By Nina Montagu-Smith
When Satsuki Katayama was appointed as the sole female minister in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new cabinet in 2018, she immediately came face-to-face with the practical obstacles facing women in leadership positions.
Just before the declaration ceremony to mark the new government, Katayama was informed she was not dressed correctly for the occasion. Imperial Palace dress code stipulates that women must wear long dresses. So while the men spent the time before the ceremony relaxing and schmoozing with their fellow parliamentarians, Katayama hastily rushed out to find a more suitable outfit - just because she is a woman.
It is easy to dismiss such incidents as small annoyances, but when they occur on a daily basis they act as roadblocks and barriers to women assuming leadership positions. While women have made strides, particularly in advanced capitalist societies, this is still a new game for them - especially women of colour.
Click here to read the full article published by Aljazeera on 12 August 2020.