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Working Together For
Women's Empowerment.

On Saturday March 20, WomEnpowered International hosted the first session of Period rediscovered., a six-part talk series on menstruation and women’s health. The first session “Why We Menstruate” focused on the biological and physiological explanation of menstruation.

We welcomed Dr. Yosuke Matsumiya, medical doctor specializing in obsteritics and gynaecology, who provided an informative and fascinating presentation on the menstrual mechanism. His presentation importantly redefined the meaning of “normal” period - a concept that pressures many women who are fed with inaccurate information. Please look forward to our infographic summary of the key takeaways from the lecture! You can also access Dr. Matsumiya's presentation here.

One of the reasons we invited a male speaker for the first session was to invite men into the audience, in order to make conversation on periods not only about women, but also of all people. As a result, six men (one-third of the participants!) attended and learned about menstruation together with women. We hope to promote more gender inclusion when discussing menstruation and women’s health, because menstruation is not only relevant to women, but also relevant to all humans!

Full recording of the session is available only to WE Int. members and event participants. Please contact to access the recording.

Next session, #2 Period Products will take place on Sunday, April 18.

Please make sure to register from this sign-up form!

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Updated: Apr 2, 2021

On March 16th, we held a panel discussion talking about the documentary film "It's just our family. The lively discussion focused on the journey of Elin, a linguistics professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, who 2 years ago registered her female identity in the U.S. as part of her gender transition process, and the film which captures that journey, directed by Ameya.

Watch the film trailer here:

At the beginning of the event, Ameya and Elin revealed the trust that developed between them in the process of capturing the intimate bond and personal space of Elin and her family. Of course, not all that was captured made it to the final cut. Ameya and Elin offered very intriguing insight behind the decision of what should be released and what not.

An important point that Elin highlighted in the conversation is that her story is not a representation of every trans person story in Japan. Indeed, she recognizes that her case is somewhat different in terms of her background, nationality, profession.

The conversation touched upon a variety of topics:

  • Elin, as a linguist and an academic, shared her thoughts on the meaning of terms such as 'father' and 'mother';

  • Ameya pinpointed the importance of intersectional thinking, connecting different forms of discrimination based on sex and race and reminded the essential need we all have to feel relevant in our communities;

  • They highlighted the importance to not be hesitant to participate in the conversation challenging the concepts of love, marriage, family. Although the topic can be sensitive, we must open to make mistakes and be as graceful as possible while we still engage in the conversation.

Elin and Ameya were asked to share their call to action with the audience:

1. Say something, do something - things will change

In Elin's perspective, it is crucial to raise our voice when something feels wrong. Silence can preserve social norms that no longer serve us. Often social norms are naturalized and taken for granted, but they can change, social attitudes can change. For that to happen, we need to act in situations where we observe unfairness.

2. Individual, community, corporate - where do you care to change

Ameya underlined that we have the power to change the status quo on different levels: as individuals, as participants in our communities, and most importantly in the capitalist society we live in - as a driving force in our corporations.

Watch the full discussion:

We hope you enjoyed the event!

Event team:

If you would like to join our following events, have an idea or want to be part of the team contact us at:

To enjoy free membership register at:

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Updated: Mar 11, 2021

*English follows Japanese*

WE Int.では #SheInspires と題して、団体メンバーの紹介をしています。女性同士支え合い、たたえ合うこと。これもフェミニスト団体であるWE Int.の大事な役目と考えているからです。今回紹介するのは、日本人メンバーの藤井葉子さん。彼女はなんでジェンダーに興味を持ったのか、日本におけるジェンダー課題についてどう考えているか、ぜひお読みください!

WE Int., committed to lifting up women and shedding light on their work, introduces its members as part of the series #SheInspires. In this article, we introduce to you Yoko Fujii, a 2nd year student at Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo. Born and raised in Japan, Yoko has been realizing many gender issues in japan and she wants to improve gender equality by strengthening international cooperation through her work so that each country can overcome common gender issues together.

Read her interview article bellow to get to know more about Yoko and her views on gender issues in Japan!


 こんにちは。藤井葉子(ふじい・ようこ)と申します。私は日本で生まれ育ち、今は東京大学公共政策大学院の修士2年生です。学問分野では、国際関係や開発政策、ジェンダーに興味があります。今年3月に卒業し、4月からは外交官として勤務します。また私はWE Int.のメンバーの一人であり、Coffee Conversationをはじめとしたイベントに参加して、他のメンバーとの交流を楽しんでいます。趣味は、J-popやK-popをはじめとした音楽を聴くことや、国内・海外旅行をすることです。











 WE Int.は、個人が女性のエンパワメントに関して考えるだけでなく、積極的にイベントや対話の開催などの活動に移していて、とても勇気がある団体だと思います。その姿勢を見習い、今後の自らの生き方やキャリアにも生かしていきたいです。

1. Tell us about yourself

Hi! My name is Yoko Fujii and I am a 2nd year student at Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo. Born and raised in Japan, I got my bachelor degree in the faculty of law, Keio University in 2019. My academic concentration is international relations in general, but I am also interested in development and gender studies. I also love traveling and listening to music. I am going to work as a diplomat after graduation in March. I am also a member of WEint and participate in Coffee Conversation and other events, through which I enjoy interacting with other members.

2. What is the background you grew up in?

Luckily, I have never experienced any severe harassment or discrimination during my 24-year-life in Japan. This is truly thanks to my surrounding environment. My parents have always been supportive for my education, and have never stopped me from doing what I want to do just because I am female.

3. What do you think about the gender issue in Japan?

However, this does not mean that Japan is free from gender related problems. The most serious problem, in my opinion, is the few number of female leaders in universities, companies, parliament and cabinet. There are still many stereotypes on gender such as “Women should be beautiful and be a perfect housewife.” Thanks to the Internet, while people can freely show to the world who they are, many victims of sexual violence are attacked by heartless comments and many girls on SNS have become the target of lookism. We have to tackle with these problems not only from policy perspective but also from our daily lives.

4. What would you like to achieve for improving gender equality?

In order to achieve gender equality, I want to be the kind of woman who can give courage to others to live in her own way, pursuing her own career and taking her own leadership. Furthermore, I would like to strengthen international cooperation through my work so that each country can overcome common gender issues together. Also, I want to be someone who can speak up towards social problems. Conflicts such as "Male vs. Female" would make a negative impact on women empowerment. I will always try to listen to other people's voices so that they can face the asymmetric structures in society regardless of gender and have a comprehensive dialogue. WE Int. is an inspiring organization that actively engages in activities in women's empowerment.I would like to emulate that attitude and make use of it in my future life and career.

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