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  • Manga comics for social change: Kodansha, Ltd. partners with JICA to launch gender awareness comic series simultaneously in India and Japan

    Published on April 12, 2024

     New Delhi : Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced that Kodansha, Ltd. is publishing a comic titled “India Calling Me Now,” aimed at raising gender awareness in India, in collaboration with JICA on the “SDGs Business Verification Survey with the Private Sector for Spreading Japanese Comics Empowering Women in India.” Utilizing manga, a cultural asset of Japan that consists of comic books with a unique style of drawing characters, the initiative addresses issues of gender inequality and encourages positive societal shifts in the society. The collaborative publishing of Manga in Japan and India is a world-first initiative, expected to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the two countries while strengthening international solidarity in achieving gender equality. It’s published on Manga Planet India, managed by FANTASISTA, INC and Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (https://mangaplanet.in/)

    Scheduled for release in both Japan and India, the comic series will cover themes such as women’s education, social participation, and gender disparity, to promote discussion and improve comprehension of gender-related matters.

    This public-private partnership, extending from the research stage of a business idea to its commercialization, acknowledges the significance of gender equality in India. JICA has prioritized the effectiveness of awareness-raising activities, featuring relatable stories for young people in India along with illustrations conveying knowledge about gender equality. Through the fusion of entertainment and social relevance, the project aims to initiate behaviour change, particularly among the younger generation.

    Mr. SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative of JICA India said, “The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for gender equality, aims to empower all women and girls. We understand that gender equality is not just a goal but a foundation of a fair society, and we are pleased to launch this initiative as part of JICA’s commitment to promoting women’s empowerment in India. As the collaborative publishers of Manga, a cherished cultural asset of Japan renowned for its captivating storytelling and artistic flair, we aim to enable further awareness and understanding of gender-related issues in India. This collaboration also plays an instrumental role in promoting cultural exchange between India and Japan to bring a systemic change in achieving gender equality.”-

    Mr. KOGA Yoshiaki, India Project Director, Kodansha, said, “This manga is a collaborative project with JICA, born out of a desire to support women in India. With the aim of reaching Indian readers quickly, it will be the first manga in history to be released simultaneously in Japan and India. We aim to address social issues in India and around the world through Japanese manga.”

    Engaging through Manga, the ‘India Calling Me Now’ comic series aims to captivate the young generation with its unique approach of captivating storytelling and expressive characters. It serves as an effective tool to inspire positive attitudes and behaviours towards gender bias, thereby increasing awareness and initiating societal change.

    Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) remains committed to promoting gender equality and empowerment through various cooperation projects, including financial access, agriculture, forestry, health, and urban development, to name a few. These projects aim to empower women and girls by providing opportunities for them to pursue their aspirations and contribute to their communities. Also, by integrating the perspectives and needs of all genders into the planning processes of development projects, JICA facilitates the creation of more inclusive and equitable society, wherein women and girls have enhanced access to essential services and economic opportunities.


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