International Cooperation

International Seminar

Event Report

FY2015 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region

Date:September 28 to October 2, 2015

The National Women's Education Center (NWEC) held an international seminar, the "2015 Seminar for Gender Equality Officers and Women Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region" on the theme of women's entrepreneurship and economic empowerment between September 28 and October 2. Ten women leaders who work for national machinery and NGOs in their countries participated from five Asian countries (Cambodia, India, the Philippines, Myanmar and Viet Nam) in the 2015 Leader Seminar.

The seminar participants visited the Information Center for Women's Education and the Women’s Archives Center in NWEC, presented country reports and held a poster session to share the latest information on gender equality policies and issues in supporting the financial independence of women.

alt 1. Visit to the Information Center for Women's Education

alt 2. Country Report presentations 

During the latter half of the schedule, participants visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and studied Japanese government policies for supporting the continuous employment of women, such as Nadeshiko Brand companies and Diversity Management Selection 100.

In Japan, entrepreneurial activities by women in rural areas have been on the increase since the second half of the 1990s. Prof. Sumiko Abe, the chairperson of the Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association, presented in her lecture the income generation activities of women in Japan through the sale of processed agricultural products at "Michi no Eki" (Roadside Station).

alt 3. Lecture by Prof. Abe

Gender Equality Centers play an important role in supporting women's entrepreneurship in Japan. At the Gender Equality Center of Yokohama, the Women Entrepreneurs UP Room coordinator was invited as a guest lecturer, and opinions were exchanged with the participants about women's motives for starting a business and issues in continuing the business based on many consultation cases of UP Room.

alt 4. Exchanging opinions at the Gender Equality Center of Yokohama

On the last day of the seminar, participants visited Showa Women's University where President Mariko Bando gave a lecture on the history of Gender Equality Promotion in Japan. The participants learned about the Career College Entrepreneurship and Business Creation Course, which began at the university in 2013. Presentations were made by the women entrepreneurs who completed the course, followed by active discussions while comparing the situations in the respective countries. After the closing ceremony, participants departed for their countries on October 3.

alt 5. Lecture by President Mariko Bando of Showa Women's University

alt 6. Closing Ceremony

The outcome of this seminar will be published as the "2015 Leader Seminar Report," where best practices of supporting women's participation in the economic field in the participating countries and Japan will be presented.

The flash report of the seminar and participant messages (in English) are also published on the National Women's Education Center of Japan Facebook page.

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