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Japan’s Efforts in Promoting Women’s Participation in Peace and Security

By Staff Writer
December 08, 2023
Women’s empowerment and gender equality, which are part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, have been adopted by governments and multinational institutions on their agendas.
A grouop of women standing next to each other
Japan works closely with the United Nations in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality, and on 29 September 2015, it established the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and peace and security, which addresses the impact of war on women and the importance of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. There have been two other action plans with the most recent one formulated in April this year.

Japan’s NAP seeks to achieve international peace and stability while promoting women’s participation in decision-making. Since Japan is prone to natural disasters, the NAP also includes disaster response, incorporating a gender perspective into its humanitarian and recovery assistance.

As part of its efforts in fostering the WPS agenda, Japan has been cooperating with UN Women to reduce gender-based violence, prevent violent extremism and promote women’s economic empowerment in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. The Japanese government also supports the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) and the Global Survivors Fund (GSF), helping survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and contributing to the strengthening of the judicial system to hold perpetrators in conflict-affected counties accountable.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) have also played a role in promoting the participation of women in peace and security. They have deployed approximately 740 female SDF personnel abroad to support UN peace keeping operations, international disaster relief and counter-piracy efforts as well as the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Furthermore, MOD and SDF have also deployed female SDF personnel to strategic partners such as NATO.

A female Japanese Self-Defense Force official
The incorporation of gender perspectives can also be seen in the projects implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The agency has contributed to women’s capacity-building, by ensuring their participation in all stages of capacity building projects in countries including Uganda to rebuild their communities after the civil war.
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