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    Gender equality

Kyoto University Gender Equality Promotion Center

Kyoto University established the Center for Women Researchers in September 2006 under a Presidential initiative to build an environment in which women researchers can fully exercise their abilities.

In order to help women researchers better concentrate on their work, including the training of those following in their footsteps, the Center has undertaken various initiatives through its four programs, serving students and other members of the KU community. The Center has also pursued efforts to promote gender equality in collaboration with the University's Gender Equality Promotion Office and the local community.

In 2014, the Center and the Office merged, founding the Gender Equality Promotion Center (GEPC) with a view to further enhancing the activities of both offices.

GEPC's four activity areas


1. Lectures on gender equality

GEPC collaborates with Kyoto University faculty to offer a course in gender studies during the second semester, as well as a small-class seminar on gender and sexuality during the first semester.


2. Public relations

Providing useful information

GEPC issues publications on various topics of practical interest to the University community, including gender-mainstreaming, workplace diversity, work-life balance, career development, and networking. It also offers lectures, seminars, and other events focused on international academic and scientific careers.

Lectures for high school students

GEPC also hosts lectures for high school students on topics of relevance to gender equality and research career development.

In a talk delivered on 10 November 2017 to students from Tochigi Prefectural Utsunomiya Girls' High School, for example, GEPC Director Kayo Inaba reflected on her life's journey from student to scientist, and introduced the basics of immunology, her field of specialization. She also discussed the joys and challenges of research, saying that the work often involves confusion and disappointment, but success can fill one with a tremendous sense of achievement and satisfaction.

The lecture concluded with Director Inaba urging the students to consider Kyoto University as their study destination.



Roundtable forum for high school students: "Talking with Kyoto University Researchers"

This forum enables high school students to learn about researchers' work through face-to-face interaction with KU faculty and students. Under the title, "Getting to Know Kyoto University, Talking with Researchers", lecturers introduce the young participants to university-level studies and research, post-graduation options, and careers in science.


3. Childcare support

Facility for infants awaiting admission to public day care

GEPC operates a day care room for infants on waiting lists for public nursery school for KU researchers and students, helping them pursue professional and academic goals while caring for small children. The facility is managed by a private company, with a portion of the operating costs covered by the University.

Child pick-up & care service

Parents may request that GEPC staff pick up their children from regular day-care or after-school programs and look after them while they are at work or otherwise unavailable do so themselves.

4. Sick child care

The nursery room "KOMOMO" provides day care for sick and convalescent children who are unable to attend their regular care facilities, kindergartens, or elementary schools. It is staffed with nurses and childcare workers who work with Kyoto University Hospital to ensure optimal care for the children. This service is available to all KU students, faculty, and staff.

5. Support for work-life balance

GEPC offers financial support for hiring lab assistants, to cover gaps caused by maternity or other family-related leave. Applications are accepted in June and December.



6. Room rental and book lending services

GEPC's meeting room can be rented for small gatherings, as well as for temporary child care during study meetings and other occasions (please inquire in advance about availability). In addition, the facility has a lending library of books on gender equality donated by female faculty.