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Japan’s representative of the meeting, Taro Kono. Photo by Hildenbrand / MSC via Wikimedia Commons

Japan sends a man to the first meeting of women foreign ministers

Canada has recently hosted the first gathering of female foreign ministers to get women’s perspective of foreign policy. Over half of the world’s countries were represented at the two day meeting in Montreal that begun late last week. The topics that were discussed included democratic growth, conflict prevention and eliminating violence that was gender-based.

Canada’s top diplomat, Chrystia Freeland stated that the meeting is representative of a historic occasion. The purpose of the meeting is not to force women into foreign policy but to rather highlight the importance of women’s rights throughout the world. She also mentioned that it’s all about talking how women in leadership roles can engage with those rights and the influence that they can have.

The chiefs from the 17 countries vowed to meet regularly to continue the great work that they have been doing. Some of the nations that were represented included:

  • Andorra
  • Africa
  • Bulgaria
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Dominican republic
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Namibia
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Lucia
  • South Africa
  • Sweden

Japan had also sent a foreign minister to the meeting in Montreal however Taro Kono was the only man present in group photo on Monday. Kono took part in some of the events that were hosted with the purpose of highlighting the positive stance that the current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe takes to promote women.

At the end of the meeting, several ministers placed flowers on their heads to commemorate the 14 women that were in killed at the Ecole Polytechnique Engineering School in 1989.

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