Both men and women, being equal members of society, are endowed with the same right to exercise their free will to engage into planning and implementation of activities in every sphere of society, to enjoy political, economical, social and cultural benefits, as well as bear a joint responsibility to create such society. The Basic Law on Gender Equality, which was promulgated and became effective in June 2000, refers to the realization of gender-equal society as the "most important issue that would determine Japanese society in the 21st century"; therefore, in order to achieve this goal, the "Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality" was adopted by the Government in January 2005.
As respect for individual rights and equality before the law are enshrined in the Constitution of Japan, so far, various efforts toward establishing gender equality have been endeavored in concert with efforts being made in the International society. However, gender-based discrimination and social stereotypes, formed in the course of long of historical development, are continuing to exist, including in the sphere of education and research. Being strongholds of knowledge, Universities are important institutions for not only production of knowledge but for establishing education and creating socio-cultural values for future generations as well, and therefore are obliged with social responsibilities to demonstrate that they are organizations which recognize specificities of each gender, make efforts to close the gap between men and women, and where every member is allowed to make the most of its individuality and abilities.
Ahead of other institutions, Hiroshima School of Secondary Education, which was one of the predecessors of Hiroshima University, established the Women's Department in 1883 and produced many outstanding and talented women. Furthermore, co-education of both genders in prewar time was practiced in Hiroshima University of Literature and Science which has been accepting women students from the very beginning of its foundation in 1930. We would like to further develop this history-honored spirit and grapple with present day issues of gender equality.
Also, the most important task for Hiroshima University to reach its goal to become "Top-level original advanced studies University in the world" is to create an environment, where every individual can fully exert its individuality and abilities, which can be achieved by further advancement of gender equality.
From the above-mentioned perspectives and in due compliance with the Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality, Hiroshima University commits to provide a positive contribution to creation of gender-equal society and to promote the Gender Equality Plan on the basis of the following basic action plan.