March Community Services Feature: Five Tokyo-Based Organizations That Fight For or Empower Women
In honor of March’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to present to our FEW community a list of five organizations that have established themselves as organizations who fight for or empower women as well as a list of five events that you can attend to show your support for this year’s theme of #PressFor Progress.
1. Matahara Net
Short for “Maternity Harassment,” Matahara Net focuses on helping women overcome workplace discrimination over pregnancy through consultations and training programs to companies. This NPO works with both maternity harassment victims and companies where maternity harassment has happened or could potentially happen.
One of out every five women in Japan have experienced a form of maternity harassment and 60% of women leave their jobs due to pregnancy. Matahara Net is working to change law and promote better protections for women employees who are holding off starting a family for fear of matahara and/or mothers who have experienced it. As the first organization in Japan to specifically combat maternity harassment and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The organization is also run by people -men and women- of all backgrounds.
This organization raises awareness of domestic violence for Japanese and Japanese-speaking women. They have recently expanded that awareness and support to non-Japanese and English-speaking victims as well. Through it’s website, Facebook, Meetup, and other social media channels the organization conducts over 100 workshops and training sessions a year.
Sachi Nakajima, the woman at the helm of bring awareness (and our March 2017 Monthly Meeting Speaker), began the Resilience NPO in 2003 in hopes to provide support to those who have suffered from emotional or physical abuse, child abuse, sexual trauma.
It’s hard to ignore the dangerous appeal of Japan’s child-like idols, JK “high school girl” worker, and sexual exploitation of female imagery. Lighthouse sheds light on these particular subjects and more by:
- Providing private consultation services
- Training and educating law enforcement officers and government officials
- Organizing awareness through campaigns and seminars
- Lobbying the government to change legislation
Each of these tactics help in combating human trafficking and support sexually exploited women. With the help of their Blue Heart comic book they hope to help in the establishment of anti-human traffic laws in Japan by 2020.
It could be said that TELL is the leading organization that provides support and counseling services to the international community in Japan. From topics such as women’s mental health issues, parenting and eating disorders to helplessness with adjusting to life in Japan, trained volunteers are there to answer the phone or text for those who need a shoulder to lean on or someone to listen.
Since taking the first call in 1973, TELL has expanded to handling more specific cases regarding children, person to person counselling, and is now a part of the Federation of Inochi-no- denwa, or Lifeline Federation. The organization even goes above and beyond for emergency medical translation services and can even connect you with English-speaking police officers.
In addition to its phone counseling services, TELL offers a range of outreach programs to schools and other organizations to raise awareness of various issues such as date rape, sexual violence, and suicide prevention.
As part of this year’s International Women’s day #PressforProgress campaign, in Japan, the following three areas play a vital role in bringing about change:
Effective training of police, lawyers, medical examiners, nurses etc. is essential to have a positive supportive impact on the survivors of sexual violence, and not create more trauma.
Support for survivors in languages other than Japanese is also needed.
Education at the community level to change people’s attitude to rape and sexual violence is urgently needed. Efforts that focus on the prevention of sexual assault/violence can reduce the likelihood of multiple victimizations in womens’ lifetimes, thereby curbing negative mental health effects.
TELL is looking for funding to deliver a dating violence program in high schools and colleges across Japan to promote insight and prevent abusive relationships among youths.
If you would like to sponsor or find out more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All across the world women are raising their voices and making positive gains day by day. Let’s make sure that Japan also continues to #PressforProgress, and equality for all.
Or if you want to sign up to be a volunteer for this amazing and highly dynamic organization, sign up here.
The CWAJ is a non-profit volunteer organization that focuses on both Japanese and international women who are interested in academics and cultural exchange. The organization holds monthly luncheons and other activities in Tokyo to create lasting bonds and opportunities for women to share their cultural experience with their Japanese peers. Through meaningful volunteer activities, members empower and inspire each other to create an enduring, positive impact on our communities.
For over 50 years CWAJ has provided scholarships for women wanting to further their studies both in Japan and overseas. Other scholarships are open to both men and women: those for visually impaired students and for Fukushima nursing students. These scholarships are funded by donations and by the proceeds from the CWAJ Print Show, an annual exhibition and sale of Japanese contemporary prints which was organized for the first time in 1956.
If you are interested in applying for a scholarship or if you would like to donate and help young women become more culturally aware of their world, click this link here.
Five Events You Can Go to in Honor of International Women’s Day
1. UN Women Japan Liason Office HeForShe Seminar – “Choose Your Own Mindset” ~ To Live Your Own Life and Choose Your Own Workstyle~
In Support of HeForShe UN Women Movement for Gender Equality
When: Thursday 8 March 2018 13:00 – 17:00
Where: Bunkyo Civic Center (Big Hall)
Details and Registration here: http://heforshejp-2018mar.com/
2. International Women’s Day Workshop: Challenge Stereotypes & Bias
Hosted by Tell, this workshop seeks to have an open discussion dismantling gender biases. Topics of discussion will be the #MeToo movement and practical ideas to change society and influence the younger generation.
When: Saturday, March 10 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Wesley Center- Minami Aoyama
Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/349602878856085/
3. INSEAD International Women’s Day in Tokyo
The Japanese chapter of INSEAD Women in Business Club will be hosting a “Women in Business” event on International Women’s Day. There will be an interactive session and discussion regarding “women in business” and “diversity.”
Invited speaker, Global Supply Chain Sustainability Director, Veronique Rochet will share some of her views on the topic. Seats are limited to 25 for this exclusive event and tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
When: Thu, March 8, 2018 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM JST
Where: Tenoha Daikanyama, & Style Restaurant Kitchen Studio
Fee: 6,000 Yen
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/insead-international-womens-day-in-tokyo-tickets-43285631489
4. Shibuya Omotesando Women’s Run 2018
Join 5,000 women and families for a run down Tokyo’s famous fashion district. Every year 5,000 women in the latest colorful running gear enjoy the chance to run through the heart of the city. Whether you’re running or coming to cheer, make the most of this memorable day!
When: Sunday March 25, 2018 09:00 ~ 10:30
Where: Yagaiongakudo Yoyogi Park
Register here: http://womensrun.jp/english/
5. FEW Monthly Meeting – Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku
FEW Japan welcomes you for its own celebration of women who have been diligent changers in the earthquake and tsunami stricken Tohoku area. Come listen and speak with Megumi Ishimoto of NPO Women’s Eye and political scientist, Dr. Jackie F. Steele discusses several examples of diverse young women who are agents of change for their community.
When: Thursday March 15th / 19:00 – 22:00
Where: Minami Azabu Centre Hall
Fee: Members ¥2000 (Associates ¥1500) / Guests (Women only) ¥5000 / Students and Interns (Women only) ¥3000 (includes salad/finger food buffet and soft drinks/wine)