The Gender Summit is an international movement to discuss science and gender, started by initiative of the EU Commission, which is the policy implementing body of the European Union. The Gender Summit intends to encourage a higher quality of innovation, in which we consider the difference of gender as an important factor, discuss the better research and development and utilize the discussion outcomes actively and practically for education, human development, basic research and commercialization. In the past Gender Summits, there was broad participation from academia, international organizations such as the UN, national governments and industry, which marked a unique feature of this Summit.
Even without mentioning the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) published by the World Economic Forum, it is well known that Japan has lagged behind in attaining a Gender Equal Society. Incorporating the dimension of gender into every aspect of education, academic research and innovation is essential. Moreover, prompted by the Female Empowerment Law that came into effect on April 2016, promoting women in all workplaces is required now more than ever.
As such, cooperating with the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), we have decided to organize the Gender Summit 10, the first Gender Summit in Japan. The main theme is “Better Science and Innovation through Gender, Diversity and Inclusive Engagement”. We have six working groups, and already started having active discussions toward the Gender Summit 10. We will discuss mainly top-priority global issues tackled by female researchers, and social responsibilities of science in the Gender Summit 10.
To lead this theme and to collaborate with the Asia Pacific region, we have already acquired support from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Cabinet Office, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the Japan National Committee for UN Women and Japanese National Commission for UNESCO. We would like to encourage a broad spectrum of people from academia, the public sectors, industry and the education sectors to participate in the Gender Summit 10, sharing the urgent issues we are facing and discussing the solutions.
We eagerly look forward to your participation.
Miyoko O. Watanabe, Ph.D.
Deputy Executive Director
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)