Press Release | 01 Nov. 2017

At women’s empowerment event, Japan urged to step up reforms


Japan could lead the global drive for greater gender equality but the country needs to step up its reforms, according to female world leaders who gathered at a symposium on women’s empowerment in Tokyo Wednesday. “It would not be the first time in history when Japan would come from behind to overcome everybody,” Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s first ever chief executive officer, said in her keynote speech at the fourth World Assembly for Women in Tokyo. She was referring to Japan’s economic growth in recent decades and its path to becoming the world’s third-largest economy. “Bringing women in Japan to full participation would mean a 9 percent bigger GDP, in other words, a richer Japan,” Georgieva said. She said that empowering women would be crucial to reduce the global financial gender gap estimated at between $5 trillion and $7 more