Award recipients: from left, Ms. Samuel, Ms. Hussain, and Ms. Niwa
The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURGHTS OSAKA) held on 5 December 2005 in Osaka the Award Cerem ony of the HURIGHTS OSAKA Award 2005 for International Human Rights Education Materials. Representatives of the three award-winning organizations received the award certificate, cash prize of 200,000 Yen, and gifts for each organization.
Ms. Masayo Niwa (Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center: Japan), Ms. Neelam Hussain (Simorgh Women's Resource & Publication Centre: Pakistan) and Ms. Jayamalar Samuel (Women's Centre for Change: Malaysia) were on hand to receive the awards from HURIGHTS OSAKA President (Mr. Tomohisa Maekawa) and Director (Mr. Yoshio Kawashima).
Following the ceremony, the representatives of award-winning organizations gave presentations explaining their materials. Ms. Niwa talked about the Gender and Human Rights Workbook that was created by feminist activists from all over Japan. The workbook is meant for women and men of all ages and backgrounds. It aims to provide an opportunity for users to think about gender and human rights in everyday life settings through participatory learning. She also explained how the late Ms. Yayori Matsui (a prominent Japanese feminist activist and journalist) established the Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center in 1995, the year the 4th World Conference on Women was held in Beijing. Ms. Matsui was based in the Asian Women's Association, an active organization since the 1970s. The Center is currently acting as a link between the women in different parts of Japan and the women's movements all over the world, and is holding activities for the empowerment of women working together across borders.
Ms. Hussain, Coordinator of Simorgh Women's Resource & Publication Centre, introduced the Kaleidoscope Primers - School text for teaching gender equality, human rights and peace. She explained that the primers aim to retrieve the Pakistani culture of tolerance and to recognize the richness and diversity of life. The latter aim is symbolized by the name "Kaleidoscope." The primers aim to counter the intolerance and violence that may arise from the formal textbooks approved by the government. The primers also introduce the children to their rights as individuals, as well as their rights as members of the human community. The primers are used in 24, mainly private, schools. She also explained that Simorgh Women's Resource & Publication Centre started in 1985, and became a full-time organization in 1995. It is a non-governmental, non-profit organization working for the elimination of discrimination against women, and its education activities are based on the understanding that values learned during childhood play an important role in forming the person.
Ms. Samuel, Project Officer of the Women's Centre for Change in Penang, Malaysia presented the video material OK Tak OK. She explained that the Women's Centre for Change is a non-profit organization established in 1985 to provide assistance to women and children (regardless of race, religion or social background) facing crisis situations. She explained her organization's prompt services to women and children in need of emergency assistance, seminars on issues affecting women and children, and outreach projects on raising awareness of local communities.
The award ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Human Rights Section of the Osaka Prefectural Government, Human Rights Division of the Osaka City Government, and the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education.