Why Japan’s Push for Gender Equality Is Failing

Participants in a march for gender equality on International Women’s Day, in Tokyo, March 8, 2018 (AP photo by Shizuo Kambayashi).
Participants in a march for gender equality on International Women’s Day, in Tokyo, March 8, 2018 (AP photo by Shizuo Kambayashi).

Since beginning his current term in office eight years ago, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has repeatedly pledged that by 2020, 30 percent of leadership positions in the country would be held by women. But according to the World Economic Forum’s latest annual Global Gender Gap Report, women currently occupy only 15 percent of leadership posts in the country. To the surprise of no one, meeting Abe’s objective this year is “impossible, realistically speaking,” as one Japanese official acknowledged to the Mainichi newspaper in June. The government will instead push to hit its target “as early as possible by 2030.” […]

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