Activity Report (1999) Part 2   III. Contributing to the Development of an Equitable and Open Society

Asian Center for Women's Studies (ACWS), Ewha Womans University (Korea)
Training Program for Next-generation Researchers on Women's Studies in Asia

¥ 1,674,656
The program aimed to inspire, through training and workshop sessions, young females who are studying women's issues in the Asian region. It was to follow up the collaborative research project conducted last year on "Systematization and Development of Women's Studies in Higher Education in Asia" which was also supported by the Asia Center. From July through October 1999, Korean participants visited Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Japan to attend workshops on building a women's studies curriculum, and to have interviews with local counterparts and members of women's groups. Each participant was assigned an individual research task, and the results were later compiled into a final report. One achievement of this tour was that a network was established to link professionals of women's studies throughout the region.


Institute for Peace Studies, Korea University (Korea)
Identity and Legal Status of Korean Emigrants in East Asian Countries

¥ 1,809,000
This international project was undertaken by researchers from Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan and China, who conducted a comparative study and analysis on the overseas Koreans in East Asia with regard to their legal, political and economic status, as well as their ethnic identity. The study results were reported at an international academic seminar held at Beijing University in February 2000 and also appeared in Peace Studies Journal, a publication of the institute.


NGO Research Center of Tsinghua University (China)
Project to Investigate and Evaluate Chinese NGOs

¥ 2,131,676
This research project sought to achieve autonomous development of Chinese NGOs by identifying negative factors in the past and present activities. Comprehensive research and analysis were conducted through questionnaires and case studies on various aspects of Chinese NGOs: activities, structures, relationship with the government, targets of activities, supporters and members, financial basis, and social credibility. In addition, 26 NGO seminars were held to serve as a venue to re-assess the direction of current projects, and to present and share the research findings. The final reports on the project, "Case Study on China's NGOs" (in Chinese) and "Unseen China: NPOs as Undercurrent of Social Reform" (in Japanese), have been published.


Japan International Center for the Rights of the Child (Japan)
Indo-Japan Joint Research and Exchange Program on Child Labour and Child Participation
October 8 - 15, 1999, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan

¥ 2,470,000
This was the 2nd phase of a three-year project on child labor to determine the factors which prevent children from appropriate social participation and other possible violations of children's rights. Following the outcome of the 1st phase, the Center again invited working children and NGOs from India to join Japanese children at workshop camps to share and discuss labor issues and the children's needs in India. Also included in the event were workshops and seminars in order to come up with a proposal to the Japanese government for their support with child labor issues. On the last day, the "Sengari Declaration" written by Japanese children was adopted. Next year is the "year of action," plans are being made to work further on financial cooperation and advocacy to achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating child labor.


JCA-NET, Asian Women's Resource Exchange (AWORC) Project (Japan)
AWORC Issue-based Project: Electronic Information and Networking for "Beijing Plus Five"
Reviewing the Status of Implementation of the UN Beijing Platform for Action

¥ 2,725,246
Following up the Beijing Platform for Action that was agreed at the World Conference on Women, the project conducted research and held workshops to establish an information service system on women's issues through the Internet. An Asia Center grant was used to create a web site for posting information and activities regarding the "Beijing Plus Five" conference, and to hold a workshop on "Women's Electronic Networking Training (WENT) 1999." Those activities have contributed to capacity building of the women's group for protecting women's rights and promoting their appropriate participation in society, and to establishing a sustainable system of information sharing by utilizing electronic media.


Komunitas Utan Kayu (KUK) (Indonesia)
Public Awareness of Asian Visual/Performing Arts and Alternative Cinema

¥ 1,769,109
The objective of this project was to foster an open civil society by enhancing Indonesians' awareness of democratic rights through Asia's contemporary art which is a means of free expression. Attended by journalists, writers and schoolteachers from the Asia-Pacific region, the project offered throughout the year a mixed form of class discussion and performance involving plays, poetry reading, music and dance, films, and art exhibitions.


National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD, Ministry of Health (Cambodia)
Workshop for Cambodian Journalists on HIV/AIDS
October 12 - 16, 1999, Pnom Pem, Cambodia

¥ 2,418,122
Cambodia has seen a very rapid spread of HIV infection since the first case was detected in 1991.
However, there are still myths and misunderstanding on how HIV/AIDS can be transmitted, prevented and treated. A weeklong workshop was organized for approximately 50 print and broadcast journalists in the country to provide them with a wide range of information on the subject. The intention is for the workshop to eventually lead to a national effort to stop the spread of HIV. Inviting domestic specialists and NGO staff members from Indonesia as lecturers, the workshop offered the journalists the latest information on HIV/AIDS via presentations and discussion sessions on such topics as the media's ideal coverage (e.g., prejudice, discrimination and prevention) and domestic NGO's achievements. On the last day of the program, the participants wrote articles on HIV/AIDS which were later reported through their respective media.


Gender and Development Research Institute (GDRI) / Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW) (Thailand)
Regional Workshop on "Citizen and Good Governance: a Gender Perspective"
March 13 - 23, 2000, Bangkok, Thailand

¥ 2,596,682
This workshop was oriented toward government officers of Southeast Asian countries who are in charge of policy-making to achieve a gender-free society, and staff members of relevant organizations. Southeast Asia has not reaped specific benefits from the last decades' effort in developing the region, especially in poverty alleviation, human rights and sustainable economic growth, this being partly due to an unequal power balance between men and women in the management of, and subsequently, the distribution of resources. Focusing on this inequality, the workshop was designed for participants from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam to gain further knowledge on the three-word concept of gender, citizenship and governance. After discussing and exchanging information on the topics, the participants agreed to set up ten action plans to be practiced in each country.


Highland People Education and Development Foundation (Thailand)
Hill Women and Youth Network Project

¥ 963,322
This was the 2nd phase of a project concerning women of minority hill tribes such as Akha and Karen, who have traditionally been placed in a low position in their communities, to play a more active role in community development. This year, in order to further advance the empowerment of hill women and the establishment of an inter-tribe network, representatives of the Northern hill provinces took the initiative in launching "Hill Women Network Committee." Following the pattern set in the previous year, study sessions were held to strengthen the basis of hill women's groups and their network, as well as information exchange with related groups. Five specific projects were agreed to address issues regarding health, education, economy, and social welfare.


Local Development Institute (LDI) (Thailand)
Thai Community Currency Systems (TCCS)

¥ 2,203,691
This was the 2nd phase of a research project to re-align the increasingly globalized economy back to the heart of the local community by introducing community currency. The ultimate goal of the project is to initiate the economic independence of regional communities during a national crisis to bridge the widening economic gap between urban and rural areas and to redress the problem of a high unemployment rate in central cities due to the recession that followed the Asian financial crisis. Based on the research, case studies, analysis and evaluation conducted during the first year, a pilot program to introduce a community currency system was implemented in villages in the Naso sub-district of the Kud Chum district of Yasothon province in Thailand. As the highlight of the year, the Bia community currency was officially introduced, attracting the interest of the local government and media. It is expected that the system will be adopted in wider areas in the future.


Architectural Resource Center on Barrier-free Environment (ARCOBE), Inc (Philippines)
Workshop on a Barrier-free Environment for Disabled and Older Adults
October 18 - 24, 1999, Baguio, Philippines

¥ 2,237,773
ARCOBE held the 7th regional workshop on the design of buildings and public places with barrier-free access that takes into account the needs of elderly and disabled citizens. This project is based on the idea that easier physical access will facilitate the greater participation of disabled and older citizens in social and cultural activities. The one-week workshop invited city planners, architects, designers and health professionals, with approximately 30 participants from Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and UK attending.


Institute for Women's Leadership (Philippines)
Global Forum on Women's Political Leadership

¥ 2,371,500
A preparatory international meeting was convened for "Beijing Plus Five," a special session of the General Assembly of the UN, in June 2000 to evaluate the progress made in women's participation in politics and the decision-making process since the Beijing Conference on Women. The forum started with plenary sessions of lectures by prominent political leaders and parliamentarians on changes in women's participation in politics and society. Workshops with specific themes were also offered for female participants from Asian countries to advance their knowledge and skills on running political campaigns, polling, public speaking, media relations, and effective lobbying. The forum also served as a venue for female leaders of the business sector and political sector to strengthen ties and establish a network.


Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) (India)
Mass Tourism, Self-reliant Development and the South: a Case Study of India

¥ 2,412,956
Domestic tourists within India, compared with those from abroad, destroy fewer natural resources and produce less social and cultural conflict in the country. Despite this, domestic tourism overall has become commercialized and is following the Western style, and has been threatening cultural assets and causing problems with local residents. Against this background, a case study was conducted in order to measure the impact that India's domestic tourism industry is having on its society, economy and environment, and to seek an ideal community-oriented business formula to realize the social and cultural independence of the indigenous people. The study was focused on the four aspects: the negative side of pilgrimage, domestic tourism and prostitution, activity patterns seen in resort areas, and impact on residents in special tourist areas. The final report on the study was distributed to the government, NGOs and universities.

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