International Cooperation

International Seminar

Event Report

FY2012 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region

Date:October 18 to 27, 2012

The National Women’s Education Center of Japan held the 2012 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region on the theme of “Eradication of Violence Against Women” from October 18 to 27, and nine women from government organizations, NGOs and academic institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam) participated.

On arriving at the Center on Thursday October 18, the participants attended program orientation. After lunch, they had a lecture from Mr. Tetsuo Yamane, vice president of NWEC, on the history of NWEC, its function and programs, and visited the Information Center for Women’s Education and Women’s Archives Center.

alt 1. The participants with Vice President Yamane after the lecture

alt 2. Visit to the NWEC Information Center

On the second day (Friday October 19), the participants made a presentation of their country reports and discussed their approaches to eradicating violence against women in their countries. In the evening, they participated in an exchange meeting with members of Leadership 111, a group of Japanese women leaders, to strengthen ties with women leaders in Japanese companies.

alt 3. The participants with members of Leadership 111

On the third day (Saturday October 20), the participants visited Women’s Net Saya-Saya, and had a lecture from the director, Ms. Kazuko Matsumoto, and from Ms. Ritsuko Nomoto, director of the National Women's Shelter Network, on how to support women survivors to become independent. At the end of the program, one Japanese survivor shared her experience with seminar parti in parts.

alt 4. The participants with the staff of Women’s Net Saya-Saya

On the fifth day (Monday October 22), the participants enhanced their understanding of gender equality policy in Japan at the Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office, and paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In the afternoon, they traveled to Morioka City.

alt 5. Courtesy call to the Cabinet Office

alt 6. Courtesy call to MEXT

On the sixth day (Tuesday October 22), the participants visited the Morioka Women’s Center and had a lecture from its director, Ms. Yaeko Tabata, and from Ms. Keiko Hiraga, chair of Sankaku Planning Iwate, an NPO, about the function and role the Women's Center plays as the main facility to promote gender equality in the community. They also learned about the Center’s activities, including the project to deliver relief supplies to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, their support in resolving gender problems at the time of disaster, their assistance for rural women to be economically independent, lectures about violence by young people toward their dates, etc. They exchanged views with the staff in the Center and had a tour of the facility.

alt 7. The participants with the staff of the Morioka Women’s Center

alt 8. Visit to the facility of the Morioka Women’s Center

On the seventh day (Wednesday October 24), the participants went with Ms. Tabata, director of the Morioka Women's Center, to the disaster-struck Taro District of Miyako City to observe the Delivery Care Project and the project helping women affected by the Tsunami to generate income. They also talked with Tsunami victims now living in temporary housing, who are the beneficiaries of the project.

alt 9. The participants with a Tsunami victim in front of her temporary housing

alt 10. The personal shopping car named “Mederu-car,” that runs an errand for Tsunami victims, and its staff

On the eighth day (Thursday October 25), the participants had a lecture on the “Training Program for DV Counselors” and a presentation entitled “NWEC Research Brief: Trafficking in Persons in Japan”, both given by staff of the NWEC.

On the ninth day (Friday October 26), Ms. Asako Osaki of Gender Action Platform joined as an advisor and the participants reported what they had learned in the ten-day training program, and prepared presentation materials for the International Symposium the following day.

alt 11. The closing ceremony where participants received certificates

On the final day (Saturday October 27), the participants attended the 2012 NWEC International Symposium entitled "To Make a Society Without Violence Against Women a Reality" held in Tokyo, and representatives of the participants made a presentation about efforts to eradicate violence against women in Asian countries, and highlighted the issues and made policy recommendations.

alt 12. Introduction to Japanese culture (tea ceremony)

Taking time out of their busy schedules, the participants also had an opportunity to learn about Japanese history and culture. On October 26 (Friday), they participated in a tea ceremony organized by NWEC volunteers. They rose to the challenge of sitting Japanese-style in a traditional tea room for the first time, watched Japanese dances and experienced Japanese culture.

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International Cooperation