politics

Japan's bid to raise ratio of female election candidates to 35% hard to achieve

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It’s not easy to raise the participation of women in society when a lot of women aspire to only be housewives. You cannot magically inspire people to do things when those people prefer not to do those things simply by setting a goal that they do do those things.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

"If you keep moving the goal post, the goal will never be met".

Quote By: The Japanese Gov't.

Woman are surpressed by Society. This is why not many women want to enter politics. When they talk and give their opinion, they are told they talk to much and need to be quiet.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Focus on raising the number of competent candidates....whichever of the two sexes they are.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sports, Japanese women excel. But companies, politics, they are handcuffed to the kitchen. The sexist Olympics guy was replaced by a women, because it will be the worlds biggest failure and she will be blamed. Tokyo mayor, a member of Nippon Kaigi was installed to protect Ishihara dodgy businesses.

Women are convenient political accessory here.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

That's not how you bring women into the circle. You do it by changing the fundamental misogynistic culture Japan has. You start by getting rid of all the dinosaurs who're preventing all the progress for Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan is still stuck in some medieval period of history-it is just on a downward spiral...

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Japan ranks 31 or 32 on the OECD for workplace equality, and 89 out of 189 countries globally. Lower than Rwanda, China and East Timor.

Frankly, this is abysmal.

https://www.cfr.org/legal-barriers/country-rankings/jpn/

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I really do worry about the future of Japan. I work at a university here (actually in the top 3 of the country) and some gems I've heard my 18/19 yr old male students say:

"Im not sexist but I don't want my wife to make more money than me."

"I want a wife that can cook and teach my children to play instruments."

"Me and my father bought my mother a washing machine for Mother's Day."

"Koike spends a lot of money on clothes and doesn't focus on her work."

I thin it's going to be a long, slow and painful path for equality in Japan.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan ranks 166th in the ratio of women in the lower or single house of parliament on a list of 190 countries," 166th....lets hear it again about Japan being an "advanced country "

fifth basic plan for gender equality." So 5 plans later they are still dead bottom of the rankings...tells you all you need to know.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No details are given of ‘when, where, how,...” the survey was conducted. What was the size, scope and demographic, etc surveyed? So, how can government ‘numbers’ ever be trusted?

pessimistic outlook came from 66% of respondents cited a stereotypical view in Japan that politics is men's business and the difficulty of balancing being a mother, wife and politician as two of the main reasons.”

Again, just a ‘spin’ to maintain the status quo.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Throw women into the fray where they have to deal with misogynistic males who dominate political discourse? Makes me laugh.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

We have all seen what happens when a female politician voices opinion and raises concerns. They get ousted.

Like Koike?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan is still stuck in with it’s patriarchal macho-style society and even the younger generations fail to fully comprehend gender equality.

As someone stated above there is little to change when in a society most women aspiration is to become “okasan” and “shifu”.

They brainwashed their female population so deeply that a lot of them are self convinced to have a side role in society.

Therefore gender equality is very hard to achieve in Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Government mandated quotas for female candidates is sexism. If women want to run, let them. If people want them elected, they will vote for them. Don't like the current system because it's "misogynistic" or "old"? Fine - vote in the candidate of your choice. It's not rocket science people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I really do worry about the future of Japan. I work at a university here (actually in the top 3 of the country) and some gems I've heard my 18/19 yr old male students say:

I hear you and I've almost had some arguments with my Japanese wife and her mom. Her mom once told me that I can relax and let my wife and her do the dishes. She also did the same with me with the laundry, too. I finally told her mom that I want to help with these things to make it easier for everyone and the house. Then, she scolded my wife for not taking care of the laundry and the dishes sooner. I told her mom (in my broken Japanese) that my wife and I are a team and work together. I do this because I want to and I love her. After that, she stopped arguing with me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can just imagine it in Japanese. Thhhhh (that noise made through the teeth), muzukashiiiiii naaaa

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think a mandatory quota is a bad idea. I think if there is more support from parties for women who want to be in government, it will boost the number of women candidates. The candidate with clear policies will get elected. If they field women candidates with no policies vs. men with policies, sure they'd be increasing the number of women candidates but the men would probably end up winning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Parties should not field women just as symbols," said Seiko Noda, executive acting secretary general of the LDP. "It is important to have women who can keep winning in elections. We want to increase the number of female candidates gradually."

I mean, how can you disagree with this? You can't just click your fingers and summon some after all

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Its worth recalling that when Abe began his second stint as PM in 2012 he announced a bold initiative to increase female representation on corporate boards to 30% by 2020.

Then he did absolutely nothing whatsoever to make that happen and unsurprisingly they never came close to realizing that goal last year.

There are a few bright signs here and there though. The legal profession (lawyers, judges and prosecutors) has been able to achieve pretty consistent year on year increases in female representation. Its still only about 20%, but that compares to less than 10% just a few years ago so while still bad progress is at least being made.

To achieve that though you need all the institutions to actually work to make changes. Just setting numerical goals without a comprehensive plan to achieve them is meaningless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

166 out of 190! Well done, Japan! And I have no doubt that some will just take the criticism and "unneeded foreign input" while vowing to increase the number of women to improve their global image, asking you what you think.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Its clear to me after 3+decades here that BOTH men & women have rather traditional views of things overall for the most part.

So that means you just CANT ram Western ways down throats of the locals here, will NEVER work that way! The only way for change is SLOW & ORGANIC.

By all means encourage men & women here to help each other in ways they havent traditionally but trying to force this wont yield good results.

And there is nothing wrong that most women simply DONT want to BECOME like MEN!!! I mean, as a man, I sure as hell DONT want to become like a typical J-man & certainly NOT a salaryman!!! Japanese women I think for the most part also want to avoid THAT road like the plague!!!

And if people are honest, things are not at all nice & rosy in the west. Women sure go on about how they want to be like men, but a great many are increasingly unhappy, tons of women are on antidepressants etc . Lots of families these days in the west phone in parenting more & more & we see lots of kids with all kinds of problems growing up in the west, its becoming rather messy & only time will tell just how messed up it will become.

Trying to force Japanese to become like westerners......... seems like many are not yet interested in going down those roads & it is THEIR choice NOT for us Westerners to try to change them....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do Japanese women want to be part of the Good Ol Boys Club in the Japanese Government? We have all seen what happens when a female politician voices opinion and raises concerns. They get ousted. And then, the Japanese males say that she is a B$#&H for acting less than a cutie kawaii girly girl. The problem here is the failure to communicate honestly. The Good Ol Boys Club created a hostile work place. The female politicians understand that the rules were created by the Boys Club a long time ago. It's a Guy thing.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@P. Smith

"Like Koike?"

A great example. However, in America we have so many more women in Politics. So Many! In America!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Woman are surpressed by Society. This is why not many women want to enter politics. When they talk and give their opinion, they are told they talk to much and need to be quiet.

I told my daughters if they are really interested in politics, Japan is not the country for you, nor is it the country if they want to move ahead in life. I'm not saying no to them about politics and getting ahead in Japan. I tell them to ask some of my dad's friends who are politicians in the States and who are female. I definitely agree with you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I could be wrong, but I'm thinking that Japanese politicians have a culture and lifestyle that isn't that attractive for a woman. I mean, I imagine its sitting around a smoke filled room, drinking sake with alcoholics, listening to horrible sexist male jokes and grunts, and making back room deals being served tea or expensive fatty sashimi all day.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I’m sure there are many well-educated women who would be very interested in going into politics. However, they are all aware of the sexism and prejudices they would face and decide against it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@kuma

Same here! My mother in law came to America when our first child was born. She was trying to do everything! I was on baby leave from my job for 45 days (paid) and I told her " STOP! I don't need you to do anything". I had to explain that a American husband does all the house work with the wife, together. She was trying to tell me how to take care of our baby, and I had to put a stop to that real fast! "This is OUR child, not yours. If you can't stop telling us what to do, go back to Japan". She was very shocked and told all her friends back in japan that she didn't have to do anything and it was a great vacation. lol .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kumagaijin

Never understood this one. If I'm the one making the money, I'll be deciding what goes where, and when. I would never be relegated to a stipend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its all about setting boundaries early on. I was married to a Japanese woman once and the same sort of thing happened with the mother-in-law. Unfortunately, those boundaries also include finances/banking and traditionally thats the woman's job. Before I knew it, I was getting a monthly allowance. 

Wow, I feel bad for you. I always wondered why Japanese men let their wives manage their money, when the wives are usually the ones that over-spend on high-brand bags and jewelry, etc. For me, it is the opposite. I give my wife money for the groceries, etc. Now most supermarkets accept credit cards, though, so I don't have to hand her cash too often.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't deny that statistical data and comparison reveal reality. Yet in my quick observation and first-hand experiences, the presence of women across critical sectors of the Japanese society has been more conspicuous. Many are motivated and qualified, especially in professional domains. Thus I'm more hopeful and betting for the progress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most women don't want to go into politics just to butt heads with a bunch of paternalistic, condescending knotheaded old men whose world view was forged in the Showa era. What is needed more than an increased number of women candidates is for people in their 20's and 30's to start running for office.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just don’t take always the loudest candidates anymore but start to take those who are the best in their fields. That brings automatically results between 40% to 60% of elected women in all elections. No way, I know, but someone has taught you just now, so don’t complain next time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably because there is, effectively, only one party in Japan, and no woman in her right mind and with an once of integrity, would want to be a part of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really do worry about the future of Japan. I work at a university here (actually in the top 3 of the country) and some gems I've heard my 18/19 yr old male students say:

If any of my daughters ( I have 3 daughters) married anyone (Japanese or not) who made those comments or anything like them, I would pull them aside and read them "The Riot Act." I've told my daughters to go for any career or life they wish and do not be held back by or depend on anyone for success.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Women are told "you can't do this because this isn't what women are supposed to do" and then everyone acts all surprised when women take that message on board and don't do the thing.

Women are actively discouraged by their parents, who tell them it's too hard and they should just look for a husband;; by teachers, who steer them away from the education they need; by their husband, who won't help out around the house making it impossible to manage time; by co-workers, who assume they are incapable, ignore their ideas or else talk over them; by bosses, who ignore their talents and put them on a non-career track; and by society and media, by criticizing them as being "unwomanly" "not feminine" and telling them they should be at home taking care of their children, because working makes them a bad mother.

Women who defy societal expectations and do these things anyway are punished: excluded from important meetings; critisized in the media; kicked out of meetings (Yuka Ogata), actively discriminated against in job interviews and promotions; and then there's the universities who rig their exams so that women can't even pass.

And still society scratches its head, and says, "Huh. Women just must not want to work."

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I hear you and I've almost had some arguments with my Japanese wife and her mom. Her mom once told me that I can relax and let my wife and her do the dishes. She also did the same with me with the laundry, too. I finally told her mom that I want to help with these things to make it easier for everyone and the house. Then, she scolded my wife for not taking care of the laundry and the dishes sooner. I told her mom (in my broken Japanese) that my wife and I are a team and work together. I do this because I want to and I love her. After that, she stopped arguing with me.

Its all about setting boundaries early on. I was married to a Japanese woman once and the same sort of thing happened with the mother-in-law. Unfortunately, those boundaries also include finances/banking and traditionally thats the woman's job. Before I knew it, I was getting a monthly allowance. Some banks only give you one bank card. Anyways, there is this belief deeply entrenched in Japanese society that men and women can't work together easily, or at least manage a family together by negotiating and working together. Its all about having specific roles. I assume politics is the same way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Be sure to dress them in bright colors for every lame photo shoot you have where the fossils where there penguin suits.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@therougou

I am lucky I guess. lol. My wife doesn't overspend..in fact she needs to spend more! I keep the money, let my wife have a nice savings, and I give her the money every month for our budget.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

LMAO at the people downvoting me..for letting my wife have a savings. lol

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

GW Today 02:39 pm JST

So that means you just CANT ram Western ways down throats of the locals here, will NEVER work that way! The only way for change is SLOW & ORGANIC.

By all means encourage men & women here to help each other in ways they havent traditionally but trying to force this wont yield good results.

Trying to force Japanese to become like westerners......... seems like many are not yet interested in going down those roads & it is THEIR choice NOT for us Westerners to try to change them....

Um ... this is the Japanese Diet, which is made up of 100% Japanese people, most of them Japanese males, even, who are having this debate among themselves. In Japan.

I don't understand how you can think that the Japanese Diet is full of westerners who are trying to force Japan to change their liking.

It seems to me that they ARE doing this in their own way, which means very conservatively and very slowly.

If this were modeled after western notions of equality, then you know as well as I do that they would either be suggesting 50/50 gender parity or else would have already achieved it, like Sweden and Iceland.

In other words, they are behaving exactly as the Japanese legislature could be expected to behave.

And there is nothing wrong that most women simply DONT want to BECOME like MEN!!! I mean, as a man, I sure as hell DONT want to become like a typical J-man & certainly NOT a salaryman!!! Japanese women I think for the most part also want to avoid THAT road like the plague!!!

First, working outside the home is not a male trait any more than being a caregiver is a female trait, so it's weird to say that women who want to work outside the home or become politicians are "becoming like men." They would merely be doing what it is that they want to do - in other words, it's about personal goals and preferences, not gender.

Secondly, if polls are correct, not even Japanese MEN want to be a salaryman working 100 hours of overtime a week. The toxic work culture isn't good for anyone, and people are well aware that this is what must change. There is definitely a movement to do so, albeit it is only slowly gaining ground.

And if people are honest, things are not at all nice & rosy in the west. Women sure go on about how they want to be like men,

I have never ever heard a woman say "I want to be like a man." In fact, I don't even know what this means, but am assuming you think a woman saying "I want to (career goal)" is akin to her wanting to be like a man.

What I don't think you get is that people are happy when they are allowed to do and be who they are, and aren't constrained by notions of gender roles. So if a woman wants to stay home and be a caregiver, great! If she wants to work outside the home, great! Let's give them that choice freely instead of labeling their actions as "like a man" and then make them feel like sh!t for it or punish them in other ways because they are breaking gender norms.

Ditto for men.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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