Why are there so few Japanese women involved in the political system? In 2019, Japanese women made up 10% of the national Lower House, 21% of the Upper House, and 14% of local assemblies. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, this places Japan 164th out of 193 countries when it comes to women’s representation in the legislature. The percentage of women in the Lower House has only increased by fewer than two percentage points since women gained full suffrage and the right to stand for election in Japan in 1946. Eto analyses the various factors that have led to women’s low presence in the Japanese legislature. She evaluates ways in which it might be possible for Japan to catch up and, in doing so, examines how Japanese society continues to perpetuate gender-rigid expectations of people.
This text is a valuable study for scholars of Japanese politics and society, and for readers with an interest in the broader issue of the representation of women in politics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. What Influences the Legislative Representation of Women? 3. Gender Culture in Japanese Socio-Politics 4. A Japanese Gender-Biased Welfare State 5. Effects of Japan’s Electoral System on Women’s Candidacy and Winning 6. Women in Japanese Party Politics 7. State-Initiated Positive Plans for Women’s Representation 8. Conclusion
Mikiko Eto is Professor of Political Science at Hosei University, Japan.