International Cooperation

International Seminar

Event Report

FY2014 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region

Date:September 29 to October 3, 2014

The National Women's Education Center (NWEC) held its 2014 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region from September 29 to October 3 under the theme of ICT and Women's Empowerment, with the participation of nine women leaders from five countries in the Asia Pacific region (Cambodia, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), each of whom works in a national machinery or non-governmental organization.

alt 1.Country Report Presentation

On the first day of the Seminar, the group of participants attended the lecture on Creating Women’s Information by Ms. Reiko Aoki of Japan Women’s Watch. Afterward, they had a tour of the Information Center for Women's Education and Women's Archives Center. They presented country reports and poster sessions, sharing information on the latest gender equality policies in the five Asian countries and issues involved in the promotion of female engagement in the ICT field.

alt 2.Lecture by Ms. Aoki of the Japan Women's Watch

From day three of the Seminar, the venue shifted to Tokyo, where the participants attended lectures at Lighthouse: Support Center for Human Trafficking Victims, an organization working toward preventing sexual exploitation, and attended a lecture by Ms. Aya Nanashima to learn about actual conditions in Japan, such as that Japan is included on the Tier 2 Watch List in the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the U.S. State Department's Office to monitor and combat trafficking in persons and that the number of young women getting caught up in sex-related offenses through the Internet and LINE has been increasing recently.

alt 3.Lecture by Ms. Nanashima of the NPO Lighthouse Support Center for Human Trafficking Victims

In the afternoon, the group visited the Japan Association for Women’s Education (JAWE): after the lecture by the President Yasuko Muramatsu entitled ICT's from Gender Perspectives, the Chief of the association, Ms. Azusa Kurosawa, explained the history and operations of JAWE. Dr. Muramatsu’s statement that “I want to emphasize the term ICT, which places priority on communication between people, rather than IT, which is primarily used for industrial promotion” in particular, seemed to resonate with many of the participants, who nodded their heads approvingly.

alt 4.Lectures at the Japan Association for Women's Education

On the fourth day, Professor Rika Tanioka from the School of Letters, Department of Media Studies of Tokai University, gave a lecture titled “Media and Gender." This was followed by an active discussion about the fact that there are only a few women that hold administrative positions in Japanese media industry and the development of gender division of role depicted in TV commercials, while comparing conditions in Japan with other countries.

alt 5.Lecture by Prof. Tanioka

Afterward, the group moved to Kawagoe Girls' Senior High School in Saitama prefecture, which has been designated as a Super Science High School (SSH); after listening to a presentation of the school’s profile in English by Vice Principal Hiroshi Kuwahara, the participants were invited to observe various extracurricular activities to deepen their understanding of the Japanese educational systems.

alt 6.Visit to Kawagoe Girls' Senior High School in Saitama prefecture

On the last day, Ms. Yoko Kobayashi of NTT Communications Corporation introduced the company’s initiatives in “Support for Women in home-based employment by utilizing ICT.” Participants actively participated and asked questions about the company’s efforts taking employees’ diversified background, including single-parent households and persons with disabilities, into consideration.

alt 7.In front of the building of the Headquarters of NTT Communications Corporation

The participants were able to make good use of the spare moments between lectures and visits, taking the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture as well. They attended activities at the Tea Ceremony club at Kawagoe Girls' Senior High School to experience Japan’s traditional culture firsthand, and later went on a walkabout in Kawagoe to take in the cityscape of Ko-edo (little Edo), which retains its character from the Edo period, and exposed themselves to Japanese history.

alt Experiencing a tea ceremony at Kawagoe Girls' Senior High School

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who kindly agreed to host the participants during the Seminar, and to our lecturers.

Country Reports (PDF)

International Cooperation