Office for Promotion of Equality and DiversityWaseda University


A society that surpasses gender and where you can live as yourself. - Sweden’s endeavors in relation to gender equality and LGBTQ -

A society that surpasses gender and where you can live as yourself.

- Sweden’s endeavors in relation to gender equality and LGBTQ -

Date: Friday, November 10 2017
Venue: Ono Memorial Hall
Kazumi Appleyard (Officer, Political and Economic Section at the Embassy of Sweden)
Elanor Sezer (Assistant, Communication and Promotion Section at the Embassy of Sweden)
Master of Ceremony:
Yuge Naoko (Professor, Faculty of Law)

This lecture was held with the cooperation of the Swedish Embassy.

Kazumi Appleyard

Kazumi Appleyard started off by introducing what the Swedish government is doing to promote the active roles of women and gender equality. She introduced the child-raising support system is also gender equal, and through interview videos showed examples of how men play an active role in child-raising.
Next, Elanor Sezer talked about gender minorities in Sweden.Her talk illuminated how the LGBTQ community in Sweden is often featured in the media and the high level of awareness in the nation as a whole, but that there are still problems including the influence of religion, the psychological burden, violence and bullying.

Elanor Sezer

Questions raised during this lecture included “What is needed to raise awareness about LGBTQ in Japan?”, and the participants could see in a fresh light the importance of thinking for oneself from a variety of perspectives.

*Available for viewing from Course [email protected]

Participant Feedback

The graphs on gender statistics showed Sweden’s current situation and the changes it has gone through, including proclaiming itself the world’s first “feminist government”, the ratio of women in government who account for about 50% of the cabinet and 44% of the diet, and their employment rate.

▲Members of the Swedish Embassy who answered questions from the participants

I agree with how the country is carrying out various reforms and legislation for promoting gender equality, such as the introduction of “Daddy months” that encourage men to take childcare vacation and other efforts that have helped form a society where men support the advancement of women.
The rights of LGBTQ people, including same-sex weddings and child adoption, are widely recognized. When having a sex change, surgery is required in Japan but not in Sweden where it’s just a decision based on a medical inspection. LGBTQ approval certificates issued by an NPO are used widely to allow LGBTQ people to use various institutions easily. Also, the Church of Sweden has started to recognize same-sex marriage church weddings after many years of opposition. There is a social trend where even traditions are changing.
I felt that Japan ought to follow in many respects, such as legislation, maternity leave systems and education. Some local governments are active, and I hope diversity will be promoted in Japan in its own way.

Okuyama Mina, 4nd Year Student in the School of Law


*LGBTQ: “LGBT” is an acronym made up of “L” for “Lesbian” (women who are attracted to other women), “G” for “Gay” (men who are attracted to other men), “B” for “Bisexual” (men or women who are attracted to both sexes), and “T” for “Transgender” (people whose lived gender differs from that which is presumed by those around them or from their biological sex). It is a collective term used for all sexual minorities and is becoming more widely used in Japan in recent years. Sometimes “Q” is also added at the end, and it stands for “Questioning” (people who are still exploring, cannot decide on or who deliberately refuse to choose their sexuality) / “Queer” (sexual minorities for which the LGBT definition does not apply).


(by sankaku news No.19)

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