On the occasion of the visit of Ms. Annemarie Jorritsma, Former Vice-Prime Minister of the Netherlands and current Mayor of Almere, we have the honour to invite you to the following seminar.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Political Section


Women in Public Office – Showing the Way to a Better Work-Life Balance?

A seminar on the promotion of gender equality

Of all OECD member countries Japan scores worst in almost all categories concerning gender equality. The current Abe government recognizes the need to tap the potential of the female workforce in its bid to revive the Japanese economy and set it on a sustainable course. How to forge change? Where to begin? Is it about empowering women, or does it go deeper and touch on the traditional roles of men and women, husbands and wives and fathers and mothers? Do women currently holding public office have an extra responsibility to move the debate forward? Or even to show what can be done?

This seminar hopes to further the debate on gender equality in Japan and maybe even come up with concrete proposals in that regard. The key-note speakers are well-known women who hold high level public offices in their respective countries. They will share their experiences as working women and their ideas for promoting gender equality. A panel of renowned experts will be asked to provide comments.  The audience will consist of (young) women and men either in business or public office actively looking to balance their ambitions with the demands of their private and work lives. Ultimately this seminar hopes to empower them and to identify change agents.

Date:              27 September

Time:              14.30 – 18.00 hrs.

Place:             Kikai Shinko Kaikan (seminar) http://www.jspmi.or.jp/kaigishitsu/access.html (Jp)

3-5-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011

Netherlands Residence (reception) http://japan-jp.nlembassy.org/locations

Language:      English and Japanese (En-Jp/Jp-En simultanious translation provided)

Key-note Speakers:

Ms. Annemarie Jorritsma, Mayor of Almere (since 2003), President, Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG), Formerly Vice Prime-Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs (1998-2002) and Transportation, Public Works and Water Management (1994-1998)

Ms. Yuriko Koike, Member of Parliament (Liberal Democratic Party), Formerly Minister of the Environment and Minister in Charge of Global Environmental Problems (2003-2005), Special Adviser to the Prime-Minister on National Security Affairs (2006), Minister of Defense (2007)

Ms. Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai (2009, reelected in August 2013), Vice-Mayor of Sendai (2007-2009), Head of the Board of Education of Sendai (2005-2007)


Ms. Kaori Sasaki, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ewoman, Inc.


Yoko Ishikura, Professor, Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University

If you wish to attend this seminar, please send an e-mail with your name, function and organization to:

tok-pa@minbuza.nl before Friday 20 September.

You can also use this e-mail address for further inquiries, or call the Embassy at (03) 5776-5405.

by M.OGAWA 09/26/2013


5th Ewha Global Empowerment Program 2013 Winter
“Transnational Feminisms and Women’s Activism”

January 12 ~ 26, 2014

Ewha Womans University
Seoul, South Korea

Application Submission: September 30 ~ October 13, 2013


EGEP is a two-week residential educational program that takes place twice a year (summer and winter) offered by Ewha Womans University. According the MOU between Ewha Womans University and UN Women, this program aims to promote education for women and gender equality in Asia and Africa by empowering women working in non-governmental public sectors and by nourishing the next generation of women leader.

Program Goals     On completing this program, participants will have:
 improved their theoretical knowledge and practical capacities from a gender perspective;
 broadened their understanding of women’s lives, women’s issues, and women’s rights in Asian and African contexts; and
 strengthened their leadership capacities to build women’s solidarity and cooperation in local, national, and transnational contexts.

Programs     While a more specific EGEP curriculum will be provided separately, the following are the major activities that participants may expect from the program:
 Lecture Seminars
 Open Forum
 Action plans
 Social Hours
 Study Tours to Korean NGOs
 Cultural Events

Eligibility     With minimum three years of experience, women activists working in international and national non-governmental public sectors in Asia and Africa, such as NGOs, NPOs, civil society organizations, including individuals working independently are encouraged to apply for this program.

Number of Participants: 20~25

Selection Criteria     The selection committee will evaluate the applicants based on the following criteria:
 field experience 25%
 expertise in women’s issues 25%
 potential as next generation of women leaders 25%
 contribution to the community 25%

Application Requirements

 Application Form
 Curriculum Vitae
 Statement of Purpose
 Letter of Recommendation
 A Scanned Copy of Passport

Language     English is the official language of the EGEP.

Funding     Ewha Womans University provides the funding to cover fees for the tuition, dormitory, and a two-week allowance for all the participants. Funds for airfare will be awarded only to the participants from ODA beneficiary countries.

Contact Us     For more information, please visit the website of the organizing institution, Asian Center for Women’s Studies, at
http://home.ewha.ac.kr/~acws/eng/ or contact us via email at egep@ewha.ac.kr.


  1. Application requirements should be submitted online (http://egep.ewha.ac.kr).
  2. All forms are downloadable at the Asian Center for Women’s Studies (http://home.ewha.ac.kr/~acws/eng/).
  3. Successful candidates will be informed individually via e-mail on November 15, 2013.
  4. Every selected participant is required to submit a 5-page paper regarding women and/or gender issues which will be presented in the Forum.
  5. The email inquiries received during Chuseok, the Korean thanksgiving days from September 18 through 22, will be attended to after the end of the holiday.

by M.OGAWA  09/26/2013


Film Screening Leonie and The Director's talk

Event Title: Film Screening Leonie and The Director's Talk
Event URL: Film Screening Leonie and The Director's Talk
Organizer: The Group of watching Leonie in Osaka / Osaka Gender Equality Foundation
Organizer's URL: http://www.ogef.jp/
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Time: 10:30-16:30
Venue: Dawn Center (Osaka Prefectural Center for Youth and Gender Equality) Hall
Venue URL: http://www.dawncenter.or.jp/shisetsu/map.html
Contact Information: 06-6910-8624 Osaka Gender Equality Foundation


 "Mother, I'm going to take this child to the country called Japan."
The true life story of Leonie Gilmour, an American woman, who gave birth to a son: Isamu Noguchi, the world renowned sculptor, and lived through quite an eventful life herself.
Crossing the border, and transcending time, this emotional masterpiece reaches the hearts of people around the world.
Overseas distribution version is on screen for the first time in Kansai!
★Official website for Leonie is here.

What acclaimed director Hisako Matsui decided to challenge as her third film was the life story of Leonie Gilmour, the mother of Isamu Noguchi.She had already moved total two million audiences with her former works, Yukie and Oriume which describe the bond of family. 
Director Matsui had read the book  Masayo Duus’The Life of Isamu Noguchi and impressed very much. Then she spent seven years working through fourteen drafts of the screenplay and making the film.

On this day, we invite Director Matsui to talk about her feelings and messages of Leonie.

~Screen Time~
10:00 Doors open
10:30 Director Matsui talks
11:10 Screening starts

13:30 Doors open
14:00 Director Matsui talks
14:40 Screening starts

Original Article on the WAN Website (September 4,2013)
Translated and Adapted by T. Muramatsu 


"Circumvention Housing": Increasing Female-Only Housing

 ---Former Resident with Low Income and No One to Depend on---

(Newspaper Article from Mainichi Newspaper Dated August 5, 2013)

With regard to the cramped and dangerous circumvention housing,” female-only 
housing has increased. The leasing agencies and landlords claim that there are 
“fewer troubles than those properties leased to men” and women are being targeted 
in current living situation caused by the severe employment conditions. A 33-year 
old woman who lived one year in such a facility until this March agreed to the 
interview. The size of the rooms is two tatami mat (approx. 3 sq. meters), a poor 
environment with rats and mice running around. However, circumvention housing 
was imperative for survival” she said. But I wonder if there weren’t any other 
alternative.  [Takahiro Kato]

The place the woman lived was a “Women-only Share House” in Kami-ochiai, 
Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo. This housing was renovated from a two-story house
partitioning 14 rooms with walls that dont reach the ceiling. Monthly rent is 
20,000-30,000 yen per room including utilities. This Share House is managed by an 
agency in Ginza, Chuo-ku having some conflicts with the Condominium Management
Association in Edogawa-ku. About 20 properties advertised by this agency on the 
Internet are for women only.

“I get fired from a job easily because of developmental disorder.” The woman reveals
 as she explains that she has been moving from one workplace to another in a month
to a half a year intervals. She also mentions, “I’m not suited to office work because I 
cannot sit still for a long time.” She’s now surviving by doing short-term part-time 
jobs such as telephone sales and food sampling, making about 90,000 yen a month.

Her parents are separated and her relationship with either of them is not very good
She worked in Denmark until February of last year and after returning to Japan, 
she had planned to live with her mother but when she visited her in Kansai, she 
was told“This is my house and I don’t need you here.” The mother was mentally 
disturbed and her house was filled with garbage. The woman had no one else to 
depend on. With 50,000 yen in her hand, she managed to move to Tokyo and found 
an ad on the Internet that read, First month free, no key money or 
deposit necessary.”  

At the time this woman lived at the Share House, there were other women ranging
 in age from 18 to 34 years who had no money to pay deposit or making enough 
income to live in an ordinary apartment for rent. Half of these women worked at night 
in clubs and bars, and the other half, during the day. Even those on a day-shift, most of 
them work part-time and often had panic disorder or other mental disorders.

Last summer the Share House was plagued by outbreaks of rats. If you can 
exterminate the rats, I'm willing to offer you discount rent. This offer was 
extended to the woman by the 38-year-old president of the management company
Each time I caught a rat, I poured olive oil on the rat’s feet stuck to the trap by 
adhesive and released it in a nearby park. Although in such a poor living condition, 
she reflects back and says, “There was a sense of family-like security living there. 
There was a resident with a pale face who ate nothing but okonomiyaki” 
(similar to a pancake) with only cabbage in it. When the woman told this to the 
president of the management company, he flew over and took her out for a meal. 
“He listened to my complaints when I was feeling lonely. Without him, I could 
not have managed to live.”

This article appears in P-WAN as one of a series of articles written by 
T. Kato of Mainichi Newspaper under the topic of Women’s News
Translated and Adapted by Y. Hayami