[Obituary] Dr. Yumiko Tanaka

It is with great sadness and grief that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Yumiko Tanaka,JICA Senior Gender Advisor and Visiting Professor at Josai International University on September 26, 2023. Yumiko Tanaka has long been a valuable JASID member and active representative of the Gender and Development Research Group.

Yumiko Tanaka served as Director of the Social Development Department, International Cooperation Specialist (Gender and Development), and Senior Gender Advisor at JICA. She was a Representative of the Government of Japan for the UN Commission on the Status of  Women since 2018. She also taught at numerous universities for many years.

She was a pioneer and leading expert in gender and development leaving significant marksin the field of international development. She was also passionate about training younger scholars and gender experts.

We celebrate all that Dr. Tanaka accomplished in her lifetime and want to express our gratitude for all her contributions.


Gender and Development Research Group

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[RG23-1] Gender and Development

The enhancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment is an important issue to be addressed by the global community. It is also the target of an independent goal, Goal 5, and considered from a cross-disciplinary perspective to tackle other goals in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The concept of ‘Gender and Development’ has been adopted since the 1970s. It has made women visible in the development field and raised awareness of gender issues in relation to policies, institutions, regional societies and households both at global and local levels. On the other hand, as demonstrated by the limited achievement of SDG5 and the low gender gap index, initiatives to solve gender issues have not been enough to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. Although various activities have been implemented at the individual levels and treated as good practice, they have not combined into a corrective approach.

The core concept of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Leave No One Behind, reminds us of the need for further discussions about differences between women and men, and about gender and diversity and intersectionality. However, discussion about issues surrounding diversity often leads to misunderstandings that negatively impact discussion of the inequality between women and men.

The aim of this group is to find effective approaches to the issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment that fill the gaps between policies and theories at the macro level and field activities at the micro (grass roots) level, such as information sharing, field research and/or awareness raising. The findings will be presented at the annual conference and compiled to share in proceedings. The objective of the first year is information sharing among members and planning for the activities of the second and third years.