Happy New Year to everyone!
I am Chizuko Ueno, the chairwoman of the WAN board members. We welcomed the second new year under the COVID pandemic. I sincerely hope that you are all safe and well. The Omicron variant has arrived and the sixth infection wave seems to be coming.
Have you noticed that WAN's website has been changing? We have uploaded more videos. The COVID Pandemic has made our online presence much more advanced.
In January last year, we organized the online symposium "Feminism of Women Who Lived in the Community." It was held to celebrate the fact that the Document-WAN, archives of feminist grassroots media, had archived the entire collection of 12 records of “National Women's History Study Exchange Meeting” over 38 years. Ms. Sayoko Yoneda made a great contribution to this. We sincerely appreciate their cooperation.
In April, Ms. Mari Miura led the talk festival for the anniversary of the 75th year of women’s suffrage. In addition, we organized the event “Why is Japanese Reproductive Health like this?”with Ms. Masako Horiguchi and Mr. Sadao Horiguchi, whom we have been working with for many years. We also invited Ms. Kazuko Fukuda, the leader of #Nande Naino Project to the event.
In July, we collaborated with the United Nations Population Fund on “Because It’s Our Body -What is the Right of Self-determination for Body?-.” As a spin-off, we were able to archive at the Document-WAN all volumes of “Body・Ourselves” produced by the translation project that many WAN-related people contributed 30 years ago in the 1990s. Please visit our Document-WAN website.
From now on, we are planning to organize another online symposium “Has Our Body Become ‘Ours’?” on 23 January, which will connect different generations. Registration is already open. As the deadline approaches, do please register at your earliest convenience.
In November, thanks to the efforts of Ms. Yuki Senda, we held the seminar "How to Protect Children after Divorce." I think that those who want joint custody after divorce should listen to this before speaking out.
Going online made us no longer have to hold our general meetings and conferences in person. So last year we had our general meeting online, and afterwards we had an online members meeting including an auction. We had a lot of fun. We are planning to do it again this year.
The Board of Directors has also gone online, which has not only increased the frequency of meetings, but has also really reduced costs as we no longer have to pay for travel costs.
WAN's main activity is website management. Three major events took place in the backyard of the website. The first one is that we have moved our server. Not only did it cost less, but it also made our website more stable. Secondly, we now have two people in the corporate office, which also made our work more stable. Thirdly, we have been able to make connections with experts for the future of WAN. We were fortunate enough to relate to a pro bono group called SERVICE GRANT, who gave us professional advice on website issues and design. As we go online more and more, we are really evolving in that sense.
Have you noticed that we started new projects? First of all, the “Junior Project” in order to bring feminism to teenage girls. Recently I've been corresponding more and more with high school girls, which is great fun. Secondly, we've started a project of more than 1 year, the “WAN Feminism Introduction School”. We were delighted to have 160 applicants in the first 72 hours, and are now running with 80 students. The last one is the “Doctoral Thesis Review Meeting”. WAN has a dissertation database, but a dissertation is pointless if it is not read. This is a really unique WAN project, where the dissertations are read and commented on by people outside of the supervisor and dissertation community. WAN is a treasure trove of human resources and databases. By taking advantage of this, we are creating projects like these.
We are making our foreign language web pages multilingual. This year, we want to use the strength of online to make more and more connections across borders.
Finally, we have happy news and sad news. The happy news is that one of the founders of WAN, Ms. Toyoko Nakanishi, has been awarded the OMRON Kyoto Human Prize. From this, she made a generous donation to WAN. We greatly appreciate her support. Oops, I'm sorry - congratulations should be the first thing to say in such cases. The sad news is that Ms. Teruko Inoue, the pioneer among the pioneers of women's studies in Japan and the first editor-in-chief of WAN Women's Journal, has passed away. She had made so many contributions to our Document-WAN.
There will be a memorial service for Ms. Teruko Inoue on 21 March. Please register for this event too.
This year's annual general meeting will be on 21 May. So please save the date. Either in person or online, we look forward to seeing you all again in good health.
We sincerely wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.
(Translated by Midori Kojima)
Happy New Year to everyone!