Japan’s parliament has passed a new law to increase female participation in politics. On May 16, it passed a law seeking to encourage women to stand for elections.
In Japan, women are vastly underrepresented in politics. Political parties are urged to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible. However, the new law includes no penalties for parties that fail to do so.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is aiming to increase female participation in politics. He has made this agenda as a key plank of his economic policies. Japan is currently suffering from shortage of labour
Currently, only 47 out of the 465 member-lower house of Parliament are women. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Japan stands behind countries like Myanmar and Gambia in terms of representation of females in the government.
Internal Affairs Minister Seiko Noda asserts that this law will bring change in Japanese politics. Seiko said, “I hope this law will make a big change in Japanese politics.”
Seiko Noda is also one of the members who were involved in drafting the legislation.
She said this move will encourage women to participate. She said, “I hope women who were hesitant to become candidates will be courageous.”
The cross-party group of lawmakers put forward this law. The law faced opposition during the drafting process. Despite the opposition, the law contains no penalties for non-compliance. Japan will be holding regional elections in April next year. The country will also hold elections for Parliament’s upper house in July next year.
Japan holds the lowest ranks in World Economic Forum’s latest report “Global Gender Gap Report”. Positioned at 114 worldwide, it ranked in the bottom, in WEF’s latest report.
Here’s hoping this step changes the face of Japan’s politics.
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