Japan 101st in Global Gender Equality Rankings, Reactions

Japanese geisha wearing kimonos

When the World Economic Forum released the annual Global Gender Gap Rankings for 2012, Japan’s position out of 135 countries had fallen a further three places from 98th in 2011 to 101st, making it by far the lowest of the G8. While netizens commented on the article below in their thousands, with the top comments having more than twenty-thousand upvotes, the conclusions they draw are surprising. Rather than insisting that the position of women in Japanese society be improved and made more equal with that of men, some netizens suggested that the rankings favoured the Scandinavian countries that occupied the top positions. Furthermore, many commenters seem to imply that women and men are inherently different, and that women should just be housewives since it makes them happy. But do you think modern Japanese women are really content with being housewives? Or are there those who feel as though they can’t speak out against tradition?

From Yahoo!News.co.jp

World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2012

World Economic Forum Report: Japan Ranks 101st in Gender Equality

The World Economic Forum, known for hosting its annual meeting at Davos, announced rankings of social development, education, and gender equality on October 24. Out of 135 countries, Iceland continued to maintain first place as the country in which there was the least gender discrimination. Japan ranked 101st, falling three places from last year (98th), the lowest rank out of the G8 nations.

The survey was based on four areas; employment opportunities/salary, educational background, health/longevity, and political participation. In the combined rankings, the Scandinavian nations, where women’s social progress is well-established, occupied the top positions, with Finland ranking 2nd, Norway 3rd, Sweden 4th, and so on. Among the G8 nations, Germany was 13th, the UK was 18th, Canada 21st, and the USA 22nd.

Comments from Yahoo!News.co.jp


Japanese feminists have got gender equality all wrong. Originally, gender equality was thought of correctly as an awareness of social development and infrastructure in which women did not change into men. However, Japanese feminists are even trying to get rid of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’. For example, even if there is gender equality, the merits of specific gender characteristics are still needed.


I guess there are even disadvantages for women if everything is completely equal. Making it equal for women only when it’s convenient for them, hell, that’s just too convenient.


> Discrimination against foreigners is also terrible in Japan. Japan needs a bill on human rights!
Say what you really mean! They just want to take over, right?


In various countries, the concept of values is different, plus attaching a ranking to this kind of thing is in itself nonsensical. And I think that it is forcing Western values on Japan that is unfair.


Women-only carriages on the train, Ladies’ Day at the cinema, there are just so many strange things I guess there’s nothing we can do.


Aren’t they mistaking the meaning of equality? For example, there are also some families where the wife works and the husband stays at home. If the husband dies, there is a widow’s pension for the wife, but if the wife dies, there are no provisions; plus they have benefits for a single mother but not for a single father. Isn’t that strange?


It’s no use if every single thing is equal. For a start, men and women have different physiques.


I think it’s crazy that there is not much difference in salary between a woman who fiddles with her smart phone all day at work and a man who works on site and does office work.


The way societies are constructed varies, so as a rule we can’t really compare them, can we? There are plenty of women around who want to become housewives. Social development is not gender equality that takes the shape of something we can see; the criteria should be whether men and women have their chosen paths obstructed because of their gender. We shouldn’t just drag women into working society against their will for the sake of statistics when they long to be housewives.


Japan is mistaken about gender equality, and there is a heavy tendency toward protecting women. And Japan is a male-dominated society where it counts, so gender inequality is evident. We have no choice but to satisfied with these rankings.


In this kind of ranking, Christian/white nations get the top spots, while non-Christian/non-white nations rank lowest. It’s always the same old white triumph rankings.


Although they say that gender discrimination is wrong, there are too many women who start the gender discrimination themselves. For example, women who don’t even attempt to carry their own stuff if they have something that’s a bit heavy because they want to make it easier for themselves, and so they’re all like ‘I’m a woman so I can’t carry it.’ These bitches don’t have the right to talk about gender discrimination!! A real man will help those women who do their best to carry something even though it’s heavy, and he won’t even say a word.


I don’t know much about gender equality, but in Japan, there are a lot of people who are members of various religions as well as many who aren’t, there aren’t many countries where there is no animosity between religions, and people from different religions talk and laugh in the same room or in a shop, and can socialize with each other in a normal manner.


Wow, they have those kinds of rankings. How are they quantifying the level of equality numerically, I wonder?


Women are often strong within the family, though…


Let’s get rid of legal aliases for foreigners instead of thinking about gender equality


This type of survey is made so that the Scandinavian countries can come out on top.


Japan must revise the state of men’s employment, and not only focus on women’s social progress. The reason women tend to place emphasis on child-bearing and bringing up children is because their husbands can’t take time off the company for the birth and the upbringing of the child.


No such thing as equality exists in this world, and that includes equality between men and women.


The way we look at gender equality in Japan is weird. This is a bit of an extreme example, but there are facilities that have a ‘ladies’ day’ but there are virtually no facilities that have a ‘men’s day’.

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