GENEVA – Japan has one of the worst levels of gender equality in the developed world, below that of Tajikistan and Indonesia, coming in 104th out of 142 assessed countries in 2014, according to a study released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum.
It rose one notch from 105th in 2013, the WEF said, citing slight improvement in areas such as women’s pay. It noted, however, the percentage of female lawmakers remains one of the worst of any nation.
The gender gap report by the Swiss organization was compiled based on data earlier this year and therefore did not take into account Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appointment in September of five female ministers.
The WEF said economic equality between men and women will not be achieved globally for another eight decades.
The report says women’s achievements and opportunities in the workplace are 60 percent those of men, up from 56 percent in the first such report in 2006. On this basis, parity will be achieved only in 81 years.
“Much work still remains to be done,” said Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF’s gender-parity program and lead author of the report. “The pace of change must in some areas be accelerated.”
“Achieving gender equality is obviously necessary for economic reasons,” said Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chairman. “But even more important, gender equality is a matter of justice.”
The report analyzes women’s status in the economy, education, politics and health.
Iceland topped the list for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Finland and Norway, also unchanged from the previous year.
The United States ranked 20th, China 87th and South Korea 117th.
Japan ranked 37th in the health and longevity category, 93rd in educational attainment, and 102nd in economic participation and opportunity.