IGWS Newsletter Vol. 23

  • Report on the 16th seminar at Aichi Shukutoku University
  • Education and Gender :New establishment of the Department of Education-
  • Introduction of the study 'Minority and Gender:From a Black woman's viewpoint
  • Visit to Women’s Studies Center at Chiang Mai University
  • Dancer as a metaphor
  • News from IGWS
  • A new library search engine / Recently arrived books
  • Open Lectures related to Gender and Women studies (April-August 2007)

The 16th seminar "Realities of DV and Support for Victims: In order to prevent yourself becoming an assailant or a victim" Mr. Yasunori Kani, Lawyer.

 DV is defined as 'violence in an intimate relationship' including not only married couples and couples living together under Common Law, but also relationship such as affairs.

 However, violence in these cases includes not only physical abuse but verbal abuse that hurts their partner, economic abuse by neglecting support of one’s partner, restricting one’s partner’s liberty and rape. According to the investigation by the Cabinet office in 2005, one person out of three, most of them women it seems, have experienced some form of DV, including the psychological, monetary and sexual violence.

Although there could be various reasons why DV happens, it is believed that people who use violence have often learnt, during their childhood and while growing up, that violence is an effective means of communication. Even so, why can the victims not escape from her husband, or occasionally his wife in other words, from DV? The following five factors could be thought of as influencing factors.

  1. A woman exhausted by violence from her husband has no energy to throw away her old life and launch out into a new one.
  2. Possible economic instability dissuades them from action.
  3. The deep-rooted social bias that a wife who is abused is somehow at fault makes the victim stay.
  4. Because the victims don't have enough information about the support available to them, they are isolated.
  5. Especially in the provinces, the independent support is not sufficiently systematized. Therefore, the victim's activity is restricted. For this reason, we should recognize that the words 'why didn't you run away?' hurts the victim.

Moreover, is it not true that we have the following images of DV?

  1. 'DV is a problem peculiar to the working class with low income and education. Actually, it is a wide spread problem regardless of the academic background, income or age.
  2. 'Violence happens due to some sickness such as alcoholic dependence and drug dependence, etc. There is not in fact true.
  3. ‘A woman is hit because she is at fault.' It is not reasonable to think she is to blame, because sometimes she is hit but sometimes not, even after doing the same thing.

 To understand DV correctly, it is important to wipe out such untrue images.

 The support to DV victims has advanced greatly by the enactment (2001) and revision of (2004) the DV prevention Law - the "Law concerning the protection from and the prevention of violence from spouses”. This introduced the availability of protective orders and temporary protection. It is important to consider DV as an immediate problem, in order to keep yourself from becoming an assailant or a victim.

Education and Gender -The newly established Department of Education-

 The Department of Education has been newly established as part of literature faculty in 2007 at Aichi Shukutoku University. This department aims to train the teachers for elementary schools, special support schools and the study field of life long leaning. While there are various discussions about the education today, teachers are required to have the ability to cope with children who are changing under the influences and changes in time and their living environment. At the same time, a keen eye to see children's unchanging nature is also needed. To train educators who have a broad outlook in the social climate and the history that surrounds children, our Department of Education provides subjects such as:
'Portuguese language' which considers the regional characteristics of Aichi Prefecture, 'Environmental education' and ‘Sexual Health' that are modern and practical in the field, as well as 'Gender and Education' and 'Human rights and Education'. We hope that excellent teachers who can help develop students' characters and understand human rights will grow up within our department.

 While society is shifting towards the realization of gender equality, it seems there is still misunderstanding about education from the viewpoint of gender. Therefore, what we aim for is to clean up sexual discrimination, not sexual distinction. We ought to consider this an issue of human rights. By being attuned to gender issues, it is possible to have a flexible point of view. Teachers with such sensitivity and flexibility, and who value the individual, will enable an education which lays down for children the foundations of a wide spectrum of lifestyles and independent-minded decision making.

News from IGWS

 The IGWS homepage has been updated, and a new library search engine has been introduced. IGWS owns many books and materials relating to gender issues.

 Books can be retrieved by using key words: media, literature, labor, development international cooperation, etc. Our library facilities are open to the public, and we hope the IGWS book searching system will be widely used. Information on new arrivals is updated every three months - please visit our IGWS homepage for more information.

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