Japan ranked second from last among developed nations with regard to the role and influence of women in the workforce for the seventh straight year, according to an index compiled by British magazine The Economist.
The index for 2022, published ahead of International Women's Day on Wednesday, assessed working conditions and other factors affecting female participation in 29 of the 38 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Iceland ranked first, followed by Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Japan ranked 28th and South Korea 29th, both unchanged in the annual survey since 2016, with the magazine noting that women in the neighboring countries "must still choose between a family or a career."
The glass-ceiling index, published Monday, assessed mostly North American and European countries along 10 metrics, including the gender pay gap, education and participation in the workforce.
The survey showed that Japan had the most favorable paternity leave conditions among all the countries assessed.
But Japan ranked worst for the number of women in a lower or single house of parliament at 10 percent, while the survey showed that the average number of women in parliament in OECD countries had increased from 28 percent in 2016 to 34 percent in 2022.
Japan also ranked far below average for other indicators such as the gender pay gap and female representation in senior managerial roles.
The Nordic countries topped the list due to high-quality parental leave systems and flexible working conditions, according to The Economist.
Among other major economies, France ranked 6th, Britain was 17th and the United States was 19th.
In the bottom five, Israel ranked 25th, Switzerland was 26th and Turkey was 27th.
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