Girl2Leader Big Forum in Paris 2019

About

The WPL Summit 2019, co-hosted by the House of Representatives of Japan, brings together female Heads of State and Government, Ministers, and Parliamentarians from all over the world. The WPL Summit 2019 immediately precedes the G20 Summit, which Japan is hosting on June 28-29. This timing gives the WPL Summit an opportunity to have an important impact. The WPL Summit 2019 provides a forum for exchange on best practices around the globe: of leadership, legislation, and political agenda-setting that create change in society.

The WPL Summit 2019 perfectly fits with Prime Minister Abe’s Womenomics approach to sustainable economic growth. It is set to result in tangible proposals for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the eve of the G20 Summit, which Japan will host on June 28-29. The Declaration was handed over to Shizo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and to G20 Leaders during the Leaders’ Special Event on Women Empowerement at the G20 Summit in Osaka on 29 June 2019.

The conclusions of the first-ever WPL Summit held in Asia-Pacific region were distilled in the WPL Summit 2019 Outcome Declaration.

Past WPL Summits have each attracted several hundred female Parliamentarians and other senior politicians to the European Parliament in Brussels; Kigali, Rwanda; the African Union in Addis Ababa; Mexico City; Amman, Jordan; Reykjavík, Iceland; and Vilnius, Lithuania. Each WPL Summit is a special opportunity to take part in dialogues that reflect the influence of female decision-makers in today’s world. In cooperation with international institutions such as the United Nations, the OECD, the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL), and others, the WPL Summit 2019 programme includes an outstanding selection of speakers and interactive discussions.

Speakers

Denis Mukwege

Founder and director of the Panzi Hospital

Jane Goodall

Founder and director of the Panzi Hospital

Jody Williams

Founder and director of the Panzi Hospital

Programme

The WPL Summit 2019 immediately precedes the G20 Summit, which Japan is hosting on 28-29 June. This timing gives the WPL Summit an opportunity to have an important impact created by the 350 participating female politicians and in the context of the host country on the wider world. By raising awareness of vital issues and debating them in a forum of powerful women representing citizens in all corners of the globe, the WPL Summit 2019 aims to set the scene for the pivotal discussions that will be had in and around the G20 Summit.

This year, discussions will focus on advancing society through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, they provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

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The WPL Summit 2019 will be co-hosted by the House of Representatives of the National Diet of Japan in Tokyo.

During the past century, Japanese women have fought and won important battles towards the goal of achieving social and political parity.

In the late 19th century, the first proponents for women’s political rights advocated for reforms. Prior to that, women in Japan were prohibited by law from joining political parties, expressing political views, and attending political meetings.

2019 represents a landmark year for Japanese women in politics: 100 years have passed since the founding of the New Women Association (NWA) in 1919. NWA played a crucial role in changing Article 5 of the Public Peace Police Law, which had prohibited women from participating in political meetings.

Invited to speak to the All-Kansai Federation of Women’s Organizations in November 1919, Hiratsuka Raicho, one of the group’s three founding mothers, together with Ichikawa Fusae and Oku Mumeo, delivered a talk entitled “Toward the Unification of Women.” “As possessors of rights”, Hiratsuka stated, “women would be part of the state that would determine the future.”

In 1921, the National Diet of Japan finally overruled Article 5 and granted women the right to attend political meetings.

Taking advantage of their right to attend openly political meetings (they still could not join political parties), women began to organise new groups through which they could make additional demands. Some worked for women’s political rights, while others pushed for an end to licensed prostitution and other goals.

The strong earthquake that hit Tokyo in September 1923 pushed women from these different groups to work more closely together. In the aftermath of the quake, the Women’s Reform Society and other women associations turned to relief work to supply thousands of Tokyo residents with food, clothing, and shelter. Representatives from 43 of these organisations joined forces to become the Tokyo Federation of Women’s Organisations.

Women were finally granted the right to vote in 1946, but there is still a way to go to reach equality between women and men. In 2018, Japan ranked 110th in the WEF Global Gender Gap Report: an unsatisfying result that calls for further initiatives in order to reach equality. Although there has been a moderate increase, the proportion of women in decision-making process still remains low and in most fields the target of 30% by 2020 set by the Government, has yet to be achieved.

Japan is working hard to create a society where it is common for women and men to share responsibility for work, household tasks and child rearing.

Over the last five years, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has consistently promoted the dynamic engagement of women, in order to create “a Japan in which all women shine.” The promotion of women’s active participation is essential for the sustainable economic growth of Japan, and constitutes a priority issue of the Abe Cabinet. Among the G7 heads of state, Abe was the first to participate in the United Nations’ HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality.

Furthermore, Abe’s initiative of creating a group of “male leaders who will create a society in which women shine” responds to the crucial need of including men in this path to parity.

In May 2018, Japan’s Parliament approved a law encouraging political parties to field an equal number of female and male candidates, marking an important step in order to bridge the gap between women and men in political and leadership positions.

The WPL Summit 2019 takes place at a timely moment in Japan’s history and aims to provide a useful opportunity for reflection so that women’s empowerment can be advanced even further.

Partners

Women Political Leaders is supported by a variety of institutions, foundations, non-governmental organisations, and other civil society actors, which are valuable contributors to the WPL’s mission. These supporters bring expertise from a range of fields to collaborate with us as the elected societal leaders in finding and advocating for solutions to global challenges.

We are grateful for their generous support. We would also like to thank our supporters from the private sector, without whose invaluable contributions our activities would not be possible. They supply essential financing, expertise, services and facilities.

Media

Press Programme

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is where the world gathers to drive progress on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. All journalists attending the conference will have access to high-level speakers and attendees representing experts in development, elected officials, global advocates and the next generation of leaders. During the conference, media will have access to the media center and a daily press program featuring breaking news and research coming out of the conference.

Fact sheets

Fact sheets can be found here.

Media Registration

Media may register here.

To register, you will need to provide information including:

  • Your name and media outlet
  • Links or PDFs of relevant articles/pieces
  • A letter of assignment from your news organization
  • A photocopy of your press badge

We will review media registrations and respond within two weeks of submission.

Social media

Press Programme

Join the online conversation! Use the hashtags #WPLSummit2019 and #WPL2019 to share your excitement with your networks.

Press Programme

Join the online conversation! Use the hashtags #WPLSummit2019 and #WPL2019 to share your excitement with your networks.

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