Recovery, Rebuild, Renew - BPW Japan's 3R yellow jacket

--The road to recovery from the disaster by women--


We would like to thank all of Helsinki Congress participants who showed warm support for victims of the disaster caused by 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, and especially of members who visited the booth we set up at the Congress. We prepared the 3R-yellow vest to make an appeal to sisters to understand our zeal for the recovery from the devastation. The feedback information from Helsinki encouraged BPW members in Japan, especially members of two clubs in the disaster area, to continue to organize support system for victims there.

The board members of BPW Japan, as a women's organization, are discussing about how we can do to help for the future of affected area. It’s been said that, for the next stage, the most important thing we need to do is to continue to work on a long-term basis to support the affected women, and address the gender challenges on the disaster situation. So, we started the fund raising activities. Our future activities will include activities to raise awareness of women's needs and more substantive role and leadership in the disaster. We hope that in this way we raise the visibility of BPW Japan as the leading women’s organization in Japan. The idea of 3R yellow vest came up during these discussions. We planned to bring new vests to the Annual Meeting in Yamanashi, and then to the BPW Congress in Helsinki.

At the Yamanashi Annual Meeting, BPW Japan drafted the declaration based on the extensive working group discussions, titled "the road to recovery from the disaster by women." Then, it was amended and adopted as "Yamanashi Declaration."

On June 10th, BPW Japan handed in "Yamanashi Declaration," to Ms. Okajima, a Director of Gender Equality Bureau of the Japanese government, believing that women’s perspective sensitive to gender issues should be incorporated into the every future government's disaster restoration and prevention measures. Ms. Okajima appreciated our very concrete and articulate suggestions we put into the Yamanashi Declaration.

The major points of declaration are: 1) prompt restoration of child and elderly care so that women also would be able to resume to their work, 2) every shelter should have spaces to keep privacy especially for women, disables and elderly, 3) raise the share of women (over 30%) in the disaster restoration committees and management staff of shelters, and 4) keep payment for women’s temporally work at shelters or at disaster area; women are often expected to work on a voluntary basis work at shelters.

Cherry Blossoms