Fukushima assembly for women set up to promote gender equality

A group of female volunteers in Fukushima Prefecture launched an assembly to help promote the empowerment of local women when they met in Fukushima city on Dec. 17. The Fukushima Prefecture Assembly for Women was set up at a local version of the "WAW! (World Assembly for Women) Weeks" meeting held at the Creative Business Salon -- an office space located on the second floor of the Corasse Fukushima complex -- under the sponsorship of Fukushma-Minpo Co., publisher of the namesake local daily. The new assembly is aimed at developing initiatives for realizing gender equality by bringing together various industry and business organizations in an effort to act in unison in disseminating relevant information. It will seek to have recommendations adopted at its future meetings reflected in policies and measures of the national and prefectural governments. At the Dec. 17 meeting, nine people from diverse fields including the economic, medical and educational sectors exchanged proposals to help cope with the challenging issues women are facing -- such as how to improve their working environments and provide better support for them during disasters. Sumie Ishiyama, CEO of CRF Co. and a board member at a "WAW! 2022" session held in Tokyo in early December, proposed launching the Fukushima Prefecture Assembly for Women, hoping that it will help gather people seeking to improve gender equality on a local level. Ishiyama's idea was unanimously supported and she emphasized the significance of the gathering afterwards. "I strongly felt the importance of the people concerned in each sector uniting to work together, learning from one another and sending out related information," she said. The new women's assembly will exchange opinions and discuss various issues on a regular basis in order to pick out specific matters and work out proposals for achieving gender equality locally at business entities as well as in social life. Fukushima-Minpo acts as a secretariat. (Translated by Kyodo News)