Media Partner the newyork times

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) – Tokyo

Director

Kaoru Nemoto

United Nations Information Centre Kaoru Nemoto
Towards a society where people with great diversity

Gender equality and women empowerment are just some of the most important issues that UNIC is trying to tackle. I am hoping that all companies will aim to establish a management that respects diversity, a workplace where people can work as they are, and a business that could meet the diverse need of their people. Also, I am hoping that the entire society will become a place where people with diversity can live as they are.

Year of Birth
1963
Birthplace
Hyogo
Name
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) – Tokyo
url
http://www.unic.or.jp/
UNIC Tokyo plays a role in translating various information in Japanese so that we can help them understand what the United Nations is aiming. The most noteworthy among these is the SDGs (Sustainable Development Target). This is an international goal aimed at sustainable development to address poverty, hunger, energy, climate change, and to attain a peaceful society. There are 17 goals listed in SDGs, and one of which is [5. Gender equality]. However, it does not simply stop there. That goal is also the tool that supports all the 17 goals.

Japan is currently in the stance of promoting women's success for "economic growth". In the same manner as human rights, I believe that promoting the success of women itself is the foundation of peace and other important social values. Diversity, which includes gender equality, is ingrained deeply in the United Nations. In terms of nationality, religion, and sexual orientation... our workplace has an environment in which I could say is the most diverse in the world, and so we have come to terms that it is normal for everyone to be different and we rarely pay special attention to gender. However, if I step outside of my workplace, I still have the impression that gender equality is not progressing much. For example, despite having lectures about gender equality, there are many instances where except for me, most of the speakers are men. I think that it is not reasonable to take steps that only came from a man's perspective, and to take steps without getting the insights of other parties. I believe that we should improve our social design in which women are seldom made to appear in public.

Not one country from both developing and developed countries have fully realized gender equality. For example, issues of sexual violence in refugee camps, and in Japan, issues that single mothers face. If you look at anywhere in the world, you can see that women have more or less the same problem.

I think what is needed here is the power of women. During my days as a student overseas, I realized that women are well-skilled in non-verbal signals. We came from different countries, but I have felt our solidarity as women as we were able to understand the issues that we are all facing without explanation. That is why, in United Nations, we make full use of the power of our women by putting them in the forefront of our activities including refugee support sites.

In the future, companies that lack diversity will soon turn on their yellow light. It is because I believe that diversity is a source of power. For a group of people with the same thinking, our current jobs may be easy to do, but they are weak as an organization. Discussions are dynamized because people with different values gather together, and one can get various insights from each standpoint. I believe that these discussions strengthen the organization. However, since everyone has different values, there’s no such thing as "dancing in the same beat" in organizations with diverse people. If you want to get something across, it has to be put into words and explained. This is also true outside of our organization. Since the environment surrounding the organization is also diverse, it is important for those who have various standpoint to create a place where one can freely express his opinion, to listen to various opinions, and to convince those people with diversity through explanation.

Fortunately, the SDGs that we are working to implement has gained the attention of many Japanese companies. In the future, I hope that the SDGs will be further internalized in companies so that they will have a daily environment that we have been promoting. And, I hope that in the future, there will be more and more strong and diverse organizations.

United Nations Information Centre Kaoru Nemoto
United Nations Information Centre Kaoru Nemoto

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) – Tokyo

Director
Kaoru Nemoto