Japan’s Kishida vows to ‘work harder’ to fix gender pay gap | Business and Economics

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Japan has the widest gap between men’s and women’s wages in the G7, despite government efforts to tackle gender inequality.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to “work even harder” to tackle gender inequality, including one of the world’s worst gender pay gaps, in remarks to mark International Day to celebrate Women.

Kishida said on Wednesday that it was “imperative” for Japan to close the pay gap, hire more female officials and reverse the trend of women taking lower-paid contract jobs after giving birth.

“We will continue to review parts of our tax system that prevent women from entering the workforce, and introduce systems in which it is easier than it has always been for men and women to take childcare leave,” Kishida said in a video speech.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said more needed to be done as Japanese women still found it “very difficult” to balance work and household responsibilities. despite some improvements in women’s working conditions.

Japan has the widest gender pay gap in the Group of Seven, with Japanese women in 2020 on average earning about 75 percent as much as men for full-time work.

Despite efforts by successive Japanese governments to tackle gender inequality, Japan ranked 116 out of 146 countries for gender equality in last year’s World Economic Forum global report and 104 of 190 countries in the latest World Bank report on women’s economic opportunities.

Last year, the Kishida administration introduced regulations requiring companies with 301 or more employees to disclose pay differences between male and female workers.

Tokyo last month announced proposals to overhaul the country’s sex crime laws, including raising the age of consent from 13 to 16, criminalizing minors and expanding the definition of rape.

Female CEOs lead less than 1 percent of companies on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to Tokyo Shoko Research, although the proportion of women in lower-level management positions has increased in recent years. .

Only 45 of the 465 legislators in Japan’s lower house of parliament are women. After last year’s elections, a record 64 women entered the 248-member upper house.

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