Project “Gender Equality in a Multicultural Society”

“Gender Equality in a Multicultural Society”

Key questions

  • What are the gender equality issues in a multicultural society in an age of globalization?
  • How can we analyze the theoretical relation between “Gender Equality,” “Multicultural Conviviality,” and “Globalization”?

Research Purpose and Approach

A principal objective of this Global COE Program is to establish a new field of research and education regarding “Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality” in the age of globalization by building upon the achievements of its predecessor, the 21st COE “Gender Law and Policy Center.” This project aims to undertake an interdisciplinary theoretical study to identify social issues regarding gender equality inflicted by globalization, and to realize gender equality in the present multiculturally convivial society.

In order to meet these purposes, and as a general theoretical approach, this project clarifies the relationships between globalization, gender equality, and multicultural conviviality to determine the state of gender issues in a multicultural society. We will collaborate with leaders in the emerging field of gender research and the social sciences, or the areas of gender and law, sociology, and economics. Through such collaborations, we attempt to reveal theoretical issues that may apply to the overall GCOE Program, and to seek solutions through interdisciplinary research.

For a more specialized approach, we will investigate specific examples in the intersection of gender studies and multicultural studies, identify conditions for problem solving, and attempt to establish a theory capable of covering policy issues. We address topics like the Islamic scarf issue at the intersection of gender equality and religion/culture, as well as issues such as immigration policies, economic disparity and female labor, citizenship, human trafficking, and sexual violence.

Research Activities

In this project, taking into account collaboration with colleagues from Canada, the United States, Scandinavian Countries, and France, all of which are host to a variety of issues relating to gender equality in a multicultural convivial society, we have worked following a plan of publishing achievements in both English and Japanese.

In May 2009, we keynoted an international symposium held in Finland University and undertook a joint study with researchers abroad such as Scandinavian countries. Also, in August 2009, with the GCOE’s Osawa Project and Tanaka Project, we co-organized the International Seminar 2009, inviting many researchers from Canada, the United States, and other countries, where we achieved significant results with over 200 participants (please refer to p.39). Consequently, we achieved our original target, having put papers of members focusing on the achievements of this international seminar all together to publish two books in English and Japanese languages respectively from Tohoku University Press in March 2010. Furthermore, we continue lively activities: in February 2010, we co-organized a seminar regarding “Gender in Law” with the Japan Association of Gender and Law and a seminar regarding judicial precedents of the Constitutional Court of Korea with the Japan Section of the International Association of Constitutional Law, and in March 2010, we held a symposium to commemorate the International Women’s Day sponsored by L’Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo and Centre de Documentation Franco-japonais sur les Femmes. From FY 2010, we will continue to work on general research concerning this GCOE theme in cooperation with other projects engaged in issues relating to Asia.



Project Leader

(GCOE Project Leader)


Professor, School of Law, Tohoku University

Research Fields

Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Gender Law






Name Affiliated Institution/Organization
OSAWA Mari The University of Tokyo, Institute of Social Science (Professor)
YOSHIDA Hiroshi Tohoku University, Graduate School of Economics and Management (Professor)
HIROWATARI Seigo Senshu University, School of Law (Professor)
KIMOTO Kimiko Hitotsubashi University, Graduate School of Social Sciences (Professor)
SASAKI Hiromichi Tohoku University, School of Law (Professor)
Isabelle GIRAUDOU Maison Franco-Japonaise, Institut de Recherche (Researcher)
Cornelia VECCHIO Department of Law, Paris 1 University (Lecturer)
KAWATO Sadafumi University of Tokyo, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics (Professor)
IWAMOTO Misako Mie University, Faculty of Humanities, Law and Economics (Professor)
NUKATSUKA Yasue Kanto Gakuin University, Faculty of Law (Professor)
HAYAKAWA Nozomi Momoyama Gakuin University, Faculty of Law (Lecturer)
Nathalie DES ROSIERS University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (Professor)
Caroline ANDREW University of Ottawa, Faculty of Social Sciences (Professor)
Alain-G GAGNON University of Quebec at Montreal, Faculty of Political Science and Law (Professor)
Frances OLSEN University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (Professor)
Jackie F. STEELE The University of Tokyo, Institute of Social Science (Associate Professor)
Return to page top