Nikko: The Group of Seven ministers for gender equality and women’s empowerment Saturday began a two-day meeting in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan.
Participants are set to discuss women’s economic independence and problems exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The G-7 ministers are expected to issue a joint statement Sunday to wrap up their discussions.
This is the fifth G-7 ministerial meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment and the first in Japan. The meeting will be chaired by Masanobu Ogura, Japanese minister in charge of such affairs.
During the novel coronavirus pandemic, many day care centers and other facilities for children were closed. The resultant additional burden of housework and child-rearing, however, fell disproportionately on women.
The service industry, including tourism and restaurant businesses, where many women work, also took an especially heavy blow.
These problems highlighted the importance of women’s economic independence.
Fully aware of the problems, the G-7 major powers plan to reflect the outcome of their discussions in the joint statement.
Ahead of the Nikko meeting, the Cabinet Office held an event on women’s empowerment in Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi, on Saturday.
“Promoting women’s empowerment is a challenge not only for Japan but also for the entire world,” Ogura said. “I want to lead discussions so that the G-7 as a whole can further advance its efforts.”
The G-7 also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and the European Union.