WEF aims to close Japan's gender gap

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 10:02 hrs
WEF aims to close Japan's gender gap

Tokyo, Japan, Nov 22 (IBNS): The Japan Gender Parity Task Force, a World Economic Forum (WEF)-led initiative that aims to close Japan's economic gender gap by 10% in 3 years, was launched in Tokyo today in cooperation with the Japanese government, business and civil society leaders with a number of the Forum's Japanese Members and Partners.

With mounting evidence that closing the gender gap directly benefits companies' bottom lines and helps address serious demographic challenges, the goal of the Task Force is to help underpin Japan's long term economic competitiveness.

Specifically, it will do this by:

Addressing the challenges of economic gender disparity through a data-driven and systemic approach based on the specific country-level situation

Enabling collaborative interaction among a multi-stakeholder community of selected major organizations

Sharing and exchanging tested, successful interventions that have effectively closed the economic gender gap, through private sector or public sector initiatives

The World Economic Forum's annual Global Gender Gap Report ranks countries according to the magnitude of their gender gaps in four key areas - economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment and health and survival.

In the 2012 edition of the Report, published in October, Japan ranked 101st out of 135 countries in terms of the progress it has made towards achieving equality in these four areas, which emphasizes the size and scale of the challenge facing the Task Force.

"Women make up one-half of the potential human capital available in any economy and are increasingly equally or more educated than men in many developed and emerging economies," said Saadia Zahidi, Senior Director, Head of the World Economic Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme.

"In a world where talent is often more important than capital or other tangible assets, maximizing access to female talent should therefore be regarded as a strategic imperative for businesses," said Zahidi.

Nomura Holdings, Renault-Nissan Alliance and Takeda Pharmaceutical are Japanese Community Partners of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme of the World Economic Forum.

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