Only 5.9% of director-level jobs given to women in Japan government


Japan’s low ranking in the Global Gender Gap Index continues as a government released data showed that women held just 5.9% of director-level jobs in the Japanese government’s offices in Tokyo in fiscal 2020.

The Cabinet Office data on Thursday showed the share of such positions held by female public servants only rose 0.6 percentage points from the previous year, falling short of the government’s target of 7%.

The data revealed how deeply entrenched traditional gender roles remain in Japan and the difficulties facing empowerment of women. The country sits at 120th in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap rankings, by far the worst among the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

Seven of the 18 Japanese ministries and agencies the data covers failed to reach the target. The worst performer was the National Public Safety Commission with 1.4%, followed by the Defence Ministry with 1.8% and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism with 2.1 percent.

The others were the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications with 3.7%, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with 4.1%, the Board of Audit with 5.9% and the Finance Ministry with 6.3%.

Meanwhile, the top performers in fiscal 2020 that ended in March were the National Personnel Authority with 13.1%, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with 11.8% and the Cabinet Office with 11.5%.

The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, for its part, adopted a new basic plan for gender equality in December including a target for women to hold 10% of director-level jobs in the government’s Tokyo offices by the end of fiscal 2025.

The government plans to hold further discussions this year on concrete steps to increase the share of leadership roles held by women including adopting quotas. (Source: Mainichi Japan)