Japan delays women leadership target after falling short

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan is “extremely behind” in promoting gender equality its government said yesterday, as it delayed an almost two decades-old target to have at least 30 per cent of leadership positions occupied by women by the end of 2020.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government approved a new five-year plan on gender equality, which says it will make efforts to meet the 30-per-cent target “at the earliest possible time” during the next decade.

While Japan ranks highly on a range of international indicators, it persistently trails on promoting gender equality, ranking 121 out of 153 nations surveyed in the 2020 global gender gap report of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Just 14.8 per cent of leadership positions in politics and business in Japan are occupied by women, “lagging extremely behind internationally”, the Cabinet Office said in the new five-year plan.

File photo shows Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his cabinet ministers. PHOTO: AP