Japan Data

Japan Rises Slightly in 2024 Gender Gap Ranking

Gender and Sex Politics Society

Japan rose slightly from 125th to 118th in the Global Gender Gap Index for 2024, buoyed by an increase in the number of women in the cabinet. However, there is still considerable room for improvement in the politics category.

The Global Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum on June 12, 2024, ranked Japan 118th out of 146 countries in terms of gender equality, up seven places from the previous year.

Japan and Global Average

The WEF report analyzes various statistical data on the status of women using four categories: economy, education, health, and politics. The gender gap index is based on 1.00 being the highest possible score, indicating that gender parity has been achieved, while 0.00 means complete gender disparity.

Among Group of Seven countries, Germany was ranked the highest in terms of gender equality, placing seventh overall in the world ranking, down one place from the previous year. Britain (14) was the next-highest G7 country, followed by France (22), Canada (36), the United States (43), and Italy (87). Among the G7 lineup, only Japan failed to place within the top 100 countries.

Some Improvement in Politics

In Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s reshuffled cabinet of September 2023, there were 5 female ministers among the 19 total positions, a significant increase from the 2 women in August 2022, which led to a rise of 25 places in Japan’s ranking for politics, from 138th to 113th.

At the same time, there is still considerable room for further improvement. At present, there are just 2 female governors of Japan’s 47 prefectures: Koike Yuriko in Tokyo and Yoshimura Mieko in Yamagata Prefecture. Less than 5% of the country’s mayors are women, although gender parity is closer in the ku of central Tokyo, where 7 of the 23 municipalities will have female leaders after Seike Ai takes up her position as Minato mayor on June 28.

Only 11% of House of Representatives lawmakers are women, and even if one in four cabinet ministers are female, Kishida did not name a single woman among the 26 senior vice ministers and 28 parliamentary secretaries in his September 2023 selection. This was a first since the reorganization of government ministries in 2001.

Female Lawmakers in Japan’s Diet

Japan ranks low in the economy category, at 120th, reflecting such aspects as the low labor participation of women and the wage gender gap. Its rank fell from 47th to 72nd in the education category, placing distance between it and the many countries close to parity in this field.

2024 Global Gender Gap Index Rankings

Rank (2023 Rank) Country Score
1 (1) Iceland 0.935
2 (3) Finland 0.875
3 (2) Norway 0.875
4 (4) New Zealand 0.835
5 (5) Sweden 0.816
6 (7) Nicaragua 0.811
7 (6) Germany 0.810
8 (8) Namibia 0.805
9 (11) Ireland 0.802
10 (18) Spain 0.797
14 (15) Britain 0.792
22 (40) France 0.781
36 (30) Canada 0.761
43 (43) United States 0.747
74 (71) United Arab Emirates 0.713
87 (79) Italy 0.703
94 (105) South Korea 0.696
106 (107) China 0.705
118 (125) Japan 0.663
129 (127) India 0.641
135 (134) Egypt 0.629
146 (―) Sudan 0.568

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2024.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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