Working Together For
Women's Empowerment.

Is there a way to deconstruct the persistent and systematic underrepresentation of women in corporations, academia, governments, entrepreneurship, and other areas of society? 

At G(irls)20 Summit: Panel discussion about Women's Protection & Promotion in the Workplace

     The panel discussions and conversations that took place at the G(irls) 20 Summit 10th Annual Global Summit centered around this enormous, yet meaningful question. 

     G(irls) 20 is a global initiative that aims to cultivate young female leaders who can take up decision-making roles in different areas of the world. G(irls) 20's investment in young women takes forms of leadership training and education, provision of networking opportunities, and offering access to unparalleled opportunities at home and abroad. The Summit is one of the pillar activities of G(irls) 20, in which delegates from different parts of the world spend around a week together in one location and attain knowledge, experiences, and connections that they can bring back to their respective home countries to promote women's and girls' empowerment. 

     This year, G(irls) 20 Summit was held in Japan, and I was privileged enough to join a whole-day panel event hosted at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Japanese delegate was Irene Evbade-Dan, a graduate student of environmental studies currently based in Germany. 

      The event consisted of five panel discussions with distinguished activists, business persons, and educators, and a keynote speech by Alexandra Loras who has dedicated her life to urging racial and gender justice. 

     In one of the panels titled "Unlocking Digital Inclusion Through STEM & Entrepreneurship,"Janelle Sasaki, Director of Gender Brand, Marketing & Communications at EY Japan and W20 Japan Committee Member, revealed a shocking fact. According to Ms. Sakaki, it would take approximately 202 years to achieve a complete economic gender parity, if gender equality continued to advance at the same rate as today. 

From left: WE Int. co-founder - Yuki Nakao, Founder of En-joi D&I Consulting & Training - Dr. Jackie Steele, Executive Director of Women's Eye - Megumi Ishimoto

     One of the reasons for such a slow progress was provided by another panelist Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalization and IT. Ms. Fontaine explained that much of the changes for gender-equality promotion were implemented by private corporations, but very by governments. Any positive changes towards equality and inclusion are welcome, but an expansive, dramatic, and orchestrated change requires government policies and law enforcements.

"We cannot just rely on private areas to improve the situation." Ms. Fontaine claimed. "It has to be a governmental move." 

     Another problematization made by the third panelist Marieme Jamme, founder of iamtheCODE, was that policy- and decision-makers spend excessive time on "talking" and "adopting action plans" but lack the ability to implement them swiftly and effectively. Ms. Jamme urged the G(irls) 20 delegates to utilize their voices to pressure the political leaders to produce actual and visible changes. 

      Talking about women's empowerment is necessary, but certainly insufficient if we want to achieve a complete gender equality while we are alive. We need to take decisive actions. This was the major takeaway from the Global Summit. The event also made me ponder how WE Int.'s activities and platform could be utilized for the acceleration of gender inclusion in Japan. But one thing I am excited about is the development of WE Int. in the next decade. G(irls) 20, after ten years from its establishment, has become a major accelerator and influential advocate for gender equality. I hope that WE Int. follows the path of G(irls) 20 and becomes the central change-maker in the Japanese society and beyond. 

Our co-founder, Yuki Nakao at G20 Summit

Learn more about G(irls) 20 at

Learn more about Global Summit 2019 Tokyo at:

Article written by Yuki Nakao, Co-founder of WE Int.

Every week, WE Int. highlights men who support gender equality and women's empowerment.

This week's #HeSupports interview is with Kenneth Reyes! Read our exclusive interview with Kenneth, discussing how men can benefit from supporting gender equality.

You were one of the first males to come to our general meeting. What made you interested in joining the meeting? 

I wanted to show my support for a long-overdue organization in UTokyo. As everyone knows, the university's female population has been stuck at 20 percent for a while now. Among the faculty and other positions of power, I think it's even lower. An organization that looks out for women deserves the support of all like-minded members of the university.

What do you think about the gender inequality issue in Japan compared to your home country?

In the Philippines, the sexes are much more equally represented in schools, the workplace, and positions of power. Most men don't think twice about being under a female boss, and it is taken for granted that girls will go to college and wives would want a career. It was quite jarring for me to transfer from a university of majority female professors to one of almost no female professors. However, the Philippines remains backward with respect to the Catholic cult around female chastity and male virility. A Filipino man would have no qualms marrying a highly accomplished woman, but everything changes if she is not a virgin on her wedding day. Male infidelity is acceptable, female infidelity is unforgivable. 

Is there any gender-related issue you’re particularly interested in? 

I have a morbid fascination with the men's rights movement -- red pillers, incels, Jordan Peterson, etc. -- who believe that it's actually straight men who are being oppressed in society today. It's a symptom of the intensified tribalism of the Internet age: since people holding similar views can more easily find each other, echo chambers tend to form that push people into more and more extreme views. The men's rights movement is a small but seemingly growing community, and I'm worried it's starting to seep out into the real world. People who care about gender equality ought to be vigilant towards this.

How do you think men can benefit from a gender equitable world?

I believe diversity is good in principle. People are bundles of virtues and flaws, and when they interact with each other they learn more about themselves -- which parts are the virtues and which parts the flaws. Echo chambers are the death of personal growth. If half the population remains "invisible" to the other half, we end up losing a large part of the human experience. This is terribly important because solving problems as a society requires a well-honed ability to empathize with others.

Kenneth Reyes is an economics student specializing in colonial history. He has two cats in Manila. His favorite female character is Becky Sharp.




On May 18 and 19, Gogatsusai (May Festival), a school-wide festival, took place at the University of Tokyo.

WE Int. participated in the festival by advertising our organization and promoting the norm of gender equality on campus. We would like to thank the Graduate School of Public Policy for letting us promote our organization at their booth and to everyone who came to our booth to meet our members.

Click to see more images from our event.

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