Feminisation of Japan? The ambivalent role of women in Asia’s most advanced economy

Table tennis champion Sayaka Hirano: Japanese women often outshine their male colleagues in sport but are denied the opportunity to excel in the workplace (photo: dpa)
Table tennis champion Sayaka Hirano: Japanese women often outshine their male colleagues in sport but are denied the opportunity to excel in the workplace (photo: dpa)

Japan’s unequal treatment of working women is holding back the nation’s economy. If the gender gap were closed, Japan’s GDP could increase by 15 per cent – lifting the country from its 20 years of economic stagnation. But are Japanese women ready to demand their due?

IF JAPAN'S female employment rate matched that of males - which at 80 per cent is one of the highest in the world - gross domestic product (GDP) would be improved by as much as 15 per cent (about €750 billion), according to an economic study by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs.

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For a deflation-plagued economy that has been stagnating for two decades, even a smal...

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