UNIDO ITPO Tokyo held the online event titled “Promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Traditionally Male-dominated Industries and Occupations in Developing Countries”, on 9th December 2021.
This was the second gender-themed event UNIDO ITPO Tokyo organized following “Women’s Empowerment and SDG Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure” which was held in May this year. The main theme was to explore how we can contribute to industrial development in developing countries through the promotion of gender equality and economic empowerment of women, in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 5 “Gender Equality” and Goal 9 “Industry, innovation and infrastructure”.
Ms. Akemi Ishikawa, UNIDO Industrial Development Expert and moderator of the panel discussion, opened by noting that while women account for 40 percent of the global labor force, they account for less than 30 percent of those employed in manufacturing, utilities, mining, and construction combined. Based on UNIDO Guide to Gender Analysis and Gender Mainstreaming the Project Cycle, she noted that “Advancements in women’s empowerment, including their income, education, access to decent jobs and equal representation in managerial functions has been repeatedly linked to improved development outcomes and has a multiplier effect on inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).”
In the panel discussion, three panelists from the private sector and UNIDO took the stage. Firstly, Ms. Kako KURASAWA (Komatsu CO., LTD) introduced their heavy equipment vocational training project in Africa, which has been conducted in cooperation with UNIDO, and explained human resource development in communities and regions in developing countries is also beneficial for their business. Additionally, she told the participants “Have a clear purpose and speak up”, based on her own experience of working in a male-dominated industry.
The next speaker was Mr. Stavros PAPASTAVROU (UNIDO Industrial Development Officer), who is in charge of the project with Komatsu. He touched on the difficulty of applying the concept of gender equality to the actual field. “Providing vocational training is important, but also it is necessary to improve the working environment for female, for example, setting up a changing room and bringing a female trainer who can be a mentor, to promote gender equality in male-dominated industries”.
Mr. Yuko YASUNAGA, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo emphasized the active participation of women in the industries is indispensable for the achievement of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) and SDGs. He pointed out, “Industries and professions where females cannot fully participate are losing half of their potential”. He also mentioned that the mindset is important for accelerating the changing social trends for the realization of gender equality.
Date/Time: 17:00 – 18:00 (JST) on 9 December 2021
Language: English/Japanese (Simultaneous interpretation)
17:00 Opening Remarks & MC
Ms. Ikue TOSHINAGA, UNIDO national officer
17:05 Panel discussion
Moderator Ms. Akemi ISHIKAWA, UNIDO Industrial Development Expert
・Ms. Kako KURASAWA, Komatsu CO., LTD
・Mr. Stavros PAPASTAVROU, UNIDO Industrial Development Officer
・Mr. Yuko YASUNAGA, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
17:45 Q&A session
19:25 Closing Remarks Mr. Ferda GELEGEN, Deputy Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
Contact for inquiries
Mr. Nishiyama, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo