Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality

August 28, 2015

On August 28, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, received a courtesy call from the two groups of “The World Assembly for Women : WAW! 2015” (Groups 1 & 2 [North America & Europe]), which consist of the participants from overseas including the heads of international organizations. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. At the start of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe conveyed his appreciation to the attendees for their participation in the Assembly. He then commented that, as the theme of this year’s “WAW!” symposium was “WAW! for All” and individuals who are active worldwide participated in the event, the statements that were made will give courage to many women, not only among a Japanese audience but a worldwide one.

2. In response, the Group members expressed their congratulations on the holding of the symposium, pointed out the importance of Prime Minister Abe’s initiatives to promote the advancement of women in terms of forming networks aimed at realizing a gender-equal society, and made other comments of praise.

3. The Group members also mentioned that initiatives for realizing a society where women shine are important not only in terms of women’s rights issues, but also from an economic perspective, taking into consideration their effects on the business performance of companies. They also pointed out the importance of incorporating the viewpoints of men with regard to such initiatives. Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s future policies based on the content of a bill to promote the advancement of women, and conveyed his intention to make contributions with regard to the right of women to receive education in developing countries and so on.

[Reference] Group members attending the courtesy call

[Group 1]

Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady of the United States
Abigail Friedman, Senior Advisor, The Asia Foundation
Dianne Fukami, President and Co-Founder, Bridge Media, Inc.
Deborah Gillis, President & Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst
Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President & CEO, Lockheed Martin
Linda A. Hill, Professor, Harvard Business School (HBS)
Emily Matchar, Writer and Author
Maria R. Morris, Executive Vice President, Global Employee Benefits, MetLife, Inc.
Eileen Pennington, Associate Director, Women’s Empowerment Program, The Asia Foundation
Stephen Pomper, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights
Reecha Upadhyay, Program Officer, The Asia Foundation, India
Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security; Former United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

[Group 2]

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Club de Madrid; Former President of the Republic of Latvia
Marriet Schuurman, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security
Daniela Bankier, Head of Unit Gender Equality, DG Justice, European Commission
Irma Erlingsdóttir, Head of the Center for Gender Research
Fredrik Hillelson, Member of Delegation for Gender Equality in Working Life; Founder & CEO of Novare Human Capital
Colette Lewiner, Independent Board Director of Electricité de France and Energy Expert
Boris Michel, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Keshini Navaratnam, International Broadcaster and Anchor; Managing Director of Alexandrite Global Communications
Gulshara Abdykalikova, Secretary of State of Kazakhstan
Raushan Sarsembaeva, President of Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan
Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences

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