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An Activities Report of UN Women Kitakyushu (July, 2011)

During the MOVE Festa period, U.N. Women Kitakyushu annually promotes a fundraising activity and holds a seminar and many other events co-hosted by Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women and Kitakyushu Municipal Gender Equality Center MOVE. This year, hoping to have much closer communication with residents of the city, we held the following three events.


UN_Women_2011_1.jpg First, a charity bazaar, an essential event at the annual MOVE Festa, was held on Saturday, July 16 at the 1st Floor Exchange Space of MOVE. At the bazaar, many U.N. Women Kitakyushu members provided items and sold them at less than half normal market prices.
 The bazaar drew many people and the venue was very crowded. The bazaar was so successful that all the items sold out before the scheduled closing time. Most of the sales proceeds were donated to the U.N. Women Japan National Committee and the United Nations.  

UN_Women_2011_2.jpg Second, “Wen-Do Seminar – the Art of Self-Defense for Women” was held the two days of Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23. Inviting Ms. Motoko Onuma, a Wen-Do instructor, the seminar was held in the Large Seminar Room on the 5th floor of MOVE.
  “Wen” and “Do” mean “women” and “way,” respectively. At the beginning of the seminar, participants were very surprised with the instructor’s loud voice. However, they gradually became absorbed by her explanation and physical instructions. As indicated in the results of the questionnaire conducted after the seminar, the seminar was highly praised by most of the participants.

UN_Women_2011_3.jpg Finally, a lecture was held titled “Taboo: Women Living in Brothel Districts in Pakistan.” The lecture was held on Friday, July 29 in the Large Seminar Room on the 5th floor of MOVE, with Ms. Masako Ota, Senior Researcher of the Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women, as lecturer.
  Ms. Ota reported regarding red-light (brothel) districts in Pakistan. Using various materials and photographs, she gave easy-to-understand explanations on the life and thoughts of dancers there, the historical background of prostitution, and the transition from the traditional prostitution system to the present-day prostitution business. This seminar presented a comparison from a gender perspective between women living in the brothel districts in Pakistan and those living in ordinary society in the country. The comparison provided a good opportunity to think deeply about Japanese society once again.

 In closing, we hope that as many people as possible will participate in U.N. Women Kitakyushu and help expand the circle of our activities. We truly look forward to your cooperation.


What is the U.N. Women Kitakyushu?
 The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Kitakyushu was established in 1994, with its motto as “Let’s Join Hands with Women around the World.” Meanwhile, as a result of the merger of the four United Nations (U.N.) women organizations due to the U.N. reform, the U.N. Women was established. In response to this, the UNIFEM Kitakyushu was renamed as the U.N. Women Kitakyushu on April 1, 2011.
The U.N. Women Kitakyushu plans to promote fundraising activities, such as a charity bazaar, hold seminars and other events, issue a newsletter, and develop international exchange, in a bid to support the gender equality and the empowerment of women in developing countries. In addition, we will continue working on activities to disseminate the significance of the U.N. Women’s efforts, and to realize the gender equal society in which women and girls all over the world, not just in developing countries, will not suffer from discrimination, violence, and poverty.