Japan ranks 120th in 2021 gender gap report; worst among G-7

Japan Today -- Mar 31
Japan ranked 120th among 156 countries in the gender gap rankings in 2021, remaining in last place among major advanced economies, a Swiss-based think tank said Wednesday.

Japan inched up one place from 121st in 2019, when the ranking was based on 153 countries, but stood far behind Italy, the next worst-ranked member of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, in 63rd place. The World Economic Forum said the level of women's participation in the political and economic arenas remains low in Japan.

The country's continued poor performance in narrowing the gender gap was highlighted recently by sexist remarks by Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister who was forced to step down as head of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee after saying meetings with women tend to "drag on" because they talk too much.

The WEF report said that although Japan fully closed its gender gap in primary education, the country ranked 147th in political empowerment and 117th in economic participation and opportunity.

The overall gender gap ranking was topped by Iceland for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Finland, Norway and New Zealand. All four top-ranking countries are led by female prime ministers.

The other G-7 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States -- ranked between 11th and 30th. In Asia, the Philippines was the best-performing country at 17th, while South Korea came in 102nd and China 107th.

- Japan Today