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Reception for the 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Event
(Opening Government Reception: 18:30, Wednesday, March 5, 2014)
Statement by Ms. Hiroko Hashimoto, Representative of Japan to the CSW
● As a representative of Japan, I am glad to host this WEPs event jointly with UN Global Compact. I also highly appreciate the efforts of UN Global Compact and UN Women to promote WEPs and to call on companies and business circles around world to encourage the active involvement of women.
● In Japan, the Japan National Committee for UN Women has been working hard to spread and promote WEPs by hosting related various symposiums. In addition, a team of experts and related organizations who are members of the National Machinery for the Promotion of the Formation of a Gender-equal Society, whose secretariat is the government of Japan (Cabinet Office), has been implementing activities to raise awareness about WEPs among Japanese companies and the processes involved, in order to check the progress of relevant measures taken by each company and to increase effectiveness. Thanks to such efforts, I am informed that Japanese companies account for about one third, or 203 companies, of 674 companies worldwide that have approved WEPs purposes and that have signed as of February 8. We can say that Japanese companies are major players in WEPs initiatives.
● However, Japanese society does not make full use of the potential of women. Thus, the Cabinet has approved the “Japan Revitalization Strategy,” which includes, among other things, facilitating the creation of an environment in which women can play an active role. The government is now strengthening measures to vitalize the economy by encouraging the active involvement of women.
● At the UN General Assembly held last September, Prime Minister Abe declared his intention to create a “society in which women shine” and stated that “Japan respects the activities of UN Women and intends to become one of its leading contributors and thus an exemplary country in the area. Japan will also work closely with relevant international organizations.” Since this statement, I feel that expectation from the international community has certainly grown for Japan’s contribution in the area of the empowerment of women.
● Japan is determined to continue cooperation with UN Women and UN Global Compact in their activities to further raise awareness about WEPs and to ensure their effectiveness.