Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

'Have a seat but shut up please': Whither equality?

Author 91838
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Citizen News Service - CNS
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)
Shobha Shukla - CNS

Japan is 3rd biggest economy but on gender parity it lags behind badly
Japan is 3rd biggest economy but on gender parity it lags behind badly
(Image by CNS)
  Details   DMCA

'Dumb dolls' may soon be adorning board meetings of Japan's ruling party. As per a news report, in response to criticisms that its board is dominated by men, Japan's ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has condescended to allow 5 female lawmakers to join its board meetings provided they keep their mouths shut and do not talk during the meetings. Their status will be that of observers to see how decisions were being made. They would not be able to speak during the meetings but could submit their opinions later to the secretariat office. According to the party's 82-year-old secretary general, this move would allow more female LDP members to see how decisions were being made.

This is shocking and disturbing news, more so as it comes from a country that is touted as the world's 3rd-largest economy. What can be more humiliating to women than this mockery of their right to voice their opinion, and be subservient to their male counterparts despite being equally (or even more) qualified than them? This 'dumb-doll syndrome' is conservative liberalism at its best in the world's third-largest economy wallowing in gender disparity. Currently only 2 of LDP's 12 board members are women and only 3 of its 25-member general council are women.


Japan is a living example that economic development does not necessarily lead to gender justice. Despite being a highly developed and modern society, it has high levels of gender inequality. It has ranked 121st out of 153 countries on the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Report- the worst ranking gap among advanced countries - and scores poorly on women's economic participation and political empowerment.

Some poor economies in the region have ranked much higher - Bangladesh ranked 50, Nepal 101, Sri Lanka 102 and India 112.

Japan's law requiring married couples to use the same surname is yet another obstacle to women's empowerment and abets women's subordination. In December 2019, a policy draft for gender equality, which made recommendations for allowing different surnames after marriage, was dropped after being stalled by conservative lawmakers. Japan is the only country in the world that does not officially allow married couples to have different surnames.

Also, while women represent 44% of the entire Japanese workforce, most of them (44%) are part-time or temporary workers, as compared to 12% of employed men. Moreover, Japan's gender pay gap is the second largest among OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - a network of 37 nations) countries, after South Korea. In 2019, Japanese women earned 23.5% less than their male counterparts.

Cultural norms and stereotypes exclude women from leadership positions. Out of 192 countries, Japan ranks 167th in women's representation in government. In 2019, only 5.3% of board directors in Japanese companies were women. This is just a little above Indonesia (3.3%) and Kenya (2.1%).

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Rate It | View Ratings

Citizen News Service - CNS Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Citizen News Service (CNS) specializes in in-depth and rights-based, health and science journalism. For more information, please contact: or @cns_health or
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Management of respiratory diseases beyond drugs: Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Oxygen therapy is like a prescription drug: Use it rationally

New funding boosts research for controlling TB, malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis

Progress made but work remains on firewalling health policy from tobacco industry

World Health Day: No substitute to healthy mind

Nepal leading tobacco control in South Asia: Will it spiral domino effect on other nations?

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.

Comment Here:   

You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.


Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

No comments  Post Comment

Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment