Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and Campaign Coordinator Yee Htun traveled to Japan in June during a promotion tour of the Campaign, meeting with human rights NGOs, students, and government officials.
On July 16, Williams gave a lecture in Tokyo titled “Democracy and the Power of Women”. In her presentation, she emphasized the unique perspectives that women bring to peace building and equality, especially because of the distinctive experiences, challenges and discriminations they face. Williams expressed that women must play a vital role in “changing people’s viewpoints in an otherwise male-oriented society”.
On July 18, Williams and Htun took part in a public seminar at Rikkyo University in Tokyo to discuss the Campaign. Williams explained the founding vision of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the role Laureates play as Chairs of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence. She elaborated on her experience with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)—with which she won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize—and the common thread that these campaigns share. Although these campaigns have very different focuses, Williams emphasized that what they have in common is that they are a result of people coming together to work for change. As Campaign Coordinator, Htun elaborated on the goals and strategies of the Campaign, which is the first ever global collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organizations, and groups working at the regional and community levels to stop rape in conflict.