Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate women’s achievements, and how far we have come with gender equality.
Japan has one of the world’s worst records on gender equality. Sexism, wage discrimination and sexual harassment at work have been ignored. After years of government promises to help women “shine,” the World Economic Forum ranks Japan 120th out of 156 countries.
The Economist’s “glass-ceiling index” that measures the role and influence of women in the workforce across the OECD, ranks four Nordic countries—Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Norway—as the best places for working women. The United States is 20th out of 29 countries. Japan and South Korea fill the bottom two places.
In many countries, the labor movement has championed gender equality. Not in Japan where problems like wage discrimination and sexual harassment at work are often ignored.
Watch for an upcoming post on Japan’s labor movement.