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'Eliminating misogyny' key to shaking up Japan's workforce: UNDP chief

Published on Jul 24, 2014 7:21 PM
 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark (right) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting, ahead of the Global Launch of Human Development Report 2014 at the United Nations University Headquarters in Tokyo July 24, 2014. Ms Clark said that Japan must work to "eliminate misogyny" if it wants to draw more women into the workforce as part of a wider bid to stimulate the economy. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan must work to "eliminate misogyny" if it wants to draw more women into the workforce as part of a wider bid to stimulate the economy, said the head of the United Nations Development Programme.

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark made the comments in an interview with AFP ahead of the release of the agency's 2014 Human Development Report in Tokyo on Thursday.

"Japan still has quite a low proportion of women in its parliament, amongst decision-makers, at the top corporate levels, so there are still some breakthroughs for the women of Japan to make," said Ms Clark, who is seen as a possible contender to succeed Mr Ban Ki Moon as the UN's secretary general.

Japan has one of the lowest rates of female workforce participation in the developed world and most economists agree it badly needs to boost the number of working women to grow its economy as the population rapidly ages.

 
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