Cooperation with JICA

Cooperation with JICA

Event Report

FY2023 Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Eradicating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)"

Date:September 4 to October 11, 2023

 The National Women’s Education Center (NWEC) held a Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) course entitled “Eradicating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)” from September 4 to October 11, 2023, commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
 There were 14 participants representing governments and NGOs who are involved in SGBV measures. They work primarily in ministries related to women’s affairs, local governments, and civil society organizations including NGOs and NPOs. Participants joined from the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Republic of Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United Mexican States, the Mongolian State, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Solomon Islands, the Republic of South Sudan, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

 The curriculum consisted of an online orientation before coming to Japan and face-to-face programs in Japan. Through lectures on SGBV measures and visits to related facilities, participants deepened mutual understanding about ideal support systems based on the internationally standardized survivor-centered approach, measures and action plans related to SGBV policies in Japan and other countries, and initiatives taken by governments and private-sector organizations. During the latter half of the program, participants developed action plans to strengthen initiatives in their home countries, which they shared during the final presentation session.

1. Program Highlights

Online program before coming to Japan

 An online orientation was conducted via Zoom from September 4 (Mon) to September 6 (Wed). Participants from each country presented an inception report regarding the current situations of SGBV, SGBV policies, efforts being made for victim support, and good practices in their respective countries.

Programs after coming to Japan

September 26 (Tue) to 28 (Thu)

 The program began with an orientation and a keynote speech on international trends of SGBV by an expert. Lecturers from the Cabinet Office, the National Police Agency, and local governments offered a briefing on efforts Japanese national and local governments are making.

 Participants expressed opinions such as that international laws (including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) need to be linked to the protection of human rights in their respective countries, and that they reaffirmed the survivor-centered approach which is upheld in the Istanbul Convention.

alt Group photo with the keynote speech lecturer

 During groupwork to discuss causes of SGBV, participants raised issues common to each country, such as poverty, unemployment, social norms like patriarchy, stereotypes, lack of knowledge/education regarding SGBV, armed conflict, alcohol and drug dependence, gender inequality, and more.

 As examples of efforts being made by the Japanese government, the Cabinet Office presented gender equality measures taken by the government, and the National Police Agency presented their efforts toward tackling cases of sexual crimes/victimization and violence against women.

 Participants also visited the Tokyo Women’s Plaza to learn about efforts being made by local governments. At the Tokyo Women’s Plaza, they received a presentation from the director on efforts being made by local governments, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s gender equality measures and efforts related to violence against women.

alt Participant asking questions about victim protection during a lecture on efforts made by local governments

September 29 (Fri) to October 2 (Mon)

 Private-sector organizations working mainly on victim support gave presentations on efforts being made to support victims of sexual violence. These efforts cover topics such as consultations via telephone and social media, shelters, and independence support.

 During a visit to the Chiba Support Center for Sexual Assault (Chissat), related organizations (including a hospital, Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, the Chiba Prefectural Police, and a bar association) met and gave talks on efforts being made by their respective organizations. Participants showed strong interest in budgetary measures for support activities conducted by local governments. They were also interested in provision of support for mental care and social rehabilitation not only as an emergency response but also as medium- to long-term follow-up support, among other things.

alt Group photo during the visit

 During a visit to the General Incorporated Association Social Inclusion Support Center, participants received a briefing on accompaniment support for victims via hotline provided by the private-sector organization. During discussions, participants shared relevant examples from their respective countries. Topics included the introduction of hotlines available in their countries as well as various other example cases. This allowed everyone to engage in a lively exchange of opinions.

alt Group photo with the lecturers

 At Non-Profit Organization Women’s Net Saya-Saya, participants were introduced to efforts that the private-sector organization is making for the protection of women and children, as well as support aiming for their independence. Participants asked questions regarding cooperation with government agencies, efforts to support victims in the medium to long term, and effects on children of DV victims. Participants mentioned that they wish to practice techniques they learned, such as care for trauma recovery and workshops to express emotions, in their own countries.

October 3 (Tue) to 5 (Thu)

 Participants stayed at NWEC during the program. After a welcome address from the NWEC president, they received a presentation on “Life Safety Education” by an official from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

 Participants were highly interested in the topics of one-stop support management, and maintenance of cooperation with other organizations. These topics were raised during discussions on case examples in Japan that offer sustainable support for women in cooperation with various expert-affiliated organizations; a project for practicing the survivor-centered approach in Myanmar; and Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICEF)’s SGBV-countermeasure project in Zambia.

 During their stay at NWEC, participants exchanged opinions regarding action plans they would work on after returning home.

Group photo with the NWEC president and the lecturer

Experiencing Japanese culture in a tea room in NWEC

Participants doing the “COCONUT exercise” to relax

Giving thought to social oppression against women through an enlightenment activity called “Maya’s Story”

October 5 (Thu) and 6 (Fri)

 Several private-sector organizations gave talks that covered topics such as approaches being made to sexual minorities, initiatives toward SGBV victimization in a digital space, support for young women who feel they have no place they belong, and perpetrator programs.

 A lecturer from NPO Japan/Sexual/Gender Minorities Network for Social Inclusion gave a presentation on the current situation of LGBTQI+ affairs in Japan in comparison with international trends. Participants shared case examples from their countries and engaged in a lively exchange of opinions online.

 International human rights NGO Human Rights Now gave a talk on violence in cyber space, focusing on current situations and issues from a legal perspective. Non-Profit Organization PAPS (Organization for Pornography And Sexual Exploitation Survivors) gave a talk on efforts the private-sector organization is making to support victims of online sexual exploitation. Although victimization through online sexual exploitation is a relatively new issue, participants shared examples (such as instances of child pornography and online sexual exploitation) which demonstrated that measures need to be taken in their respective countries.

 A lecturer from General Incorporated Association AWARE held a workshop designed to spread awareness of gender-based privilege.
Participants visited Non-Profit Organization BOND Project, which supports young women. There, they received a briefing on the project's activities, which focus on reaching out to young women facing difficulties in life.

alt Group photo with the lecturers after the tour

October 9 (Mon) and 10 (Tue)

 On the last two days, information on initiatives taken by Plan International and All Japan Women's Shelter Network was provided, and participants presented their action plans. For ongoing issues in their countries, participants presented plans that included specific actions and implementation schedules in consideration of their respective job duties.

 At the closing ceremony on the final day, a certificate of completion was awarded to each participant.

alt Participants holding certificates of completion

2. Comments from the Participants

・It was very beneficial to visit various centers and organizations. I learned a lot, and I was surprised and impressed to know that these centers offer services not only to local residents but also to foreigners. There are a lot of things we can learn from this program, and I am looking forward to implementing some of them in my country.

・I am very pleased to have been given a chance to participate in this program as I came to know about the rich experiences of colleagues around the world, as well as Japan’s experiences in facing gender-based violence.

・Through this program on eradicating SGBV, I learned that the Japanese government is taking various approaches to support victims of domestic violence through assistance provided by administrative agencies and NGOs. There are many one-stop centers for victims in Japan, and these centers are working together very functionally with other partner organizations.

・Through this program, I gained deeper insights into what kinds of assistance and support Japan is offering to victims of gender-based violence.

 NWEC sincerely thanks all the individuals of the related ministries and agencies (the Cabinet Office and the National Police Agency), local governments (Tokyo and Chiba), international organizations, private-sector support groups, experts, and networks engaged in support activities, who offered a great deal of cooperation in setting up lectures, opinion exchanges, and visits for carrying out this seminar.

International Cooperation