Vol.33 No1 November 2016
Forum on the Promotion of Gender Equality August 26(Fri.)~28(Sun.), 2016
Themed “Towards a New Tomorrow: Creating a Society for Everyone,” this year’s forum was held from August 26
through 28, with the attendance of more than 1,000 individuals from throughout Japan. The Forum was convened to
bring together pertinent government officials; representatives of women’s organizations, NPOs, universities and
corporations; and participants from the public to share challenges relevant to the theme and consider solutions. It also
sought to foster network building across organizations and fields.
In a special lecture entitled “30 Years After the Equal Employment
Opportunity Act: a New Tomorrow – Thinking about Women’s
Participation,” Ms. Ryoko Akamatsu (Chairperson, Japan
Committee for UNICEF, formerly Director General of the
Women's and Young Workers' Bureau at the Ministry of Labour,
later renamed Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) reflected on
the path forged to achieve legislation, and discussed perspectives
pertinent to enabling women to participate in various walks of life.
Explaining the importance of women’s participation in politics in
terms of ensuring women’s opinions are reflected in society and
getting bills passed through the Diet, she stressed the need for
introduction of a quota system.
Entitled “It’s Tough for Men Too! Reforming Men’s Ways of working and Work-life Balance,” the symposium focused
on reform of working styles, and discussed matters pertinent to creating a society that enables both men and women to
work and live comfortably. Explaining that the concept of families would change significantly over the next 20 years,
Coordinator Dr. Michiko Miyamoto discussed the importance of eliminating current perceptions of gender-based roles
from the perspective of family sociology. Panelist Mutsumi Ota, who was the first man to take childcare leave some 24
years ago, conveyed a message advocating the importance of creating a society that respects individual choice by
relating his own experience. Speaking from the standpoint of andrology, Panelist Dr. Toshiyuki Tanaka addressed the
Ms. Ryoko Akamatsu presenting a special lecture

NWEC Newsletter [2016], 1 (October) - 1/8