Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

Strong gender norms of japan reducing gender equality


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: gender norms , women empowerment

Gender norms Context

  • Japan ranked lowest among the developed countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2022 due to its prevalent gender norms.

What Is a Gender-equal Society?

  • A society in which both women and men shall be given equal opportunities to participate voluntarily in activities in all fields as equal partners, and be able to enjoy political, economic, social and cultural benefits equally as well as to share responsibilities.

What is sexism in simple words?

  • Prejudice or discrimination based on sex especially discrimination against women. Behaviour, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.

What is the meaning of gender norms?

  • Gender norms are social principles that govern the behaviour of girls, boys, women, and men in society and restrict their gender identity into what is considered to be appropriate. Gender norms are neither static nor universal and change over time.

Gender norms Persistent gender norms in japan

  • Men should work outside the home.
  • Genders should be brought up differently.
  • Women are more suited to household work and child rearing than men.
  • Full time housewives are valuable to society because of their family raising role.

What is womenomic’s?

  • “Womenomics”, a theory linking the advancement of women to increased development rates. The concept, originally defined by the Japanese Prime Minister Abe.

What is women’s empowerment all about?

  • Women’s empowerment can be defined to promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others.

gender norms

Measures toward the Realization of a Gender-equal Society

  • Promoting the Participation of Women in National Advisory Councils and Committees.
  • Recruiting and Promoting of Female National Public Officers.

What is needed to improve women’s welfare?

  • Community sensitization: Persistent effort must be directed toward community sensitization to root out patriarchal social norms.
  • Directional efforts: In addition to enforcing existing regulations like minimum wages, there must be supportive ancillary policies including childcare; secure transport; lighting; safety at work; and quotas in hiring, corporate boards, and politics to foster more  women  in  leadership.

Key fact

Japan is the world’s fourth largest economy.


  • Due to the labour shortage in Japan, women are undoubtedly an essential resource for the nation. Hence, they should also be further involved in policy-making and social decisions such as gender inequality solving and feasible Womenomic’s adjustments for the next future.

Mains question

Q. Japan’s struggle with gender parity teaches us that investing in women’s education and health may have limited impact if that society is trapped in gender norms that restrict women from capitalising these investments for themselves, the society and the country. Critically analyse.

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