Working women's environment in Japan remains poor

NHK -- Mar 09
An annual survey on the working environment for women shows that Japan ranks second from the bottom among the world's major economies.

The Economist magazine released its latest "glass-ceiling" index ahead of the International Women's Day on Monday.

The magazine ranks 29 of the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development based on 10 indicators such as labor participation rates and gender pay gaps.

Japan is in the 28th place due to the small number of women with decision-making power. The country has the lowest percentage of women in managerial positions and in parliament.

South Korea is at the bottom of the rankings.

The Economist says Japanese and South Korean societies still force women to choose family or career.

Sweden sits at the top of the rankings. The country has a relatively long paid leave both for fathers and mothers. Women hold more than 40 percent of managerial positions.

The United States is ranked 18th, up four places from last year. The improvement is attributed to a growing number of female managers, including the chief executive officers of financial firm Citigroup and major drugstore chain Walgreens.

The United Nations designated March 8 as the International Women's Day in 1975. Women in the US held a rally on this day in 1908 to demand the expansion of their rights.