Club Services: Women's Group

Women's Group

The Women's Group enhances the lives of Members and their families through a range of programs, events, tours and fund-raising activities.

Founded in 1949, the Women's Group is a support network and conduit for its members to forge friendships, deepen their appreciation of Japan, pick up a hobby and put their professional skills to good use as volunteers.

For an annual fee of ¥7,000, Women's Group members enjoy discounts on monthly programs, classes, tours and childcare while attending Women's Group-sponsored Club events.

Contact the Women's Group Office to learn more or visit the group's Facebook page for a taste of Women's Group life.

The Women's Group board oversees the activities of the organization and is elected each year.

Chalice Markowitz

Vice President
Karen Thomas

Director of Finance   
Deborah Farrar

Director of Charities   
Tomomi Fujita

Director of Communications   
Clarissa Dimacali

Director of Community Events
Debra Wetherell

Director of Monthly Programs 
Shamim Daniels

Directors of Programs for Tours/Tours Co-Chairs
Kazuko Morio
Alaine Lee

Directors of Programs for Enrichment Programs/Enrichment Programs Co-Chairs
Reiko Saito
Sibyl Kane

Director of Programs for Tokyo: Here & Now/Tokyo: Here & Now Chair
Paula Marcy
Heidi Regent

Director of Programs for Fundraising/Carpet Auction Chair

Christa Wallington

Director of Programs for Fundraising/International Bazaar & Asian Home Furnishing Sale Co-Chairs
Susan Rughave
Michelle Blue

Director of Membership
Cathie Driscoll

Director at Large
Liisa Wihman
Gabriela Mandrea

There are a plethora of regular events to help members meet, mingle and learn.

Monthly Programs
Engaging speakers host informative and fun luncheons or events once a month from September through May.

Coffee Connections
Typically held on the final Monday of the month, this relaxed gathering allows Tokyo newcomers and old hands to meet and bond.

Tokyo: Here & Now
A two-day orientation program held in March and October each year, Tokyo: Here & Now is a series of seminars on everything from healthcare and education in Japan to culture and grocery shopping. The perfect primer for new arrivals to Japan.

Through its various annual sales and fundraising efforts, the Women's Group raises millions of yen for local charities each year.

The annual International Bazaar and Asian Home and Furnishings Sale bring together dozens of vendors and specialists for shopping extravaganzas. A portion of sales benefits local charities.

Carpet Auction
Carpet dealer Eastern Carpets of Singapore hosts an evening of carpet appreciation and bidding. Proceeds go to support the CWAJ-Women's Group non-Japanese graduate scholarship program.

Charity Drives
During the Salvation Army Charity Drive and Sanyukai Charity Drive, the Women's Group collects used clothes and other items for donation to two worthy local charities.

The Women’s Group supports a number of Japan-based charities that often do not have significant fundraising resources or government support. Occasionally, funds are used for international disaster relief efforts.

Donations totaled around ¥11.7 million in FY2016. The donation recipients and funds received are listed below: 

A Dream A Day in Tokyo
Provides support for children with incurable diseases and their families: ¥1 million

Asian Rural Institute 
Facilitates the self-development of rural people from the developing world: ¥2 million

College Women's Association of Japan 
Supports higher education and nurtures future leaders: ¥2 million

Family House  
Provides temporary housing for families of children with cancer and other serious illnesses: ¥1 million

HELP Women’s Shelter 
Provides refuge, counseling and legal services to victims of exploitation and abuse: ¥1.5 million

Japan Association for UNHCR  
Provides essentials like shelter, water, health and education to refugees and asylum-seekers: ¥200,000

Provides various medical, food, clothing, hospice and other services to the homeless in Tokyo: ¥2 million

Second Harvest Japan   
Japan's largest food bank that works to improve food security: ¥2 million

The Women's Group organizes an annual calendar of fun and educational tours, from day trips to local cultural spots to multiday excursions further afield.

Pick up a hobby or hone a skill while making friends through the Women's Group's impressive array of enrichment programs.

Experienced instructors offer classes in a variety of areas, from art and flower arrangement to culture and cooking. There are two semesters a year.