Director-General Irina Bokova will participate in the World Assembly for Women hosted by the Government of Japan in Tokyo on 28-29 August.
Building on the success of its first edition in 2014, the Assembly aims to create a worldwide movement to promote women’s active participation and success in society. It is one of the initiatives taken by the Government of Japan as part of its ambition to achieve “A Society where Women Shine,” one of the priorities of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.
The event will be opened by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, followed by a keynote speech by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and an address by UN Women’s Executive Director Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The Director-General will participate in the Assembly’s first panel discussion focusing on girls’ education with the First Lady Ms Akie Abe, the Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama and Executive Director of the Council on Women Ms Tina Tchen, the First Lady of Afghanistan Ms Rula Ghani, the First Lady of Kenya Ms Margaret Kenyatta, and Ms Chaire Blair, head of the Foundation for Women carrying her name. The Assembly includes a wide range of sessions covering work-life management, peacebuilding, innovation, disaster risk reduction, partnerships and engaging men in reforms for gender equality.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2014, Prime Minister Abe stated that the empowerment of women has become “a guiding principle that has drived Japan’s policies both domestically and overseas.” As part of creating “a society where women shine,” Mr Abe has set targets to increase the percentage of women in leadership position to at least 30 percent and to raise the employment rate of women to 73% by 2020. Internationally, Japan has pledged USD 3 billion in Official Development Assistance over three years (2013-2015) aimed chiefly at advancing the status of women.
In the margins of the World Assembly, the Director-General is expected to meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Fumio Kishida and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr Hakubun Shimomura.