Women in Japan Today 2004

International Cooperation

Cooperation with International Organization

  • Regional Meeting of National Machineries for Gender Equality in the Asian and Pacific Region

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Republic of Korea jointly held the "Regional Meeting of National Machineries for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific Region" in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from November 12 to 14, 2003. This meeting was attended by representatives from 20 national machineries, including the Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office of Japan, as well as representatives from the five UN organizations of UNIFEM, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA and ESCAP.

    This meeting had three sessions: (1) Strategic interventions for promoting gender equality, (2) Regional and international cooperation, and (3) Adoption of Recommendations. In the first session, government representatives shared their experiences in the national machineries. The Japanese delegate delivered a presentation on Japan's National Machinery's functions of monitoring and gender impact assessment and evaluaions.

    As the outcome, the meeting adopted recommendations regarding the role of national machineries for gender equality in effectively incorporating the Beijing Platform of Action into each national policies.

  • APEC Gender Focal Point Network Meeting

    Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) was established by the agreement at the 2nd APEC Ministerial Meeting on Women. The 1st Meeting was held in Khon Kaen, Thailand, in May 2003. 16 member economies including Japan participated in this meeting. At the meeting, participants pointed out future policies and issues for sustainably and effectively gender mainstreaming in APEC and also proposed 8 basic tasks:

    1. Assist APEC fora to identify and address gender issues within their work.
    2. Promote and report on women's representation across APEC (and within individual fora)
    3. Assess and report on the use of gender criteria in project proposals, reporting and evaluation, revising the gender criteria where appropriate.
    4. Collect and share best practices in gender integration amongst fora.
    5. Support and report on the progress of implementation of gender integration within individual fora and across APEC economies.
    6. Faciliate provision of gender expert advice and advice by women with expertise related to APEC at all level.
    7. Assist in developing of project proposal.
    8. Propose recommendations on advancing gender integration in APEC.

    Participants agreed to hold this meeting once a year in principle.

  • Cooperation with the Council of Europe

    Japan is the only Asian nation that has observer status at the Council of Europe (CE). European nations provide valuable experiences for Japan in promoting gender equality, because they started to promote measures for gender equality much earlier than Japan. Since 2001 the Cabinet Office has participated in the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) of CE in order to exchange views and information with CE member states' representatives.

    In 2003, the Cabinet Office attended the 29th meeting of CDEG, which was held in Strasbourg, France, from December 3 to 5.

    At the meeting, participants reported and exchanged their views on action against trafficking in human beings, balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making processes, violence against women, and other topics.

Revision of the ODA Charter

In August 2003, the Japanese government revised its ODA Charter by the Cabinet decision, which had been the basic document of Japan's aid policy for more than 10 years. Following recent development at home and abroad, this revision aims to enhance ODA's strategic value, flexibility, transparency and efficiency; encourage wide public participation; and to deepen the understanding of Japan's ODA both within Japan and abroad.

According to the basic policies section of the revised ODA Charter, the Japanese government should pay due attention to gender equality from policy making to implementation phases. The new ODA Charter clearly states "In particular, the perspective of gender equality is important. Japan will make further effort to improve the status of women, giving full consideration to the active participation of women in development, and to ensuring that women reap benefits from development." The former ODA Charter also mentioned a similar concept, but the Japanese government clearly states its standpoint to pay more attention to gender equality by incorporating it into the ODA Charter's basic policies.