Japan ranks on the 101st place in a world hierarchy that measures countries in terms of gender equality, according to the annual World Economic Forum report on gender gaps.
Japanese women are placed on the same level of equality with men, in terms of political and social status, as in countries like Tajikistan or Gambia, while Bangladesh ranks better.
Web users in Japan have reacted at the publication of the report. “Many commenters seem to imply that women and men are inherently different, and that women should just be housewives since it makes them happy,” according to a just-launched blog called JapanCrush, which compiled some of the reactions on the Japanese web.
A commentary published by the Wall Street Journal notes that the important criteria should be whether men and women have their chosen paths obstructed because of their gender. “We shouldn’t just drag women into working society against their will for the sake of statistics when they long to be housewives”.
According to a previous report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), women are under represented in Japan’s labor market. “When they do participate, they are over-represented among non-regular workers. This widens the gender gap in Japan,” the report said.