Women in Japan

Current Roles and Expectations

Friday, 3 December 2021

16:00 – 18:00 JST / 08:00 – 10:00 CET

Women in Japan

Current Roles and Expectations

Friday, 3 December 2021

16:00 – 18:00 JST / 08:00 – 10:00 CET


The achievement of gender equality, which is ensuring that men and women enjoy the same rights, is the basis of fundamental human rights and essential to the nature of democracy. With the movement for gender equality gaining momentum around the world, the gender situation in Japan is drawing attention both domestically and internationally.

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Japan’s overall gender gap ranking is 120th out of 156 countries. In particular, Japan is lagging behind in economic participation and opportunity for women, where it ranks 117th, and in their political empowerment, where it ranks 147th. The Japanese government attempted to implement effective gender policies for a number of years, culminating in the 2015 enactment of the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace. In 2003, the central government set the goal of increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2020 (the so-called “2020-30 policy”). However, on 17 July 2020, the government announced the abandonment of this strategy. Acknowledging that it would be “impossible” to achieve their objective of 30% by the target date, government officials postponed the date of fulfilment of its objective from the original date of 2020 to “as early as possible and by 2030 (at the latest)”. This illustrates the failure of Japan’s gender-related policies, something that is also highlighted by the year-on-year decline of Japan's gender gap index rankings.

Against this background, KAS Japan will hold a series of events titled, “Women in Japan,” to explore current developments in Japan's gender environment. Although Japan faces a variety of gender-related issues, our event series will concentrate specifically on the political and economic fields, where the Japanese government has been focusing policy efforts for some time without significant success, and where Japan lags behind other countries. We will also address social issues which might be underlying contributory factors in these areas. 

In the first of our series, the “Women in Japan: Current Roles and Expectations” webinar will focus on providing an overview of the current gender environment in the three sections of politics, business, and society.


Programme & Speakers

Women in Japan

Current Roles and Expectations

16:00 JST

Opening Remarks

8:00 CET

Rabea Brauer

Rabea Brauer

Country Representative,
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Japan

Shiori Kanno Photo Credit: Shunichi Oda

Shiori Kanno

Former Member,
House of Representatives of Japan (3 terms, 10 years)
Chair, International Humanity Platform

Women in Politics

What are the obstacles to women’s participation in politics in Japan?
What needs to be done for women to participate in politics?
Seiko Noda

Seiko Noda

Member, House of Representatives (LDP)/
Minister of State for Gender Equality, Japan

Mari Miura

Mari Miura

Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Law,
Sophia University

Women in Business

Why is the percentage of women in management positions so low in Japan?
What needs to be done to increase the percentage of women in management positions?
Keiko Hamada

Keiko Hamada

Journalist and Former Editor in Chief,
Business Insider Japan

Machiko Osawa

Machiko Osawa

Labour Economist and Professor Emeritus,
Japan Women's University

Women in Society

What cultural and social factors have contributed to the lack of progress in changing the
gender situation in Japan? What can we do as a society to promote gender equality in Japan?
Kiriu Minashita

Kiriu Minashita

Poet and Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Economics,
Kokugakuin University

Chizuko Ueno Photo Credit: Katsuo Sugano

Chizuko Ueno

Sociologist, Gender Studies Specialist and Professor Emeritus,
University of Tokyo


18:00 JST

Event Conclusion

10:00 CET

Please register using the
link below:

If you would like to send your questions for the speakers ahead of the event,
please send an email to kas-tokyo@kas.de
by Tuesday, 30 November 2021
(17:00 JST/9:00 CET).

Event Hashtag

Data Protection Compliance

For this virtual event, the video conference program "Zoom" will be used. “Zoom" is a service of Zoom Video Communications, Inc., based in the USA.

For participation, it is necessary to register with your real name on Zoom. In order to conduct this online event, Zoom will process your data.
Processed data includes your full name as well as the following information provided by you, e.g.:
- Phone number, if you use your phone for participation, or
- Video and/or voice statements, if you actively participate in the discussion, or
messages, if you use the chat function.

Zoom potentially processes your data in the United States as well. Since the decision of the European Court of Justice on July 16, 2020, the US has been considered a country with insufficient levels of data protection (monitoring by US authorities with no sufficient judicial review) by the EU.

The whole event, including questions, chat, messages and voice statements will be recorded and uploaded to the KAS Japan YouTube channel. Additionally, we will report on the event and may publish pictures, video excerpts and statements in KAS Japan - media including social media such as Facebook, and the KAS website. Your personal data will also be saved in the KAS data base, processed and possibly forwarded to the partners of this event.

The legal basis for the processing of the data is based on Article 6, paragraph 1 (a) and Article 49 (1) lit a) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By participating in this event, you are consenting to the above. You can revoke your consent at any time without giving reasons with effect for the future by sending a message to Naoki Takiguchi (naoki.takiguchi@kas.de)

You have the right to access, rectify and delete according to Article 15-20 GDPR and the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.


For further enquiries, please email us at: