and political empowerment.

According to the annual report, Japan fell from last year’s 116th place, while achieving the worst result in East Asia and the Pacific region.

The low ranking is driven by a lack of female participation in politics and economics.

The report highlights how only 10% of the country’s parliamentarians are women, who only make up 8.3% of ministerial positions.

Japan, the current president of the G7 (also made up of France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Canada and the United States) had the worst result in the group.

Italy, the second worst performer, is in 79th position, while Germany, the best of the group, is in sixth place globally.

The report was published days before Japan is due to host a G7 ministerial meeting of Equality and Women in Nikko (northeast of Tokyo).

Reacting to the report’s findings, the Japanese government said “it is necessary to confront this situation” and stressed that measures that encourage women’s participation in politics, local assemblies, as well as in the country’s economy were being considered.

“We will take measures so that the income gap between men and women is eliminated and we will promote a more flexible and diverse way of working,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference.

The Global Gender Gap Index was created in 2006 to track progress in different countries with the goal of achieving parity.

In the 2023 report, the top three places were held by Iceland, Norway and Finland.

While Europe and North America ranked at the top of the list in terms of gender parity, East and South Asia were 5th and 7th out of the world’s eight regions.

India was ranked in 127th, just two spots below Japan, although it did improve marginally compared to the last report.

The Asian giant performed particularly poorly when it comes to even access for men and women when it comes to Economic Participation and Opportunity, with a lowly 36.7%.

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are South Asia’s best performers, while Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan ranked at the bottom. EFE


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