Japan's huge army of under-employed ex-housewives
There are plenty of smart, educated women in Japan who could be driving the country out of its current economic slump to a stunning pandemic recovery. But the country's rigid hiring system — and male-dominated leadership — remain a huge hurdle, blocking women from the best-paid jobs.
The country risks becoming a nation of bored housewives with university degrees, warn critics. Japan's own deadline to significantly increase the number of women in leadership roles by 2020, quietly came and went at the end of last year without even getting close to its target.
Known as "Womenomics" and announced with great fanfare, Shinzo Abe's policy to create a "Japan in which women can shine" has largely failed. And not just because of Covid-19.
Today, there is just one woman for every 10 men in parliament, while fewer than 15% of senior private sector roles are held by women - half the original 2020 goal.