Survey highlights struggles faced by Japan's female politicians

World News


Survey highlights struggles faced by Japan's female politicians


Noriko Suematsu, mayor of Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, speaks in an interview at Suzuka City Hall in October. | KYODO

TSU, MIE PREF. – Female politicians and leaders in Japan are more likely to face gender bias and sexual harassment than their male counterparts, with their competence often questioned regardless of past experience, a recent survey by Kyodo News covering female heads of municipalities found.

Among 1,741 municipalities across the nation, only 43 are headed by women. In the survey carried out between October and November, 41 of the 43 female mayors responded, with half of them saying they felt it was difficult running for office.

Among the reasons cited were opposition from their family members, difficulties in balancing long hours of campaigning and their private lives, a discriminatory attitude among voters that mayors should be men, and online insults and actual harassment by voters and assembly members.

Click here to read the full article published by Japan Times on 5 January 2023.