IGWS Newsletter Vol. 41

  • Greeting from the Director of IGWS
  • Discussion Meeting for the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation of IGWS
  • The Advances made by IGWS over the past 20 Years
  • Report of the 31st IGWS Seminar
  • Students’ Feedback on the 31st IGWS Seminar
  • Students’ Feedback on the debriefing session of the Asian Health Institute(AHI)
  • “Enjoying Oneself as a woman”
  • Miscellaneous Thoughts on Everyday Life: Work, Childcare, and Gender
  • The 9th Annual Symposium on Graduation theses and Graduation projects about Gender
  • Student’s Feedback on the Talk Show by Shou Arai
  • Announcement of the Lunchtime Sessions

Greeting by the director, Kayoko Watanabe, on the 20th anniversary of the Foundation of IGWS

 This year IGWS (Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies) at Aichi Shukutoku University celebrates its 20th anniversary. As the first institute for gender and women’s studies at a coeducational college in Japan, we have been working to encourage and promote gender and women’s studies in order to achieve gender equality. However, the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) ranked Japan 101st out of 145 countries, and the Human Development Index (HDI) ranked Japan 17th out of 185 countries. Both rankings indicate that gender equality has not been achieved in Japan. As an institution of higher education, our mission to send well-prepared students out into society and workplaces is becoming even more important. It is importance to consider what we can do in order to support the development of an educational environment that reflects our educational philosophy of “living together with diversity.” This involves empowering individuals to freely choose their major in college or how they enjoy college life, regardless of gender. From the perspective of gender and women’s studies, we would like to take an active role in the creation of such an educational environment.

Report of the 31st IGWS seminar: “Can we get rid of gender bias in sports? Speaker: Prof. Noriko Mizoguchi (Judo expert, Sport sociologist, Professor at Shizuoka University of Arts and Culture)

 On 20th November, we invited Prof. Noriko Mizoguchi as a guest speaker, who was the Barcelona Olympic silver medalist in the women’s lightweight division of judo. Now Prof. Mizoguchi is actively involved in teaching and conducting research at Shizuoka University of Arts and Culture in addition to serving on the Board of Education in Shizuoka prefecture. She spoke about some issues that arose concerning gender bias in the world of sports based on her own experiences as a seasoned judo athlete.

 1992 was the year when Ms. Mizoguchi was awarded a silver medal and the first year that women’s judo was officially recognized as an Olympic sport. Although over 20 years have passed, gender segregation is still apparent. For example, the gender ratio of both medals awarded (male: female=7.5:1) and chairpersons on the executive board (male: female=25:1) is unequal. Prof. Mizoguchi explained how some traditions particular to judo demonstrate gender discrimination. As an example, she pointed out how women’s black belts are designated with a white stripe. She ended her speech on a positive note by affirming that we can use the wisdom gained from women’s struggles to eliminate gender bias and improve not only the world of sports but also any organization and society.

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Everyday Life

 Prof. Akiko Fukumoto of the Department of Global Communication at ASU (from April 2016, previously of the Department of Business at ASU) contributed an article that reflects on her own experience balancing work and childcare as well as gender.

 Twelve years have passed since I began my career in education at ASU. This means that 12 years have passed since my husband and I began “shumatsu-kon” (commuter marriage) with our 11-year-old and 8-year-old sons. I have been very fortunate to have a supportive environment both inside and outside the university. From April of this year, I moved to a new department.

 My two sons grew up going to a nursery school from six months old. We were very satisfied with the nursery school. After they enrolled in elementary school, however, I was faced with the reality of what’s commonly called the “roadblock of first grade,” which refers to the reduced amount of childcare options that working parents face once their children enter elementary school. The childcare support provided offered by the government significantly declines. I felt that the only option was to send my children to an after-school day-care center, which was neither particularly supportive nor useful for parents. The combination of serving on my children’s school committee and performing my duties at the university kept my hands full, but I was somehow able to manage everything.  It has been difficult juggling my sons’ various school events teaching classes at the university. I have been able to manage these duties by limiting my parent-teacher conference days to once per year and rearranging my class schedule at the university. Since my husband lives in another prefecture and is not in good health, it has become even more difficult to balance work and family responsibilities, even on weekends.

 I now feel like pursuing some research that I abandoned some years ago after having my sons. I am encouraged by the advice that even though it may be difficult to pursue my research now, it is worth continuing in the long run. My house may be a mess while I’m writing, but I will teach my sons how to help with the household chores. I believe that the ability to do housework will enrich their future lives.

The 9th Annual Symposium on Graduation Theses and Graduation Projects about Gender

 On Friday, 15th January, we held the 9th annual symposium on graduation theses and graduation projects on gender. The names of the presenters and titles of the graduation theses are as follows:

  • UCHIYAMA, Haruna. Faculty of Global Culture and Communication. Department of Global Culture and Communication.
    "Creating an environment where everyone can work: A case study of the Hoshigaoka model project"
  • MIYAZAKI, Seika. Faculty of Letters, Department of English Language and Literature.
    "Changes about what is expected of women in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice."
  • HONME, Shiori. Faculty of Media Theories and Production. Department of Media Theories and Production.
    "The construction and transition of Shojo (“Girls”): The process of acquiring subjectivity and attaining maturity."
  • MIKAMO, Nao. Faculty of Media Theories and Production. Department of Media Theories and Production.
    "Should a girl be a “Good girl?” : Representations of girls in fiction."

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