Women leaders from around the world convened in Tokyo on December 13th and 14th for the World Assembly for Women 2016 (WAW! 2016).
The first day of WAW! 2016, opened with remarks from Prime Minister Abe on the importance of women’s empowerment, stating that the three main objectives for WAW! 2016 were to "revolutionize" work culture, emphasize women’s leadership, and stress the role that women play in creating a safe and peaceful society. “Through action,” the Prime Minister mentioned in relation to this year’s theme, “we will change the way we think.”
PM Abe revealed his administration's long-term plans of investing around $3 billion in women’s empowerment efforts by 2018. This large sum will be directed towards initiatives seeking to protect the rights of women, formulating a basis for women to reach their full potential, and taking measures to improve women’s leadership in developing countries.
The second day of WAW! featured a series of roundtable discussions with experts from around the globe, each focusing on a specific aspect of women’s empowerment: developing capacity building for women and promoting their active roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); promoting women’s leadership; work-life management; women’s well-being, especially in improving sexual and reproductive health and rights; and the participation and empowerment of women in peace and security.