I Participated in a HeForShe Workshop!

Hello everyone. I am Riho Matsubayashi, a first-year student of the School of Humanities at Nagoya University (NU).


Here, I will introduce a participatory workshop held at the Science South Building in NU on June 28, 2017. This workshop was hosted by the Nagoya University HeForShe Committee under the theme of "Considering Date Rape -- Mutually Respectful Relationships and Communication."




Have you ever felt in your daily life that men and women are not treated equally? NU has been active in supporting gender equality, female researchers as well as the promotion of work-life balance since 2003.

I will introduce NU's HeForShe initiatives, as well as the contents of the workshop by dividing into four sections as follows:

(1) What activities does HeForShe promote?

(2) Relations between HeForShe and Nagoya University

(3) About this workshop

(4) NU's future efforts for HeForShe


(1) What activities does HeForShe promote?

HeForShe is a campaign implemented by UN Women, a United Nations organization. UN Women works for gender equality and the empowerment of women on a regular basis. In 2014, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson announced the launch of the campaign. Many people around the world -- including heads of state, chief executive officers (CEOs), and globally well-known people -- have supported the campaign. As of February 2017, more than 1.2 million people around the world, including more than 3,700 people from Japan, have signed on to support the HeForShe campaign.


(2) Relations between HeForShe and Nagoya University (NU)

 What kind of relations are there between this large-scale campaign and NU?

Actually, UN Women has selected IMPACT Champions as leaders of promoting HeForShe from 10 heads of state, 10 CEOs from global companies, and 10 university presidents, and NU is one of the 10 universities. NU established the Center for Gender Equality in 2003, and this Center is actively promoting the realization of a society in which women can play active roles. Until now, the Center has held various symposiums and implemented various programs. The workshop I participated in was also one of them!   


(3) About this workshop

In this workshop, I learned about date rape and violence from familiar persons using fictitious scenarios, in an attempt to make a campus free of sexual abuse. I also listened to an officer from the Aichi Prefectural Police Headquarters about the current status of date domestic violence, stalking, and sexual abuse among modern youth.


a. Contents of the Workshop

In the workshop, using a fictitious scenario with the characters, Satoru (male) and Keiko (female), participants in divided groups discussed the differences of thoughts between males and females regarding a fictitious event. The discussion became heated with opinions, such as "Satoru thought that Keiko seemed to be very glad, but I guess Keiko had a completely different feeling." From this discussion, I learned that each person feels things differently and that we must not consider only what we think is right. Moreover, I understood that "considering the feelings of others" is very important.



b. Talk of police inspector

Mr. Ishii, an inspector from the Aichi Prefectural Police Headquarters, taught us the police's efforts and the actual number of sexual abuse cases. He said that the police's Control Office, to which he belongs, receives about 60 consultations per day regarding stalking and domestic violence. Last fiscal year, the number of consultations about stalking was 1,273, an 11.1 percent increase from the previous year. I was surprised at such a large number of cases. He also said that the police has taken all possible prevention measures such as establishing the One-Stop Support Center, as well as the "dial 110 registration system," under which people in trouble can receive telephone consultation as soon as possible. I was very glad to be able to learn about affairs that had not been very familiar to me before.



NU's Future Efforts for HeForShe

Nagoya University invites supporters of its HeForShe initiative at any time. It holds various workshops and also the "NU Run for HeForShe," an effort in which NU students will participate in the Nagoya City Marathon to be held on March 10 and 11, 2018, to showcase NU's efforts to promote gender equality.

I experienced this kind of participatory workshop for the first time. Gender equality is a difficult issue, but I was glad to have an opportunity to think about it. Regarding Nagoya University's HeForShe campaign, please see:


Reported by Riho Matsubayashi (Japan)

(Modified and Translated by the Public Relations Office, Nagoya University)