News — June 25, 2019
Taking the Steps Toward Gender Equality in Japan
As we enter the midpoint of 2019, we must focus on taking transformational action steps to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030. Now is the time to act on plans, develop projects and host events your local or national communities to further develop your community’s economic growth, environmental awareness and provide basic rights to all human beings. As active citizens, we must step up as leaders and ensure no one is left behind on our path to global development, including women.
Since 2016, JCI Japan has stood up as a leader in global development by hosting the JCI Kanazawa Conference giving delegates an in-depth look at each Global Goal for Sustainable Development. After the 2018 World Economic Forum measured the degree of gender equality in 149 countries, the active citizens of Japan were unhappy to learn Japan ranked 110 on this list. JCI Japan joined the conversation on gender equality by focusing the 2019 JCI Kanazawa Conference on Global Goal #5: Gender Equality and explore how the Japanese society can advance this global issue at the national and grassroots level.
The JCI Kanazawa Conference was developed after the 2015 JCI World Congress in Kanazawa, Japan where 120 JCI National Organizations signed the Kanazawa Declaration, committing JCI members worldwide to advancing the 17 Global Goals. Each year, this conference has given delegates a chance to recommit to the Global Goals while increasing their knowledge and sharing action steps that can be taken by members of civil society, businesses and government officials to end extreme poverty, injustice and climate change.
During this year’s conference, Nami Mizoroki, JCI Tokyo Bloc Council Chairperson and JCI Akiruno member, shared inequalities that women experience in Japan and as members of JCI Japan. She expressed that in order for us to advance Global Goal #5, we must reexamine many aspects of our own organization first, such as the membership structure, meeting arrangements and leadership opportunities. The JCI Tokyo Block Council is currently working to expand the number of female members by hosting events that target like-minded women who can provide a broader vision for creating positive change through grassroots projects.
Next, Mizoroki proposed that JCI organizations to host meetings in the afternoon during lunch hours instead of the evening when most parents have to tend to children or household responsibilities. The JCI Tokyo Bloc Council took an extra step to assist members this year, especially women members, by providing free childcare when co-hosting certain JCI events. In order to provide additional access to leadership opportunities for women within JCI, the JCI Tokyo Block Council is appointing more female officers and is actively encouraging female members to take more active roles in their JCI Local Organizations and JCI Japan.
While JCI works to advance the Global Goals in our communities, Mizoroki and JCI Japan are taking action by looking at the inequalities that exist internally, so that we can effectively advance Global Goal #5. It would be impossible to achieve gender equality if the change we want to see is not reflected in our own organization.
You can use the Active Citizen Framework and Needs Analysis tools to better understand the challenges facing your JCI Local or National Organization and local community. Learn more about Global Goal #5: Gender Equality and the nine targets that will lead us to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
JCI gives a special thank you to Nami Mizoroki for presenting on gender equality at the 2019 JCI Kanazawa Conference and providing extensive input for this story.