The World’s Most Powerful Women: September 16

The TV star-turned-politician who goes by the single name Renho made good on her bid to make history yesterday, winning the contest to become the first female leader of the opposition Democratic party in Japan.

The victory that makes her a potential prime minister candidate could be a watershed moment in Japan, where women constitute less than 15% of Parliament and PM Shinzo Abe is trying to stimulate the economy by getting more women into the workforce. Last year he cut his target for female representation in leadership from 30% in 2020 to 7% in 2021.

The gender imbalance in Japanese politics is due in part to men’s tendency to do little more than pay lip service to female candidates and office-holders, according to The New York Times. Male politicians voice their support for women but in reality favor other men. Female politicians, meanwhile, are still judged mainly on their looks.

There was fear that in order to prove her political chops, Renho would have to emulate this sort of macho behavior and downplay women’s issues. But at times, she’s indicated her intent to do just the opposite. She’s said she wants to help more women get elected to Parliament and has advocated for the right for married women to keep their maiden names—which is still illegal in Japan. Plus, she’s acknowledged her history-making ride outright on her website: “As the first woman leader, I would like to break the glass ceiling.” Yesterday she did just that.



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Austrian sociologist Edit Schlaffer has developed a course that teaches mothers how to identify signs of radicalization in their own their children. "Mothers will make this world safe for us all," she says. Time


The markets love Merkel
Angela Merkel's popularity is waning among German voters, but she has support in at least one arena: the financial markets. "Merkel quitting would leave a significant vacuum," one economist said, and “the market reaction would be quite negative."



Early entrepreneurs
Fortune's new 18 Under 18 list that features young innovators who are changing the world includes six girls ages 11 to 16. The youngest, Mikaila Ulmer is founder and CEO of Me & The Bees lemonade, which uses flaxseed and local honey as sweetener and is sold in Whole Foods and Wegmans grocery stores.

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Female and minority employees at Apple are accusing the company of tolerating a "toxic" workplace environment, where offensive behavior such as rape jokes is allowed and complaints about it are ignored. The company says it is committed to treating everyone with dignity and takes such allegations seriously.


Freshening up the resume
Japan Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, a hard-liner who's made controversial remarks about Japan's actions in World War II, made her first visit to the U.S. to meet with Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday in what is seen as an attempt to update her image as PM Shinzo Abe grooms her as his successor.
Washington Post

Go home already
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is making good on her pledge to crack down on the normalization of overtime, which disadvantages women workers. This week she told some government employees to work no later than 8 p.m. in hopes the approach will translate to the private sector.
Japan Today


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PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi on how to keep women on the leadership track.

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