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Japan’s ruling party invites women to attend key meetings, provided they ‘don’t talk’

In the Liberal Democratic Party’s 12-member board, only two are women

Representative image | Reuters Representative image | Reuters

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is now inviting women to be a part of its key meetings. The women, however, are being invited as observers and would be expected to not do any talking. The Liberal Democratic Party has long been dominated by elderly men.  

The party has called for five female politicians to join its board meetings. The move is being made as a response to criticism that the board is dominated by men. On February 12, Tokyo 2020 Olympics president Yoshiro Mori announced resignation after sexist remarks made by him caused a furore. At a meeting, More, a former prime minister said, "board meetings with lots of women take longer" because "women are competitive — if one member raises their hand to speak, others might think they need to talk too.”

In the Liberal Democratic Party’s 12-member board, only two are women and of the 25-member general council, only three are women.
Mori’s remark brought attention to gender disparity in the world's largest economy.  

During his regime, former prime minister Shinzo Abe championed ‘Womenomics’ that sought to increase women’s participation in the economy. But activists demanded that more drastic was needed in the workplace and politics.

Toshihiro Nikai, the party's 82-year-old secretary-general said this would let women members of the party be privy to its decision-making process.

Currently, Japan’s rank is at 121out of 153 on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index. 


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