The World Economic Forum ranked Japan at 105th place by its Global Gender Gap Index
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has been publishing the World Economic Forum Report since 2006. The WEF invented the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) to identify and create appropriate policy framework to improve gender-based disparity. The WEF annually estimates the GGGI, by quantifying its gender-based differences in the four areas: (1) economic participation and opportunities, (2) education attainment, (3) health and survival, and (4) political empowerment. The WEF, then, ranks countries by their overall GGGI. The 2013 Report revealed that Iceland ranked first at the GGGI of 0.8731, and Japan ranked 105th (GGGI=0.6498), among 136 countries. Here, the GGGI of 1.0 is interpreted as "no gender gap." This means that Japanese women posses only 65% of what male counterparts are enjoying. Japan has one of the widest gender gap among developed countries. When we take a closer look at the four subsets of GGGI, it becomes apparent that the staggering gender gap in the political field is the largest contributing factor to Japan's extremely low ranking. With a GGGI of 0.0604, Japanese women's political participation and empowerment are mere a 6% of their male counterparts. The gender gap in the economic sector (GGGI = 0.5841) is also a large contributing factor.
Alarmed by Japan's grim ranking, BPW-Japan convened a seminar entitled, "The Only Way is Up: What we need to do now from 105th place," on September 16, 2014 in Tokyo. Four experts discussed the challenges and opportunities in the area of politics, economy, health, and education.
The seminar took place as part of side events of World Assembly for the Women in Tokyo (WAW! Tokyo 2014, - organized by Japanese government), where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enthusiastically addressed at its opening speech that - creating a society in which women shine has been one of his highest priorities-. The seminar was co-hosted by BPW-Japan, and the Japan Association for Women's Education, and supported by the Association for the promotion of the Quota system. Approximately 50 people attended, including intellectuals, parties involved women's groups, and citizens concerned about gender-related issues.
After the discussion, we prepared and presented policy proposals which seek to eliminate the gender gap in the four areas defined in the GGGI. We also visited policy makers, and presented our concrete recommendations for creating policy measures to narrow the gender gap, which included the introduction of a quota system to increase the percentage of seats in parliament held by women. Collaborating with other groups, these proposals helped in the recent formation of an all-party parliamentary group working for the promotion of women's participation and active engagement in the political arena.
Policy proposals to seek for the elimination of gender gap by BPW-Japan (excerpt)|
To increae the number of women in the political field, we propose to: