Womenfs Association for a Better Aging Society (WABAS)

Womenfs Association for a Better Aging Society (WABAS) was officially established in March 1983. At present WABAS has approximately 1,000 individual members and 100 member groups or organizations of various sizes, from a small group with a dozen members to a large one with nearly 1,000 members, scattered throughout the country.

With the ongoing low birthrate and prolonged life expectancy, Japan will in the near future be the first country in which more than 20% of the people are over 65 years old. WABAS is concerned with the problems of the aging and aged society. The activities of the Association and its member organizations include research surveys, publications, events for educational purposes, and linking networks with similar groups both in Japan and abroad.

We conduct surveys on the problems of the aged society from the viewpoint of women. Based on the results of the survey we issue warnings and make suggestions concerning the problems addressed both to the general public and to the Government. The findings of our research are reported at monthly meetings, in the newsletter, at annual assemblies, and on other occasions of the Association. Also they are given to the media so as to be made public.

In Japan taking care of the aged parents has traditionally been considered to be a responsibility of women. Many employed women have had to leave their jobs in order to take care of their parents and parents-in-law. Our Association conducted surveys on this situation and found many cases that could be described in a phrase gcare-giving hell.h Based on the survey results, we made appeals to various departments of the Government. WABAS played a leading role in the enactment of the Public Long-Term Care Insurance Act in 1997.

As mentioned above, some of our proposals have been incorporated in government policies. Our group serves as a focal point in an information network composed of various group activities concerning the aging society in local areas. Our activities attract attention throughout the country. Each year we attract more than 1,500 participants from all over Japan to our annual convention in September.

We are also trying to expand relations with like-minded people and organizations abroad. We send our representatives to international symposiums and forums on the problems of aging society. WABAS members participated in NGO Forums in Cairo in 1994, in Beijing in 1995 and in Madrid in 2002. Particularly in Beijing and in Madrid, we gave a workshop on the problems of aging society and had a discussion with participants from different countries.

After 22 years of activities WABAS made a new start in January 2005 as an NPO (Nonprofit Organization) authorized by the Government. There is no change in our fundamental policies and aims from the original. In January 2006, WABAS was awarded Asahi Welfare Prize for our activities by the Asahi Press. In cooperation with people all over the world, we will continue to propose effective policies for a better aging society from the viewpoint of women.

Brief Report of Activities

2008

<Regular Lecture Meetings and Subjects>

Feb. 6
Foreign Women Workers in Japan
Feb. 21
Recent Status of Elderly Welfare in Sweden
Guest speaker: Mayor of Eslov Municipality, Sweden
Mar. 12
Wise Use of Information on Elderly Care Services
Apr. 17
Points at Issue of Introducing Elderly Care-Giving Workers from Other
Countries
May. 24
Together with 4th General Assembly
Lecture: Social Security System and Tax System in Japan
Jul. 9
Medical Care Service for Older Elderly People ? Meaning and Influence of the Reform of the Social Security System
Oct. 27
Preschool Education and Inter-generation Interaction in Germany Guest Speaker: Donata Elschenbroich
Nov. 26
Elderly Care Insurance in Germany
Nov. 25
Elderly Care Insurance and Women in Korea
Guest Speaker: Vice-chairperson, University Women Association, Korea

<The 26th WABAS National Convention in Hirosaki, Aomori pref. Sep.20-21>

g100-year Life ? Joy of living as we grow olderh

  1. Memorial Lecture: Super Aged Society and Politics
  2. Panoramic Symposium: Elderly Care at the Edge of a Cliff and the Future of Social Security
    7 Workshops under the subject gSociety with 100-year olds and Elderly Careh

<Women Speak Out: Year-end Symposium Dec. 21>

General Theme: Elderly Care is a Lifeline for People and Society

  1. 1.@ Report on IFA international conference in Montreal
  2. 2.@ Long Term Care Insurance Scheme: Its Problems and Needs for Improvement
  3. 2.1@Recitation of Usersf Messages
  4. 2.2@Report on the outline of a survey on the insurance
  5. 2.3@Panel Discussion
  6. 3.@ Launching the gRing of 1000 Peopleh Campaign to Sustain the Care Insurance Scheme

<Research and Study>

Urgent Survey on the Care Insurance Scheme (November)

<Activities>

  1. Advocacy to improve the working conditions of caregivers
    A bill to improve the working conditions (payment) of caregivers was approved by the Committee on Health, Welfare and Labor of the House of Representatives on April 25, and that of the House of Councilors on May 20, and the Act was enacted.
  2. Study visit to Nishi Azuma Welfare Hospital to observe medical service in a less populated rural area (July)
  3. Participation in the 4th Global Conference of International Federation on Ageing in Montreal
    Organization of a session gChange Social Design by Womenfs Participationh (September)

<Advocacy & Proposal>

Submission of 151,267 Signatures collected from late October to early December 2007, demanding for better working conditions of caregivers to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor (Jan. 16)

<Telephone Counseling>

<Advocacy & Proposal>

2009

<Regular Lecture Meetings and Subjects>

Feb. 19
Final Home in the Age of 100-year Life: Latest Information (1 in Housing Series)
Mar. 27
Houses are aging and People are aging ? Know-how for Houses for the Elderly (2 in Housing Series)
Apr. 22
Rented Accommodation and Pay Nursing Home for the Elderly: What and how different they are. (3 in Housing Series)
May 20
Present Status and Tasks of Terminal Care from a Practitionerfs Practice
Jun. 20
Together with 5th General Assembly
Memorial Lecture: Supporting people with dementia ? What communities can do. (1 in Dementia Series 1)
Aug. 4
Clinic for Forgetfulness and Dementia (2 in Dementia Series)
Sep. 7
Understanding on Dementia and Community Building (3 in Dementia Series)
Nov. 6
Listen! Voices of Families of Members with Dementia (4 Dementia Series)

<The 28th WABAS National Convention in Yokohama, Oct. 4>

General Theme: Setting Sail from Yokohama to the World ? Toward Future Aging Society

  1. Roundtable Talk with the Governor of Kanagawa, Mayor of Yokohama
  2. Memorial Lecture
  3. Panoramic Symposium Connecting Different Generations
    6 workshops

<Women Speak Out: Year-end Symposium Dec. 15>

General Theme: Long-Term Care Insurance in Practice across Japan
The outcome of the Questionnaire Survey Draws a Care Insurance Map.

  1. Report of the Survey by representatives from 47 prefectures
  2. Symposium: Tasks ahead

<Research & Study>

Questionnaire Survey gActual Situation of the Long-Term Care Insurance Scheme in Practice - for the 5th-year review and revision of the scheme.

<Advocacy: Submission of an Urgent Request>(March 31)

gLet elderly people live here as beforeh handed to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor

<Activities>

  1. Presentation on gElderly Care in Japanh at a meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (March)

<International Cooperation>

-@Sending a study tour group of Welfare Service Leaders to the USA
-@Visiting the training site of caregivers in the Philippines
-@Research study on the aging and inter-generation programs in Finland

<Telephone Counseling>

<Publication of 8 Newsletters>

2010

<Regular Lecture Meetings and Subjects>

Feb. 16
Consider Future Tasks after Listening to the Present Situation of Dementia Policy
Lecture by an officer specializing in Dementia, the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Labor
Apr. 24
Training of Caregivers: Report of the Study Tour in the Philippines
May 27
Forum to Raise the Issue of Political Participation by the Elderly
1. Voices from WABAS leaders
2. Voices from the representatives of political parties
Jun. 20
Together with the 6th Annual Assembly
Memorial Lecture: Women and Politics as a Former Governor of Chiba Prefecture
Oct. 21
Senior Citizens in the IT Age: Bridging the Digital Divide before the Transition to Digital Terrestrial Transmission

<The 29th WABAS National Convention in Beppu, Oita, Sep. 25-26>

General Theme: World Peace and Rich Aging Society

  1. Memorial Lecture
  2. Forum on Peace
  3. 6 workshops

<Women Speak Out: Year-end Symposium Dec. 12>

General Theme: Donft Let Helping Clients with Daily Living and Lightly Disabled Clients Not Being Eligible for Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage

  1. Skit: Seven Sins of Excluding the Lightly Disabled and Help with Daily Living from Care Insurance Coverage
  2. Symposiums 1 and 2

<Research & Study>

Final Homes (Nov. 5)

<Advocacy & Proposals>

  1. Submission of the Petition at the occasion of revising the Basic Plan for Gender Equal Society to the Minister for Gender Equality (Mar. 29)
  2. Submission of the Letter of Request for the Use of Separate Surnames by Married Couples at their Choice to the Minister for a Special Mission
    (Apr. 9)
  3. Submission of the Letter of Request on the Long Term Care Insurance to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor (Apr. 26)
  4. Submission of the Letter of Request on the Revision of the Long Term Care Insurance to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor, and the Heads of Political Parties (Dec. 12)

<Telephone Counseling>

<Publication of 8 Newsletters>

2011

<Regular Lecture Meetings and Subjects>

Feb. 4
What will become of the Tax System and Social Security System of Japan?
Mar. 24
Why donft we study the history of people with dementia?
Apr. 6
The Elderly and Children in Japan as seen by a German Researcher
Guest speaker: Donata Elschenbroich
Jun. 25
Together with the 7th Annual Assembly
Forum on Disaster
Living after the Great Earthquake: Elderly People and Support
1. Reports from the affected prefectures
2. Memorial Lecture: Rehabilitation from Disaster
Sep. 7
Medical Care at the Final Stage of Life (1 in series)
Domiciliary Terminal Care from a Practitioner Standpoint
Nov. 2
Medical Care at the Final Stage of Life (2 in series)
What will you do when you become unable to eat from your mouth? - Recommending peaceful death

<The 30th WABAS National Convention in Shunan city, Yamaguchi pref. Aug. 27-28>

General Theme: Fulfilling Food, Housing and Medical Care Assure Healthy Long Life

  1. Keynote Lecture on Living after the disaster
  2. Panel Discussion on the same
  3. Three symposiums

<Year-end Event: Elderly Welfare and Local Governments>

gLocal Communities Supporting the Elderly Living in Securityh
Guest Speakers: Mayors from Edogawa, Suginami and Setagaya cities in Tokyo

<Advocacy & Proposals>

Apr. 11
Petition on Measures to Help the Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake from Womenfs and Elderly Peoplefs Viewpoint to the Prime Minister, Relevant Departments, Leaders of Political Parties

<Telephone Counseling>

<Publication of 8 Newsletters>