Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) proposes allowing female legislators to join key party meetings as spectators. It shows that party’s male-centric views have not changed despite the Mori controversy, say twitter users.

Japan’s ruling party has said, it wants women to attend key meetings but only if they do not talk. The female observers will not be allowed to speak during the meetings, but will be able to submit their opinions separately to the secretariat office, the daily newspaper Nikkei reported. Under the new proposal, five female legislators will be allowed to join the party’s main meetings as observers as it is important for the party’s female members to look at the party’s decision-making process.

Toshihiro Nikai, the party’s secretary-general, said on Tuesday, “It is important to fully understand what kind of discussions are happening. Take a look, is what it is about.” He also said that he had heard criticism about party’s board being male-dominated.

Having female legislators as spectators at meetings has drawn criticism on social media.

“I think it’s probably time to be asking questions as to why it is that we feel that men in their 70s or 80s are able to fulfil these roles better versus a man in their 40s or 50s, or a woman,” Belinda Wheaton, a cultural sociologist at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, told Reuters.

Japanese politician Yoshiro Mori, who served as Prime Minister of Japan between April 2000 and April 2001 is known for making controversial statements, both during and after his premiership. He has also served as the President of the Japan Rugby Football Union as well as the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union. In 2014, he was appointed to head the organizing committee for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics but he has to resign in February 2021, amid worldwide outrage over derogatory comments he made about women, claiming they spoke too much at meetings and made them too long.

The 83-year-old former Prime minister’s remarks highlighted deep-rooted sexism within Japanese society and made people question. Japan is ranked 121st out of 153 countries on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, the worst among advanced countries. Women’s economic participation and political empowerment is scored very poor.

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