National / Politics

Japan ranks 113th worldwide in women in legislature after 2014 election, up from 127th place

Kyodo

Japan rose in a global ranking of the proportion of women in parliament over the past year — to 113th out of 190 countries, an international survey showed online Thursday.

While up from 127th place the previous year, Japan still remained last among industrialized countries, according to the Jan. 1 figures compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a global organization of national parliaments.

Among countries with bicameral parliaments, including Japan, figures for the lower houses were used. Japan’s House of Representatives election last December brought in more female lawmakers and raised the proportion of women to 9.5 percent from the previous year’s 7.9 percent, the largest percentage rise in 2014 among all 190 countries.

The number of seats in the chamber was reduced to 475 from 480 for the election.

Rwanda topped the table, with 51 women in its 80-seat lower house. Northern European countries made strong showings, with Sweden in sixth place and Finland in eighth.

Among industrialized nations, Germany came in 21st, France 45th, the United States 72nd and South Korea 84th.

“Although the percentage of women MPs (members of parliament) in the world has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, ambitious and concerted political action is needed globally to overcome the slow pace of progress to equality,” the Geneva-based IPU said in a statement.