Women needed in parliament in Japan

Japan Times editorial on the need for more women in parliament. The country 'needs more policy responses than what its male-dominated politics can offer.

In the 70 years since women in Japan gained suffrage at the national level, politics has remained male-centric. Women continue to account for only small portion of the Diet seats, trailing behind much of the rest of the world. As the government hoists a goal of increasing the ratio of women in leadership positions to 30 percent by 2020, female lawmakers occupy less than 10 percent of the Lower House seats and number not much more than the 39 who were elected to the Diet for the first time in 1946.
This gender imbalance is clearly unhealthy, especially as social values in Japan become increasingly diverse and tough challenges confronting the nation need more policy responses than what its male-dominated politics can offer. Both voters and lawmakers should stop and think about what’s behind the situation and what needs to be done to change it.