LONDON: Japan came 121st in the World Economic Forum's global gender equality rankings for 2019, released Tuesday, down from 110th last year.
The fall mainly reflected lagging improvement of female representation in politics.
In the overall rankings by the Swiss think tank, Japan stood at the bottom among advanced nations, with the country's gender gap widening from the previous year.
While over six years have passed since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced a policy of promoting the empowerment of women as part of his government's growth strategy, the latest rankings suggested that the policy has made little progress.
Among 153 surveyed countries, Iceland topped the gender equality list for the 11th year in a row, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua, according to the rankings.
The United States came 53rd, China 106th and South Korea 108th.
Of those who held leadership positions in political, bureaucratic and economic circles in Japan, women accounted for just 14.8 percent, which ranked 131st.
In the political field, the proportion of female lawmakers in Japan ranked as low as 135th, standing at 10.1 percent.
Although Japan enacted a law in May 2018 to promote gender equality in the political field, under which parties are urged to make efforts to field equal numbers of men and women in elections, the WEF rankings showed that such efforts have not been enough to eradicate inequality.
The WEF survey examined gender equality in the fields of politics, economy, education and health, translating the results into indexes.