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Japan passes law to get more women into politics

AFP  |  Tokyo 

today passed a law to encourage female candidates to stand for in a country where women are vastly underrepresented in

Under the new law, political parties are urged to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible and are encouraged to set targets for gender parity. But the law includes no penalties for parties that fail to do so, nor incentives to encourage them.

has made increasing female participation in the workforce a key plank of his economic policies as struggles with a labour shortage. But only 47 of the 465 members of parliament's lower house are women, a ratio of 10.1 percent that puts behind and in terms of female government representation, according to the

"I hope this law will make a big change in Japanese politics," said Seiko Noda, who drafted the legislation, according to public broadcaster

"I hope women who were hesitant to become candidates will be courageous" and run for election, she said.

The law was put forward by a group of lawmakers, but reportedly faced opposition during the drafting process despite containing no penalties for non-compliance. Next year will hold regional in April and for parliament's upper house in July.

Japan ranked bottom among countries in the World Economic Forum's latest "Global Gender Gap Report", coming 114th worldwide.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 16:00 IST
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