Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet reshuffle last week — which increased the number of female members from two to five — set a positive example for the world, according to the head of the United Nations agency working to empower women.

"Japan is getting to be one of the countries that are raising the bar in representation of women in decision making," Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of U.N. Women, said in an interview at her office on Tuesday. "We are very happy with the 'womenomics' of Japan."

The Abe government has set a goal of raising the proportion of women in leading corporate positions to 30 percent by 2020 as part of its economic growth strategy.