of GE at UTokyo
WomEnpowered International (WE Int.)
Last updated: 22 November 2020
This post introduces WomEnpowered International (WE Int.), a membership association of young, diverse women and women-identifying individuals committed to empowering women and promoting gender equality in Japan. WE Int. aims to serve as a platform that empowers young women to pursue their academic, professional and social ambitions and to become a community that acts as a driving force for gender equality. The association also focuses on the international dimension of gender equality, recognising the strength in their diversity of membership, in which over 25 countries are represented, yet noting the prevalent gap that exists between Japanese and foreign communities.
WE Int. was founded in 2019 by four Master’s students in UTokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy (photo 1). The organisation came about due to the Founders’ recognition of the wide gender gap and lack of awareness of gender inequality in Japan. In addition, they sensed a lack of initiatives for female empowerment at UTokyo. In response, they first set up a Facebook group to gauge support for the project. After an overwhelmingly positive response, they created WE Int.
WE Int.’s international depth is motivated by the founders’ multiculturalism (three nationalities), was inspired by their participation in the 5th World Assembly of Women (WAW), and is reflected in the WE Int. logo (photo 2). The raised flag is a reference to Delacroix’s painting “La Liberté guidant le peuple”, in which a female figure (symbolising freedom) is leading the 1830 July Revolution (photo 3).
WE Int. focuses on three areas: community building, capacity development, and social advocacy (photo 4). The organisation aims to achieve this through hosting various events, such as panel discussions, social and professional gatherings online seminars (details of past events can be found on WE Int. website). WE Int. also collaborates with other organisations and companies, including us, to create a bigger impact (see photo 5). Their website also offers resources for victims of violence in Japan. For those who are interested in joining their membership, please visit https://www.womenpoweredint.org/
(All photos courtesy of WE Int.)