Expectations for International Grassroots Women’s Academy
When people think about ‘disaster prevention’, the actions of strong, rugged men often come to mind. However, on visiting the disaster areas in Tohoku, what struck me were the contributions of women. As teachers, childcare workers, and nurses, in their homes, in their local areas, and in their workplaces: they demonstrated continually the full extent of their experience and know-how.
4 years have passed since 3.11, and the hammering sound of repair works is all around us. However, it is unclear to what degree people’s lives have stabilized and local society has recovered. We are still only halfway there, and in the midst of all the upheaval young women leaders have been coming up with and implementing a wide-range of activities across the disaster areas.
The Academy represents a groundbreaking attempt to connect these young, dedicated women, creating a wave of alliances across regions. When young women learn together, debate a lifestyle appropriate to high-frequency disaster areas, and start putting their plans into action, the result can only be a ‘revolution’ for local society. I hope that the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be a chance to transmit the lessons learned in Minamisanriku-chō worldwide, widening the circle of international cooperation.
Representative of Japan Women’s Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (JWNDRR)
I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulations on the occasion of the International Women’s Academy in Tohoku.
At present, the UN’s goals for sustainable development aim to ensure that by 2030 all peoples of the word can realize lives of dignity. For women and children, often the most vulnerable to conflicts and natural disasters, our greatest concern is to bring safety and peace of mind, as well as to ensure a truly human respect for each individual and their innate dignity. Local women leaders play an indispensible role in achieving these goals.
In the tsunami and earthquake of 4 years ago, the dignity of women, children, and the elderly was often sidelined in the rush to the evacuation centers. We look forward to the Women’s Academy providing a space for local women from the Tohoku disaster areas and female leaders from around the world to share their experiences, as well as to come forward with effective proposals for how we can be better prepared for natural disasters, minimize the damage they cause, and protect the dignity of those most vulnerable to them.
Overall Schedule 2015
Women leaders get together in Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi
Candidates for participation are women leaders who live in one of the affected coastal prefectures and involved in community activities. Members participating from Japan will be required to attend the preliminary training, which will be held by the NPO Women’s Eye.
Preliminary Training (for domestic participants)
|December 2014||Begin screening process|
|January 2015||Finalized on the participants|
|February 2015||Preliminary Training for Japanese participants|
General Meeting in Miyagi prefecture (all participants will attend)
One meeting in each of the affected coastal prefectures (Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate)
International Grassroots Women’s Academy (2 days)
|March 10 (Tue) 2015||Academy Day 1 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Venue: Hotel Kanyo, Minamisanriku
|March 11 (Wed) 2015||Memorial Service (Day Off)
A tour of the disaster affected Tohoku coast is scheduled for oversea participants.
|March 12 (Thu) 2015||Academy Day 2 8:30am -3:00pm
Venue: Culture Hall (Bunka Koryu Hall)
Open Forum (Open to Public)
|March 12 (Thu) 2015||16:00-18:00
Venue: Minamisanriku-cho Bayside Arena Bunkakoryu Hall
The Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai)
|March 14-18(Thu-Wed) 2015|
*The schedules will be updated accordingly. Please check back for the latest information.
*For participants in Japan, a preliminary training will be held. The program is sponsored by the NPO Women’s Eye.