Though it is one of the world’s biggest democracies, Japan’s track record on women in government sector is bleak.
The proportion of female lawmakers in Japan’s national parliament is far behind countries like Saudi Arabia and South Sudan, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international organization.
Women account for less than 10% of the 475 members of the lower house of the Japanese parliament, putting it 157th out of nearly 200 countries ranked by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The low ratio is undermining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to create a society where “all women can shine.”
Right now, only about 3.5% of senior government jobs belong to women, according to official data. That’s a far cry from Abe’s aim of having women hold at least one third of senior positions in government, business and other fields by 2020.