Japan Data

Japan Ranks 120th in 2021 Gender Gap Report

Gender and Sex Society Culture Politics

Japan rose just one place from the time of the last report to rank 120th out of 156 countries in 2021.

The phrase “gender gap” has become a hot phrase in Japan recently, following discriminatory remarks toward women made by former president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Mori Yoshirō.

In the most recent Global Gender Gap Report announced by the World Economic Forum on March 31, 2021, Japan ranked 120th out of 156 countries. While it rose by one place from 121st at the time of the last report in December 2019, it still remains in the bottom group.

The WEF report analyzes various statistical data on the status of women using four categories of economy, education, health, and politics. The gender gap index is based on one being the highest possible score, indicating that gender parity has been achieved, while zero means complete gender disparity.

Among the Group of Seven nations, Germany ranked highest for gender parity at 11th place. This was followed by France (16), Britain (23), Canada (24), United States (30), and Italy (63), meaning that only Japan failed to rank within the top 100.

2021 Gender Equality Ranking

Rank (2020 Ranking) Country Index
1 (1) Iceland 0.892
2 (3) Finland 0.861
3 (2) Norway 0.849
4 (6) New Zealand 0.840
5 (4) Sweden 0.823
6 (12) Namibia 0.809
7 (9) Rwanda 0.805
8 (33) Lithuania 0.804
9 (7) Ireland 0.800
10 (18) Switzerland 0.798
11 (10) Germany 0.796
14 (8) Spain 0.788
16 (15) France 0.784
23 (21) Britain 0.775
24 (19) Canada 0.772
30 (53) United States 0.763
63 (76) Italy 0.721
72 (120) United Arab Emirates 0.716
81 (81) Russia 0.708
102 (108) South Korea 0.687
107 (106) China 0.682
120 (121) Japan 0.656

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2021.

Gender parity has been lagging globally in the world of politics, but for Japan in particular, it is extremely low with only a ratio of 9.9% for women in parliamentary positions and 10.0% in ministerial positions. The fact that a woman has not been prime minister at any time in the last 50 years also affected the ranking.

In the economy category, Japan fell from 115th to 117th. Japan is also below the world average regarding the gender wage gap and percentage of women in managerial positions.

Gender roles are deeply rooted in Japanese society, so even if there are equal educational opportunities, there is often a bias that puts the burden of housework and childrearing on women and limits their chances to exert power as decision makers, including as managers and politicians.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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