Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "womenomics" program, which aims to put more females in managerial positions in companies across the archipelago, ignores the most fundamental issue preventing women from being promoted within the workplace: sexism. Just encouraging companies to promote women isn't going to fix this problem.

Japan's sexism is infamous internationally, and I'd even rank it as one of the scourges of the nation. Fortunately, it's a problem that can be tackled through education. So why isn't anyone doing this?

Sexism is endemic in homes, schools, universities and workplaces. From a young age, boys see women objectified in manga, anime and the Japanese tabloid sports pages. Men grope women on trains and stalk them. With such treatment of women being so common, is it any wonder more career women aren't promoted to senior managerial positions? If women are denigrated outside the workforce, how are they supposed to survive and thrive within it — especially in a male-dominated workplace?