The symposium, which began with the host, Professor Shim Sookyoung, the chairman of the Research Institute of Asian Women. Later included an awards ceremony for the works expressing participants' thoughts on gender violence against Asian women, showing the perspectives of young people on this topic. Awards were given to one team as grand prize, one team for excellence, and two teams for encouragement. The related themes of the work mainly dealt with the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery system. Then, experts from four countries, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, presented about their own countries' specialties, women's human rights, and peace. First, Professor Bernard Magno Karganilla from the Philippines made a presentation about the Philippines' position on the issue of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. He recalled the forgotten history of forced mobilization of sexual slavery in the Philippines and clarified that the victims were still waiting for an apology from the Japanese government. Furthermore, he talked about what efforts should be made at the government and social level to solve this problem. He also introduced policy studies and participation activities studies being conducted on this problem. Secondly, Professor Ayesah Uy Abubakar from Malaysia presented on the issue of ending child marriage in Malaysia and gender-based violence. In particular, she explained that for continuous peace in relation to sexual violence crimes looking at how we view sexual violence crimes should be prioritized. Furthermore, she introduced the laws of ASEAN countries in response to sexual violence crimes, saying that the current laws are vulnerable to some extent. The third presentation was by Professor Mikio Oishi from Bangladesh focusing on the impact of Taliban occupation on Afghan women's education which was presented in 2022 Asian Youth Forum. Six teams participated in the 2022 Asian Youth Forum: Afghanistan-Bangladesh, Bangladesh-1, and Bangladesh-2. Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Syria. Each team's presentation focused on the common question, "What kind of form has patriarchy taken in students' home countries?" Finally, Professor Keiki Kato from Japan, presented about 'How to deal with the issue of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery?' In his presentation, he criticized Japan's continued denial of the history of forced labor in this system. In terms of public education in Japan, he also emphasized the problem that students do not receive accurate information about this issue from elementary school up to college. He argued that the government's intervention should be eased in this area, as the rewriting of the history in textbooks has been mandated by the government. After the lectures of professors in each country, group talks between students and professors at SMWU followed. Along with their own self-introduction, students shared their visions on Asian female gender violence. After this discussion time, the event ended with Professor Shim's closing speech.
Regarding the 2022 RIAW Symposium, the Research Institute of Asian Women said that the forum aims to focus on the uniqueness of Asian countries. At the same time, it was also added that it could pave the way for youth academic platforms by expanding the voluntary participation and solidarity of young people in women's rights and peace among young Asians. The forum set the stage for discussions on the history of young people and the issues of women's rights under the theme of peace in each country. The organizer said that the biggest purpose of the forum was solidarity exchange with our young people. The need for a space for young Asian people to gather has been steadily rising, but the meeting was not easy to organize as the non-face-to-face situation caused by COVID-19 continues. For the past 15 years, the Research Institute of Asian Women has been steadily working on its international network, and through this forum, it has created a network of various Asian youth. Professors and students at each university wanted to create time to present their joint results while working on the project together, and through this lecture, they helped expand their thinking through communication with various people, not just one person's thoughts. Yang Migang, the representative of the Historical NGO Forum, said, "We need to help young people discuss through networking and take a new perspective on what they have to do. It is our role to lay the foundation for young people to communicate more," she said. She claimed that older generations should also strive for networking with various people so that young people from various countries can have a wider perspective, and young people should also pay attention to what they can share together.
Kim Lee Jiwon / Society Section Editor
Lee Gayun / Reporter