Shinzo Abe’s ‘womenomics’ never took root

Japan, Sept 14 : As the Japanese prime minister ends his nearly eight-year run in office, one of the unfulfilled aspirations of his tenure is promoting women in the work force. Mr. Abe had found a name for his effort, “womenomics,” but many Japanese women say he did not go much beyond the slogan.

The Liberal Democratic Party moves toward picking a new prime minister today, but none of the contenders, including the front-runner, Yoshihide Suga, Mr. Abe’s chief cabinet secretary, are seen as likely to drastically change the environment for women. What the data says: Women hold less than 12 percent of corporate management jobs, well below Mr. Abe’s original 30 percent target.

And while the percentage of women in the work force rose during his tenure, to an all-time high of 52.2 percent, more than half of those women work in part-time or contract jobs that offer few career opportunities. The next prime minister: Some women hope that Mr. Suga will be slightly more in tune with their needs. In Yokohama, where he served on the City Council, he worked to reduce long day-care waiting lists. However, he has also made public comments that reflect traditional views about a woman’s role in society.

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