- The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has announced they are now allowing more women to attend their board meetings.
- In the proposal, women will be permitted to “observe” during meetings but not to speak.
- The female lawmakers can only submit their opinions to the secretariat office after the gathering.
Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has sparked controversy after allowing more women to attend their key meetings – but they are not allowed to talk.
According to reports, five female legislators are now permitted in the ruling party’s all-male board meetings. The catch, however, is that they have to stay silent the entire time. And they can only share their opinions, if they have any, after the gathering by submitting them to the secretariat office.
Women are invited – but only to observe.
The dominant party in the country since 1955, LDP made the proposal to allow female lawmakers in their meetings to address criticism that the board is primarily composed of elderly men. Apparently, 2 of the 12 board members are women. In addition, 3 of the 25 general council members are also women.
LDP’s secretary general Toshihiro Nikai said that since female members of the party are now invited to observe, they will get the chance to see the decision-making process.
The 82-year-old official said:
“It is important to fully understand what kind of discussions are happening. Take a look, is what it is about.”
Unsurprisingly, the party’s move has been heavily bashed both by the opposing party and the general public.
For example, a Twitter netizen said:
“Male chauvinism and discrimination against women is always part of the LDP.”
Based on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, Japan ranks 121st out of 153 countries – which means the country has the lowest rank among advanced countries when it comes to gender parity.