Japan’s ruling party, LDP, have pledged to invite more women to their meetings, on one condition…
The news comes after former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori resigned from his role as the head of Japan’s Tokyo Olympics organising committee following sexist comments. The move to add more women into meetings was seen as a nod to gender equality for the Liberal Democratic Party following the former PM’s resignation. However, the LDP – a party notably run and dominated by elderly men – has proposed that five female politicians will join the party’s board to observe meetings, on one proviso: that they look and don’t speak.
Currently, two out of the twelve board members of the LDP are female, while three out of the 25 general-council members are female. The LDP, which had governed Japan since 1955, has only now addressed the gender disparity within the party.
Despite the party’s aims to become more gender-inclusive, the decision has come at a cost. The party’s secretary-general, Toshihiro Nikai, said that women who attended these meetings were notably “too talkative,” making the meetings drag on.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that female board members would observe but were not allowed to speak during the meetings. After the meeting, however, they would be allowed to submit their thoughts to the secretariat office.
They are afraid a woman might have better ideas than they do.
— Mortal Kombat Svenson (@dancedj2k) February 17, 2021
Tokyo 2020: Japan to appoint Olympic medallist to run Games committee after sexism row https://t.co/DUvLoYILFB
— The Guardian (@guardian) February 18, 2021
According to World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap report, Japan is rated 121st out of 153 countries, which is the worst ranking gap amongst advanced countries. As women make up half of Japan’s population, it is only fair that gender equity is reflected in the party that leads the nation.
The LDP’s political decisions have become somewhat of a laughing matter, with the rest of the world joining in on social media to share their disappointment from a G7 country.
Some days I feel incredibly positive about gender equality in the 21st Century.
Other days I read headlines like this from a G7 country.
Japan's LDP party invites women to 'look, not talk' at key meetings https://t.co/mnFPj26Tfa
— Birch HR (@BirchHR1) February 17, 2021