Well, there are a few policy barriers that can be taken down.

Certainly one that applies for women, and parents in general actually, is the effort to increase affordable child care and nursing facilities. Not just to spend money on it, which under Prime Minister Abe's leadership has actually happened, but also remove all the non-budget barriers.

So that's one.

Second, remove disincentives in the tax, in the social security systems, that discourage women and create the gender wage gap that I talked about earlier.

Third, implement corporate governance reforms to tackle excessive overtime. Now, this has begun, I know, and Prime Minister Abe is very much taking initiatives in that respect.

But all those policies will do nothing if the empowerment does not become part of the culture, and the attitudes that people have towards women participating in the workforce, in the economy, and bringing their incredible talent to collective benefits.

So social and cultural barriers have to change.

Men must join forces with women to fight for gender equality, to share their insight, both joys and struggles, and inspire each other to reach their full potential.

You know, I'll give you a final example of where things can change, not on the margin because I went through that myself.

In all companies, people who organize meeting could stop calling meetings after 6:00 PM, in order to encourage parents to actually look after their children and spend time at home.

Because a good balance between life and work for both mothers and fathers, for all parents, is actually good for productivity.

So that's a world where I think most young people want to live.

This is the world where they want, also, their children to grow up.

Christine Lagarde

*1 The 25% decline is against the scenario assuming that the 2012-2017 average growth rate continues in the future, not against the current real GDP. The 15% increase is against the assumption that real GDP would be reduced by 25% in 40 years, not against the current real GDP.

取材・文/羽生祥子(日経xwoman総編集長、日経ARIA編集長) 制作協力/守山ソフィア

男女不平等な日本の労働市場 経済成長は持続しない