Gender Equality Lowest in Japan among OECD Countries

WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — Japan has the lowest level of gender equality under the law among the 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an annual report by the World Bank showed Thursday.

In the 2022 report, the Women, Business and the Law index stood at 78.8 for Japan, unchanged from the previous year. The score was on par with the Philippines and Tajikistan.

The result indicates that women in Japan enjoy less than 80% of the legal rights enjoyed by men.

The index is based on each country’s or region’s laws and regulations in eight areas related to women’s economic participation, including marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship and assets.

Japan scored particularly low in the areas of workplace and pay, according to the report.

Among a total of 190 countries and regions, the index averaged 77.1, up 0.6 point from the previous year.

Fourteen countries, including Canada, France and Germany, scored 100, meaning that women are on a completely equal legal standing with men there. The West Bank and Gaza had the lowest score, with 26.3.

“Worldwide, nearly 2.4 billion women of working age still do not have the same rights as men,” the World Bank said.

“Closing the gender employment gap could raise long-term GDP per capita by nearly 20% on average across countries,” it added.