Tokyo: Japan should promote women in
politics and business, a government paper said on Tuesday, pointing
out that they make up just 11 per cent of lower house members
and one per cent of corporate leaders.
The white paper on gender equality suggested Japan
introduce a quota system to boost the participation of women
in politics, as it currently ranks 121st out of 186 nations in
terms of the female presence in parliament.
In the powerful lower house of parliament, only 11.3
per cent of lawmakers are women, up from 9.0 per cent in 2005,
said the report adopted by the cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto
Kan. The figure in the upper house is 14 per cent.
"Japan is behind the international standard in terms
of female presence in the political sector," the paper said,
suggesting that the country introduce quotas like Sweden,
Germany and South Korea have done in the past.
Japan`s government has set an official goal of
increasing the female presence in all key sectors of society
to about 30 per cent by 2020.
In the business sector, women now account for only 1.2
per cent, or 515 out of 42,000 executives in about 3,600
listed companies, it said.
Worldwide, Rwanda has the highest ratio of female
lawmakers, at 56.3 per cent, the paper said.
Next come Sweden with 45 per cent and South Africa
with 44.5 per cent.
In Asia, Nepal has the highest figure, 33.2 per cent,
followed by South Korea, where 14.7 per cent of lawmakers are