Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality
World Assembly for Women: WAW! 2022 (Result)
On, December 3, World Assembly for Women: WAW! 2022 was held in a hybrid format at the Mita Conference Center in Tokyo. The assembly was attended by H.E. Dr. Guðni Thorlacius Johannesson, President of the Republic of Iceland, H.E. Dr. Maia Sandu, President of The Republic of Moldova, Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and other dignitaries from various countries and international organizations, as well as those working in various fields at home and abroad.
- The sixth edition of the event, WAW! 2022, was held under the main theme of “Mainstreaming Gender into a New Form of Capitalism,” where participants exchanged opinions on how to create a better society with gender equality achieved.
- A keynote address by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio was followed by keynote speeches by H.E. Dr. Guðni Thorlacius Johannesson, President of the Republic of Iceland and H.E. Ms. Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, as well as a high-level roundtable of cabinet-level officials. In addition, 10 separate sessions were set up from the perspective of “Mainstreaming Gender,” which aims to incorporate gender perspectives into all policies. Furthermore, two special sessions on the regions and the youth were set up for a wide range of discussions. Video messages were shared from some of the world's leading women, including H.E. Dr. Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State, H.E. Ms. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, H.E. Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, H.E. Dr. Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, Ms. Gina Lemond, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Ms. Anne Hathaway, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. For the first time, the WAW! was made available online and connected to 22 satellite venues in Japan, including four venues in Hokkaido, Aomori, Fukushima, and Wakayama allowing interactive participation.
- Opening speech
At the outset, Prime Minister KISHIDA explained the efforts of the Kishida administration to promote a “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution” that incorporates “Mainstreaming Gender.” Prime Minister KISHIDA also introduced not only domestic efforts for gender equality, but also international development cooperation. He specifically referred as an example to the provision of temporary shelters for women fleeing from Afghanistan and war-torn Ukraine. Mr. KISHIDA also expressed his expectation that this year's WAW! will help accelerate “Mainstreaming Gender” by discussing a wide range of issues under the concept of “New Form of Capitalism,” which “women’s economic independence” is at the core and linking these issues from a gender perspective. To conclude, he expressed his hope that the assembly will serve as an important opportunity for the realization of a society in which everyone can feel a sense of fulfillment in life, while ensuring that more men get involved in gender initiatives.
- Keynote speeches
(1) H.E. Dr. Guðni Thorlacius Johannesson, President of the Republic of Iceland, stressed efforts toward gender equality in Iceland, which ranks first in the gender gap index, as well as the importance of expanding men's interest and their engagement in the country.
(2) H.E. Ms. Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women presented a commemorative gift to Prime Minister KISHIDA, who was inaugurated as the HeForShe Champion in September, and introduced Prime Minister Kishida's efforts to achieve gender equality, including the HeForShe Campaign.
- High-Level Roundtable
H.E. Ms. Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova, H.E. Ms. Batmunkh Battsetseg, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, H.E. Mr. Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, Republic of Singapore, H.E. Mr. OGURA Masanobu, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment, Mr. YAMADA Kenji, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Ms. MORI Masako, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment and moderator took the podium and a lively discussion took place regarding such issues as what measures are needed to promote “Mainstreaming Gender,” what problems are arising in regional settings, and how the voices of the youth, who will take the lead in the next generation, should be reflected in the future.
- Reception hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs HAYASHI Yoshimasa
A reception hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs HAYASHI Yoshimasa was held with keynote speakers, other speakers, experts and others invited.
From the perspective of “Mainstreaming Gender” that aims to incorporate gender perspectives into all policies, 10 separate sessions were set up, in addition to two special sessions on the themes of regions and the youth, where a wide range of discussions were held. The following is the list of the sessions and other events.
［List of sessions and other events in WAW!2022]
-Session 1: Correcting the Wage Gap between
-Session 2: Women, Environment/Green Society; Thinking about Decarbonization from a Gender Perspective
-Session 3: Women and Digital/STEM Education
-Session 4: Enhancing Awareness and Engagement of Men
-Session 5: Women’s participation in Decision-Making Processes
-Session 6: Women and Startups: What It Means for Women to Start a Business
-Session 7: Realizing a Society Protecting Women's Dignity and Pride
-Session 8: Women’s Health and Economy
-Session 9: Women’s Participation in Peace and Security
-Session 10: Women and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
-Special Session 1: WAW! sit-in-a-circle meeting on Rural Women
-Special Session 2: Listening to the Voices of Youth; Proposal for the Future
- Closing Session
The rapporteur of each session gave a report on the summary of the discussions and recommendations. Ms. MORI Masako, Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment, delivered closing remarks, summarizing the day’s entire discussions and expressed her expectation that this year's WAW! will help realize gender equality and promote the empowerment of women beyond generations and regions.
- Farewell Reception co-hosted by MORI Masako, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment and the Reconstruction Agency
A farewell session was held co-hosted by MORI Masako, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment, and the Reconstruction Agency, with keynote speakers, other speakers, experts and others invited.
(Reference1) HeForShe Movement
A campaign movement led by UN Women with the aim of increasing men's awareness and engagement in efforts to realize gender equality and promote women's empowerment. Leaders from various fields are inaugurated as "champions". Prime Minister KISHIDA was inaugurated as the HeForShe Champion in September 2022, following former Prime Minister Shinzo ABE.
(Reference2) Opening Speech by Prime Minister KISHIDA（PDF）