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Japan Ponders Gender Quotas for Women MPs

What's the Latest Development?

The Japanese government's recommendation that the nation consider mandatory quotas to get more women into public office highlights its poor progress in putting women in leadership positions. While the idea of gender-based quotas is controversial, such systems are credited with boosting the proportion of women in politics in Sweden, Norway and Germany.

What's the Big Idea?

The issue touches the much broader one of female participation in the Japanese economy. Goldman Sachs estimates that ramping up the number of women in the work force could boost Japan's G.D.P.growth by up to 15%. The lack of female leader role models is cited as one reason young women in Japan often quit working after their first child, alongside the paucity of day-care centers in the country.

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