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The World Economic Forum’s 2017 gender gap index ranks Japan 114th out of the 144 countries surveyed. Such a low ranking concerning women’s status in society is quite shameful for the world’s third-largest economy in terms of gross domestic product. The main reason for this poor performance is clear — the rate of women’s participation in politics remains too low.

It is perhaps our country that has the greatest need to introduce a quota system like France’s 2000 parity law, which stipulates that elections must have an equal number of female and male candidates. But demands for adopting such a system — which would be reasonable and natural — are rarely heard in Japan. Let us look at this deep-rooted problem from the viewpoint of feminism.

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