Japanese women achieved a significant milestone in the April 2021 local elections as they secured a record number of election wins. Nearly 23% of the 2,103 mayoral and gubernatorial seats were won by women, marking a considerable increase from the 16.8% won in the previous elections in 2019. This achievement highlights a growing push for gender equality in the country.
The progress toward gender equality has been driven by various factors, such as the increased participation of women in politics and the introduction of quotas. However, Japanese women still face challenges in politics, including harassment and discrimination towards women candidates and a lack of support and childcare facilities for women in politics.
Despite the challenges, the recent election results represent a positive step towards achieving greater gender equality in Japan. The country’s Gender Equality Bureau has set a target of having women occupy 30% of leadership positions by 2020, a goal that has yet to be achieved. However, the latest election outcomes suggest that progress is being made towards this target.
The election results are also likely to inspire more women to get involved in politics and contribute to creating a more gender-equal society. Overall, the progress made towards gender equality in Japan is a positive development and should be celebrated, while efforts should continue to address the remaining challenges.