gender gap, gender equality, Japan, NYC, Columbia University, Columbia Business School, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Asako Osaki, Dr. Yumiko Shimabukuro

Closing the Gender Gap in Japan: Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects

Closing the Gender Gap in Japan: Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects

Thursday, February 14 from 12:30 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. (Registration begins at noon)

Columbia Business School – 3022 Broadway (Uris Hall, Room 303)

Admission: Free

The Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School welcomes you to a lunchtime zadankai (“discussion meetings”) seminar.

Key Topics

The facts and figures surrounding the gender gap in Japan
The roles played by government and civil society to contribute to recent progress
The strategic partnerships for gender equality in the making through the G20 and W20 (Women 20) processes.

Featured Guest

The featured guest will be Asako Osaki, the director of Gender Action Platform and visiting professor of the School of Policy Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University. Osaki is a policy and advocacy expert specializing in gender mainstreaming and empowerment of women and girls. After receiving an M.A. in international affairs, she joined U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) and served as the program manager at the Bureau for Development Policy, specializing in the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in developing countries by helping to implement international commitments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since her return to Tokyo in 2005, she has been active in mainstreaming gender in Japan’s policies and programs, both those of domestic and overseas assistance, working with government, international organizations, NGOs, and research institutions to address gender issues.

She also gives lectures and talks to managers and decision-makers in municipal government, national/local parliament, and private-sector companies across Japan and through mass-media, including a top-rated weekly news program, on why it makes sense to have more women in the decision-making positions in both public and private sectors based on the global trends and the findings of the research/advocacy projects she has undertaken in Japan.


Dr. Yumiko Shimabukuro will moderate the discussion. Dr. Shimabukuro is the director of the Urban and Social Policy Program at the School of International & Public Affairs and a faculty advisor, Empowering Asian Women at Columbia University.


Lunch will be served. The event is free, but advance registration is required. To RSVP for the event, please visit CJEB’s Eventbrite page. Registration does not guarantee your admission, so arrive early, as seating will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will begin at noon; all guests must be seated by 12:30 p.m.

Featured photo by Everett Kennedy Brown in Quartz.