Japan Data

Japan’s Gender Gap

Society Politics

Japan’s gender gap remains wide despite government efforts to improve women’s political and economic participation.

The World Economic Forum issued the 2018 edition of its Global Gender Gap Report, in which Japan ranked 110th out of 149 countries in terms of gender equality. Japan inched up four places in the ranking compared to the previous year’s report, but remains well behind other G7 nations. Although the government has positioned women-centered policies as a plank of its overall growth strategy, progress has been slow. The last time Japan was in the top-100 for gender parity was 2011 when it ranked 98th.

The WEF report compares levels of gender-based disparity around the globe using the four indicators of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.  Each country’s overall level of gender equality is calculated based on various subcategories, with one being the highest possible score.

While Japan ranked favorably in the areas of education and health, the global average for these categories are also quite high and had little influence in raising Japan’s overall ranking. According to the report, Japan lags significantly behind in political empowerment. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō included just one woman when he shuffled his cabinet in October 2018, and the percentage of female legislators in the lower house of the Japanese Diet remains at a mere 10.1%. Japan also ranked poorly for gender parity in economic participation as indicated by the nation’s gender wage gap and the low percentage of women in management positions.

Among G7 nations, France ranked highest for gender parity, at 12th, followed by Germany (14th), Britain (15th), Canada (16th), the United States (51st), and Italy (70th). Japan was the only G7 nation to not be ranked in the top 100.

Rank Country Score
1 Iceland 0.858
2 Norway 0.835
3 Sweden 0.822
4 Finland 0.821
5 Nicaragua 0.809
51 United States 0.72
75 Russia 0.701
103 China 0.673
108 India 0.663
110 Japan 0.662
115 South Korea 0.657

Compiled by Nippon.com based on data from the World Economic Forum.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

gender Gender equality women’s empowerment