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Is there a gender gap in Japan?


Japan is a country known for its unique culture and traditions. Despite being one of the most advanced countries in the world, Japan has been struggling with gender inequality for decades. In this article, we will explore the gender gap in Japan and understand how it affects the lives of women in the country.

History of Gender Gap in Japan

The gender gap in Japan can be traced back to the feudal era when women were considered inferior to men. The Meiji era brought about some changes, but women were still denied many rights. It was not until after World War II that women gained equal rights under the law. However, cultural attitudes towards women have been slow to change.

Japanese Snack Box

Education Gap

Although education is equal between genders in Japan, there is still a disparity in the number of women who attend higher education institutions. Many women are encouraged to pursue domestic roles instead of careers, which limits their opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Employment Gap

The employment gap in Japan is one of the largest in the world. Women are often relegated to low-paying and low-status jobs, while men dominate high-paying and high-status positions. This disparity is due to cultural beliefs that women should prioritize their family over their career.

Wage Gap

The wage gap in Japan is also one of the largest in the world. Women earn only 70% of what men earn for the same job. This wage gap is due to a variety of factors, including discrimination and cultural attitudes towards women.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination is a significant issue in Japan. Women who become pregnant are often forced out of their jobs or demoted to lesser positions. This discrimination is due to cultural beliefs that women should prioritize their family over their career.

Marriage and Family Gap

Marriage and family are highly valued in Japan, but women are often expected to prioritize their family over their career. This expectation limits their opportunities for personal and professional growth, while men are encouraged to focus on their career.

Political Gap

Women are severely underrepresented in Japanese politics. Women make up only 10% of the Diet, Japan’s legislative body. This underrepresentation is due to a variety of factors, including discrimination and cultural attitudes towards women.

Violence Against Women

Violence against women is a significant issue in Japan. Domestic violence and sexual harassment are prevalent, but many women do not report these crimes due to fear of retaliation or shame.

Efforts to Close the Gap

Efforts to close the gender gap in Japan have been slow but steady. The government has introduced policies to encourage more women to join the workforce and increase their representation in politics. However, change is slow due to cultural attitudes that prioritize men over women.


In conclusion, the gender gap in Japan is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted solution. Cultural attitudes towards women must change, and policies must be implemented to promote gender equality in all areas of society. Only then can Japan truly become a country where men and women are equal.

What is Japan’s gender gap?

As of 2022, Japan’s gender gap index score was 0.65, indicating an average gender gap of 35%. This places Japan at 116th out of 146 countries in the global gender gap index, far behind other G7 nations. This information was reported on February 3rd, 2023.

Does Japan have gender equality?

Despite being an advanced society in many aspects, Japan falls behind other industrialized nations and Asian neighbors in terms of gender equality. According to the World Economic Forum, Japan ranks 120th out of 153 countries, with a gender equality gap of 34.4%.

Why is Japan’s gender gap so wide?

The gender inequality in the promotion rate to managerial positions in Japan is largely attributed to the segregation of career tracks based on gender. Japan has two tracks – a managerial track (sogo shoku) and a clerical track (ippan shoku) – and it is strongly associated with gender.

How much gap is acceptable in Japan?

A study gap of up to four years is typically deemed acceptable. Additionally, for the Japanese Language Program, individuals under the age of 30 are generally accepted.

Which country has the least gender gap?

Iceland is currently ranked as the top-performing economy and is the only one to have closed over 90% of its gap. This information is from July 13th, 2022.

Is Japan a male dominant country?

The reason for this can mostly be attributed to the fact that Japan remains a society where men hold a dominant position.

The Role of Women in Japanese Society

Despite the challenges they face, women have played a significant role in shaping Japanese society. Women have been leaders in various fields like politics, education, and business. For example, Yuriko Koike became the first female governor of Tokyo in 2016. Similarly, Akie Abe, the wife of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.

Youth Movement for Gender Equality

In recent years, Japan has seen a surge in youth activism for gender equality. Young people are using social media platforms to raise awareness about gender issues and organize protests and rallies. These movements have put pressure on the government and society to address the gender gap and work towards a more equal future.

International Comparisons

In international comparisons, Japan ranks low in terms of gender equality. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Japan ranks 120th out of 156 countries. This ranking reflects the challenges that women face in Japan and the need for further progress towards gender equality.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gender gap in Japan. Women have been disproportionately affected by job losses and increased domestic responsibilities due to school closures and lockdowns. The pandemic has also exposed the gaps in social support systems for working parents and caregivers. As Japan recovers from the pandemic, it is essential to address these issues and create policies that promote gender equality.

The Future of Gender Equality in Japan

The future of gender equality in Japan remains uncertain. While progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap. It will require a concerted effort from government, businesses, and society as a whole to create a more equal future for all genders in Japan. However, with the increasing activism and awareness around gender issues, there is hope that Japan can become a more inclusive and equitable society.

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