Obstacles facing women in Japanese politics

In Japan, women struggle to make headway in the national parliament:

The reality at the moment is that current working patterns and ideas about gender roles are acting as fetters preventing more women from becoming involved in politics. Another factor concerns the senior figures within political parties who select and sponsor candidates. If these executives are men, it is likely that their previous experiences of success and their unconscious gender biases will determine the qualities they look for in a “winning candidate.” Often they end up choosing a male candidate resembling the previous incumbent. And because both men and women tend to develop homosocial networks in which they socialize primarily with groups of their own sex, a woman candidate sometimes simply does not register on a man’s radar at all.
Other factors are specific to Japan. One concerns the nature of competition among the political parties. In many other countries, political parties have often been persuaded to field women candidates in an attempt to attract female votes and win more seats. This has often opened the door to greater representation of women in parliament. If the strategy is successful, other parties follow suit and field more women as well to avoid losing the female vote. Generally, it has been left-of-center parties who turn their attention to women voters first, with the trend gradually spreading to more conservative parties.

http://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00220/