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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 first and second semesters, as well as a small-class seminar on gender and science during the first semester.

Small-class seminar on gender and science

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.


Symposium series: "My Work and Career Design"

The series covers various topics of relevance to gender equality and research career development.


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.

Lectures on nursing care

GEPC hosts a variety of lectures and networking events related to nursing care, some focused on specific medical conditions, such as senile dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and medical anthropology.


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

Financial support for hiring research/experiment assistants

This program enables researchers to hire assistants to help with their projects while they are on maternity or other family-related leave by providing the necessary funds. Applications are accepted in June and December.


The above data shows that the largest percentage of beneficiaries comes from medical fields. This may be explained by the nature of medical research and experimentation, which usually requires working away from home. The most common reason for application is childcare (90%), and most of the users are women (90%), although the number of male users is expected to grow over the coming years.


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. In addition, the facility has a collection of books on gender equality and those donated by female faculty available for lending.


7. "Green Wall"


GEPC is growing goya (bitter melon) outside one of its windows, a project initiated in response to a call for "green wall sponsorship" that the Kyoto University Environment Preservation Research Center issued as part of its "Green Project -- for a Cool and Environment-Friendly Summer". This effort was featured in the Green Project website's "goya-raising blog".

8. GEPC staff

  • Kazue JOHDAI
  • Aki NAKAMA
  • Shiori MUKAI