An international symposium entitled “Promoting Future Women Leaders in Politics” sponsored and operated by the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) and the Institute for Gender Studies (IGS) took place on June 30, 2018, Kiin-do Hall (Auditorium) at Ochanomizu University with approximately 500 people attending.
Part I of the symposium featured keynote speeches by Ms. Seiko Noda, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications / Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment / Minister of State for Gender Equality / Minister of State for the Social Security and Tax Number System / Member of the House of Representatives, and Ms. Sun-mee Jin, the Minjoo Party of Korea Congresswoman / Lawyer. In her presentation, Ms. Seiko Noda introduced measures of gender equality in various fields in Japan, discussed her career as a politician, and the how and why she was inaugurated as Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment / Minister of State for Gender Equality. She also talked about the Basic Law to Promote Gender Equality and the expectation this creates for empowering women for political participation. Ms. Jin shared her experiences in becoming a politician and running for office in a single-member district system election compared to a proportional representation election. Based on her theme “New Reformation for Women’s Political Empowerment”, she outlined the quota system in South Korea and her proposals for increasing the number of women members in the national assembly.
Part II was a discussion by three panelists from different countries —Ms.Yoriko Madoka (Japan), Ms. Johanna Uekermann (Germany), and Ms. Sun-mee Jin (South Korea). Ms. Yoriko Madoka is a former member of the House of Councilors in Japan and the Director of the Political School for Women. Ms. Johanna Uekermann is an executive board member of the Headquarters of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
Prof. Ki-young Shin of the IGS served as moderator of the panel discussion and Dr. Naoko Oki, Project Lecturer of the IGL as the master of ceremonies.
Ms. Madoka and Ms. Uekermann introduced their career progressions and activities in politics, followed by a video message from Ms. Victoria A. Budson, Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. After that, Ms. Madoka, Ms. Uekermann, Ms. Jin and Prof. Shin engaged in a lively discussion about the common points and differences in their individual careers, the methods they have used to achieve the goals of their movements (such as how to promote young women’s participation in politics), and how they demonstrated their leadership at various points in their political activities. While many attendees asked questions during the Q&A session, the four discussion participants answered, and gave additional comments, delving deeper into the topics of the discussion. Finally, the symposium ended as a great success.
Author: Dr. Naoko Oki, Project Lecturer at IGL, Ochanomizu University