Despite its catchy name and its importance to Japan’s economy, womenomics — a policy to empower women that has been advocated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — has not necessarily experienced a straight line of progress.

According to a recent report by Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs (who originally came up with the policy concept), although Japan has achieved several important improvements including its relatively high rate of female labor participation (71 percent), several chronic issues hamper the overall success of the policy. A dearth of female leaders and limited childcare capacity are two examples of such issues. In addition, the society’s continuing aging and the concurrent shrinking of the workforce population will have serious impacts on the economy over time; this makes the womenomics agenda very time-sensitive, Matsui says.

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