Amid a controversy that has pushed a female researcher against her research institution, it has been found out in a nationwide study that only one out of seven scientists in Japan are women. The figure, in spite of being the highest record in a country where females are only recently given a much bigger role in society, still pales in comparison with other developed countries.
In a survey conducted by the Internal Affairs Ministry in March 2013, the number of female scientists has increased by 0.4 percent from the previous year. There are currently 127,800 female scientists in the country, which makes up 14.4 percent of the nationwide total. Many from Japan would consider it significantly high already. “Compared with 10 years ago in 2003, the pace increase in the number of female scientists surpasses that of males in all organizations,” according to the ministry.
However, it remains to be one of the lowest among first world countries according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2012, Russia had 41.2 percent, while Britain registered 37.7 percent in 2011, along with Italy’s 34.9 percent. The United States had 33.6 percent in 2010. Japan’s personal best still remains lower than Germany, France and South Korea’s records in 2011. Haruko Obokata from Japan has been gaining popularity in recent months after her groundbreaking stem cell research, which has been published in the British journal Nature, was found to have used false data. Media coverage on Obokata has focused mostly on her gender and feminine charms, rather than on the work she has done.
[via Business Standard]