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Guiding Principles of the Office for Gender Equality

Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of Keio University, both advocated and personally practiced gender equality throughout his life. For example, in 1870, at a time when Japan was still heavily influenced by former feudal society, he wrote in his A Letter of Farewell to Nakatsu, "Each man and woman is equally a person between Heaven and earth and therefore there is no reason for a difference in importance between them."

Keio University is committed to creating a society in which all individuals can maximize their potential and gain joy and fulfillment through cooperation, regardless of gender. Moreover, with its heritage of independence and self-respect, Keio is dedicated to a larger mission of achieving an open-minded and dynamic university for motivated, able individuals, regardless of differences in gender, lifestyle, culture, tradition, nationality, or financial background.

In the 21st century, humanity is facing serious challenges to maintain the global environment and the societies in which we live. As we face a tremendous turning point, in Japan as well as throughout the world, Keio must continue to grow and evolve in order to provide viable solutions for these issues and train talented individuals to lead our future. Moreover, it is essential to consolidate the diversity of human wisdom in order to solve increasingly complex social issues. However, the fact is that men alone have played a central role at institutions of education, research, and medicine and across many other fields, a precedent predominantly supported by social systems and customs throughout history. We believe that it is crucial to trade this gender-biased structure for a vibrant structure of collaboration and synergy which values individual differences. Under this structure, we can expect those involved in education, research, and medicine to fully realize their individuality and capability and to motivate one another. In this manner, the whole can give more back to society as a rich reservoir of knowledge. Solutions to issues facing us today are only possible through the consolidation of diverse intellects, and Keio University aims to fulfill a progressive role under this philosophy.

Since its inception, Keio has inherited Yukichi Fukuzawa's spirit of acting as a leader of society; it eagerly offers a vision of leadership for the future and educates talented individuals to become these leaders. As for the gender differences which exist between man and woman, no longer may we return to antiquated structures such as fixed divisions of labor. Keio strives to be an institution of learning which produces socially responsible individuals with diverse, exceptional intellect and a sensibility for collaboration.

Moreover, we believe that as an institution of education, research, and medicine, Keio University has a significant impact on society in forming the thought of many individuals. That is why we believe that an institution such as ours should create a social and institutional environment which ensures all individuals engaged in education, research, and medicine can fully achieve their potential.

Keio University is committed to building the foundations toward gender equality in order to educate individuals who are able to live both "independently" and "cooperatively," and responsibly contribute at home and abroad. Here we lay out our basic plan for gender equality at Keio to reinforce the permanent sustainability of gender equality in society.

Basic Plan for Gender Equality

  • A) Create a campus environment at the forefront of a gender-equal society
  • B) Support a work-life balance in education, research, and medicine
  • C) Develop gender equality projects for the next generation
  • D) Collaborate with the community and society
  • E) Construct a framework for gender equality

A) Create a campus environment at the forefront of a gender-equal society

In its mission to educate diverse leaders capable of designing the future, Keio University aims to form a university-wide consensual base for gender equality and to swiftly review and apply improvements to its campus environment as is appropriate and necessary.

  1. Considering the gender balance in the decision-making process at various levels throughout Keio.
  2. Establishing a branch office of the Office for Gender Equality at each Keio campus to disseminate guiding principles of gender equality and realize Keio's Basic Plan.
  3. Investigating and exposing current realities of awareness and needs concerning gender. Accumulation, organization, analysis, and publication of materials regarding gender equality at Keio University from within and without Keio.
  4. Identifying and removing any contributing factors which impede gender equality within existing systems or practices at Keio.
  5. Installing and improving campus facilities suitable to design a gender-equal society. Regular re-examination of the action plan for employers and revisions to the various systems regarding gender equality based on the Law for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation.

B) Support a work-life balance in education, research, and medicine

Based on its guiding principles of gender equality, Keio University aims to review and implement necessary facilities and systems to support the work-life balance for faculty and staff members and students.

  1. Reviewing facilities and systems for childcare which cater to the various needs of faculty and staff members and students.
  2. Establishing an environment where information support, publications, and counseling are available on the topics of pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, and nursing care.
  3. Continuing and expanding ongoing measures for female researchers, such as childcare for sick children and temporary childcare support.
  4. Utilizing IT to establish an information support environment for work-life balance.
  5. Establishing a system for counseling and career advice from experts.
  6. Implementing a system which reduces workloads and provides leaves of absence for all faculty and staff members according to their various needs and establishing career continuation policies for life events such as pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, and nursing care.

C) Develop gender equality projects for the next generation

Keio University aims to review projects and encourage further developments in order to pass on the principles of gender equality to the next generation.

  1. Making opportunities for students to learn and research topics related to gender equality in undergraduate and graduate lectures as well as classes at Keio's affiliated schools.
  2. Fostering mutual understanding across generations concerning philosophies and opinions on gender equality by deepening interactions between the university and affiliated schools.
  3. Offering career development assistance to women in fields such as medicine and science and technology, where the proportion of female researchers remains low.
  4. Offering career development assistance to male students and researchers in the field of nursing.

D) Collaborate with the community and society

Keio University will cooperate with Keio members and its Office of Community and Regional Affairs to build a community base for diverse, multi-dimensional social action with autonomous bodies, private corporations, and other organizations and individuals which share similar philosophies and values of gender equality. Through these efforts, Keio aims to review and implement measures and policies which contribute widely to gender equality within society.

  1. Strengthening initiatives with other universities domestic and foreign under the theme of gender equality.
  2. Holding regular, ongoing seminars and symposiums regarding gender equality and opening them up to the public.
  3. Performing awareness-raising activities, information-sharing with the community and society, and regular reports on gender equality.

E) Construct a framework for gender equality

In order to carry out these basic plans, Keio University must review its progress and refine and shape further plans by clarifying each department's role and setting priorities regarding its gender equality efforts. Keio University strives to be the shaping force behind gender equality in Japan.

  1. Reviewing progress for each fiscal year, clarifying department responsibilities and realizing project goals, and formulating project plans for the current fiscal year on.
  2. Hearing the opinions of Keio University faculty and staff members toward operations, measures, and policies regarding gender equality.
  3. Implementing effective and efficient policies and measures by working closely with related departments in order to construct a framework for gender equality.
  4. Releasing activity evaluations of efforts towards gender equality.

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