Delegate Name: Nora Cowen
Women’s economic empowerment involves many aspects of the world’s economy and workforce. This idea focuses on women’s ability to participate equally in existing markets, their access to resources, control over their time, and beneficial participation in decision processes. 2.7 billion women are restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men, 104 economies have laws preventing women from holding certain jobs, 59 economies have no sexual harassment laws, and in 18 economies, husbands can prevent their wives from working. Globally, the labour force is made up of only 63% of women compared to 94% of men, aged 25-54. The wage gap is estimated at 23%, meaning women earn about 77% of what men earn. Men have a 5.5% unemployment rate and women have a 6.2% unemployment rate, meaning another unproportional statistic. All of this inequality towards women in the economy is unacceptable and the UN is working hard to move towards a more balanced system.
The Japanese government is working on creating an economy where “women shine”. From 1975, the Women’s Labour Force Participation has increased from 42.6% to 85.1 % in women aged 25-29. Also, the number of women joining the workforce increased by 3.3 million from 2012 to 2019. Japan is currently working on enforcing these policies surrounding women in the workplace: securing additional child care capacity for 140,000 children, increasing child care leave benefits from 50% to 67%, encouraging women education for women on maternity leave, providing women with leadership/executive training, and with the Tokyo Stock Exchange promote women’s economic success.
Japan has a goal for 30% of leadership positions to be held by women by 2020 and the government has pledged to donate 42 billion yen in assistance towards gender equality. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has presented a plan to assist and endorse the G7 Guiding Principles for Building the Capacity of Women and Girls and the Women’s Initiative in Developing STEM Career (WINDS). This is a global organization that has trained 5,000 women and assisted in the education of 50,000 women. The Japanese government has fully supported the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 surrounding women’s economic empowerment, as well as the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace and the Development Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Both of these focus on increasing women’s participation and accessibility within the economy. Japan has also hosted the WAW (World Assembly for Women) which focuses on female empowerment.