International Cooperation

NWEC Global Seminar

Event Report

FY2023 NWEC Global Seminar: Gender Mainstreaming & Strengthening Institutional Mechanism with Gender Perspective

Date:Thursday 25th January 2024

Place:Kasumigaseki Knowledge Square

National Women's Education Center of Japan will hold 2023 NWEC Global Seminar featuring "FY2023 NWEC Global Seminar: Gender Mainstreaming & Strengthening Institutional Mechanism with Gender Perspective".
An expert from Finland will give a keynote speech.

Front page of FY2023 NWEC Global Seminar

Back page of FY2023 NWEC Global Seminar

1. Objectives

 2023 is the midpoint of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. To achieve SDGs, gender equality promotion is critically important. The priority theme of the sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 68) is “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”. The gender mainstreaming & strengthening institutional mechanism with gender perspective and addressing poverty are the critical global common agenda. In line with this, the Act for supporting the women who are in difficult situation is enacted in Japan 2022.
 The seminar presents the keynote speech on the mechanism for promoting gender-equal society in Finland. It tops the SDG index three consecutive years according to the Sustainable Development Reports. Then, panelists deliver the talks on the latest survey findings on digital transformation, labor market, and gender gap in Korea, the survey results of promoting financial health towards financial inclusion and the gender responsive poverty measures in Japan. Following the presentations, the speakers from Finland, Korea and Japan will discuss the approaches for accelerating women's economic and social empowerment, and the role of gender equality centers in the panel discussion.

2. Theme

Gender Mainstreaming & Strengthening Institutional Mechanism with Gender Perspective

3. Organizer

National Women’s Education Center of Japan

4. Support

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office

5. Nominal Support

Embassy of Finland in Japan

6. Venue

Kasumigaseki Knowledge Square
 3F, West Building Shop & Restaurant, Kasumigaseki Common Gate, 3-2-1, Kasumigaseki,
 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

7. Date

Keynote Speech, Introduction of Selected Cases and Panel Discussion
(In-person and live streaming)
 From 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 25th January 2024 (JST)
On-demand videos
 From 9am on Thursday 1st to 5pm on Wednesday 14th February 2024 (JST)

8. Language

English (simultaneous interpretation with Japanese available)

9. Participants

Any individuals who are interested in the topic
(Around 25 individuals for in-person participation,
around 100 individuals for online participation)

10. Program

Keynote Speech
The Mechanism for Promoting Gender-Equal Society in Finland

Ms. Silla KAKKOLA, Secretary General, The Coalition of Finnish Womenʼs Associations (NYTKIS)

Panel Discussion
Digital Transformation, Labor Market, and Gender Gap in Korea

Dr. Jongsoog KIM, Senior Research Fellow, Korean Womenʼs Development Institute (KWDI) (Video)
Dr. Jiso YOON, Director, Center for International Development and Cooperation, Korean Womenʼs Development Institute (KWDI)

Key Findings from Research Project on Low-Income Single Mothers & Youth to Promote Financial Health in Japan

Dr. Kazuho TSUCHIYA, Senior Program Coordinator, Japan NPO Center

Gender Responsive Poverty Measures and Institutional Strengthening

Ms. Atsuko MIWA, Director, Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center(HURIGHTS OSAKA)

11. Application

Registration for the event is closed.

12. Participation Fee

Free of Charge

 On January 25 2024 (Thu), FY2023 NWEC Global Seminar was held at Kasumigaseki Knowledge Square (Chiyoda City, Tokyo) based on the theme of “Gender Mainstreaming & Strengthening Institutional Mechanism with Gender Perspective.”
 There were over one hundred participants from Japan and overseas, in-person and online joining the lively discussion.

〇Keynote Speech “The Mechanism for Promoting Gender-Equal Society in Finland” Silla KAKKOLA, Secretary General, The Coalition of Finnish Women's Associations (NYTKIS)

 The keynote speech was a wide-ranging introduction by Silla KAKKOLA that covered trends and current issues in gender mainstreaming in Finland. Based on active women's movements in Finland, the right to vote (in national elections) for women was realized in 1906, a first in Europe, as well as women's eligibility to be elected for office, the first in the world. Even when looking at things internationally, women's government participation in Finland has been proceeding from an early period. They also have strong systems for evaluating efforts for gender equality in the government, including Ombudsman, Unit, and Council for gender equality.
 Yet it can still be said that there are issues in Finland. One in three women has experienced intimate partnership violence or threats of it. And even though Finland is considered as a welfare state, because of gender segregation at work, the reality is that women’s pensions are 24% less than men’s. It is clear Finland and Japan share the same kinds of lingering issues.

 Ms. KAKKOLA belongs to the NYTKIS, which is an umbrella organization founded in 1988. The NYTKIS has had a strong impact on gender mainstreaming in Finland. They tackle both Finnish and international issues, and their goals are the achievement of true gender equality and the maintenance of world peace. In 2023, NYTKIS also promoted the establishment of the criminal code definition of rape based on the absence of consent.

 Ms. KAKKOLA quoted “Women’s rights are human rights.” She stated that it is important not to take rights gained for granted but to actively defend these rights.

Keynote Speaker Ms. Silla KAKKOLA

”Women’s rights are human rights”

〇Panel Presentations

 The panelist reports were on the current state of, and issues regarding, gender mainstreaming in South Korea and Japan in the economy, family finances, and care work, with recent trends such as the Pandemic and digital transformation as the background, as well as the latest efforts.

“Digital Transformation, Labor Market, and Gender Gap in Korea” (Video) Jongsoog KIM, Senior Research Fellow, Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI)

 Dr. Kim discussed the latest research results regarding the digital transformation in Korea as well as its influence on the labor market and gender gap.

 Now the digital transformation is progressing in Korea, but the current reality is that it is not necessarily leading to the dissolution of wage gaps between men and women. Reasons given for this include the skill gap, stereotypes, and gender segregation in the labor market. In Korea, the government is involved with policies regarding these issues. Dr. Kim reported that they are making efforts to encourage women entrepreneurs, implement digital training, and promote the participation and activity of women in STEM fields.

alt Dr. KIM reports on the current situation in Korea

“Key Findings from Research Project on Low-Income Single Mothers & Youth to Promote Financial Health in Japan” Kazuho TSUCHIYA, Senior Program Coordinator, Japan NPO Center

 Dr. TSUCHIYA reported on results from wide-ranging research that covered topics from income and expenditures in the household budgets to financial literacy of low-income single mothers.

 "Financial health" refers to “a measure of health regarding money, indicating a state of well-balanced income and expenditure, an ability to withstand some income fluctuation, and an ability to understand and utilize finance”. According to the survey, it is clear they are suffering economically and require support. However, there is a gap between government support and single mothers' needs. Dr. TSUCHIYA pointed out that it is important to acknowledge the financial difficulties borne by single mothers are issues of social structures, and that we need to provide comprehensive support to at-risk group with disabilities and eliminate the social isolation single mothers feel.

alt Dr. Kazuho TSUCHIYA

Gender Responsive Poverty Measures and Institutional Strengthening Atsuko MIWA , Director, Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA)

 Ms. Miwa reported on poverty measures and institutional strengthening from the perspective of “Care Economy”.

 “Care Economy” refers to the “provision of care and well-being of society firmly situated at the center of economic policies”. s Many women engage in non-regular employment in care work and were laid off during the economic recession due to the Pandemic, so “Feminization of Poverty” exacerbated around the world. The Pandemic led to increases in care work and economic worries due to temporary layoffs, and the number of women who committed suicide in Japan in 2020 and 2021 drastically increased. Ms. MIWA pointed out that this situation is against public good, and that the establishment of care systems that do not depend on unpaid work and the appropriate financing are necessary, upon fair recognition of care work.

alt Ms. Atsuko MIWA

〇Panel Discussion

 During the panel discussion, Dr. Jiso YOON (Director, Center for International Development and Cooperation, KWDI) participated. After a Q&A session, panelists offered proposals for gender mainstreaming.

 From the audience there was a question regarding advice for Japan, on the issue of paternity leave in Finland. Ms. KAKKOLA stated that in order to involve men in childcare, society must acknowledge men’s right to participate in childcare.

 Ms. KAKKOLA asserted that for gender mainstreaming, first of all, gender-disaggregated data is needed, as well as horizontal cooperation at all steps based on this data, from reforming of societal structures to actual policy implementation.

 Dr. YOON pointed out the need for people to understand that gender mainstreaming is a high priority job that governments should make efforts towards.

 Ms. MIWA proposed that for gender mainstreaming, incorporating gender perspectives in economic policy is important. Dr. TSUCHIYA proposed that there should be efforts towards reforms of societal structures, support for private organizations, and horizontal cooperation.

alt Panel Discussion

 Participants learned progressive efforts in Finland and the societal background that made them possible, as well as digital transformation in Korea and the current state of its impact on the gender gap.

 There are also many common issues among the three countries, which must be tackled by as global challenge we all face.

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