A woman carries a placard that reads “Women are not Property” during International Women's Day commemoration near Arjuna Wijaya statue in Central Jakarta on March 8, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Call for Gender Equality in Indonesia

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

MAY 19, 2022

Jakarta. The topic of gender equality in Indonesia took the center stage of the recent Inspiring Women 2022 conference hosted by Berita Satu Media Holdings.

Gender inequality still persists in Indonesia. In the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index 2021, Indonesia ranked at 101 out of 156 countries. Other indexes also illustrate the disparity between men and women in Indonesia.

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The government earlier reported that the women's human development index (HDI) in Indonesia as of 2021 stood at 69.59, in contrast to men's 76.25. This resulted in a gender development index (GDI) of 91.27, thus indicating a gap between men and women. 

“This is caused by the deep-rooted patriarchy-influenced social construct which has caused women to be left behind in terms of access, participation, control, and benefitting from development,” Women Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga said when kicking off the Inspiring Women 2022 conference on Thursday.

“That is why the fight for gender equality and women empowerment is not over yet,” Bintang said.

But women are a crucial element to the nation’s progress, according to Bintang.  

Women account for almost half of the population in Indonesia. The 2021 National Census reported that about 49.52 percent of the population, which amounted to 133.54 million people, were women. Bintang went on to say that equal participation of women and men are also key to a nation's prosperity.

“We must not view women as weak. Women are the strength of the nation,” Bintang said.

Jokowi recently inked the law on sexual violence, thus marking a historic milestone in the country’s quest for gender equality.

Bintang added that the law could pave the way for equality and equity across various social groups.

"Interpersonal relationships —be it in public or private space— must be maintained and not manipulated or exploited so as to cause sexual violence," Bintang said.

"Consistent implementation of the [sexual violence] law will undoubtedly empower women. They will no longer worry or be afraid of unlocking their fullest potential," the minister told the conference.

Inspiring Women 2022 Awards

As the name suggests, Inspiring Women 2022 honors female role models in the fields of health, education, technology, etc. 

The judging panel —composed of former Marine Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti among others— chose 8 of the 22 shortlisted candidates as the Inspiring Women 2022 awardees. Event host Beritasatu.com also picked two inspiring women for the Lifetime Inspiration and People’s Choice categories. The People’s Choice category also had another awardee selected by the readers of Beritasatu.com.

Here are the winners of Inspiring Women 2022 Awards:

  • Health - Siti Sumiati (a midwife in Kepulauan Seribu)

  • Education (Institutional) - Aisyiyah (the women's wing of Islamic organization Muhammadiyah)

  • Education (Individual) - Desi RM Ayu Putri (a person with disability and owner of a fashion school in Surabaya).

  • Anti Violence against Women - LBH Apik Jakarta

  • Corporate Leader - Nurhayati Subakat (Paragon Technology Innovation president commissioner)

  • MSME and Economic Empowerment - Nani Zulminarni (Yayasan Pekka founder)

  • Technology - Premana Wardayanti Premadi (Bosscha Observatory director)

  • Politics and Government - Sri Mulyani (Finance Minister)

  • Lifetime Inspiration - Eny Handayani (KSK Insurance Indonesia marketing director)

  • People’s Choice (Beritasatu.com's Pick) - FM Venusiana R (Telkom Indonesia consumer service director)

  • People’s Choice (Readers' Pick) - Aisyiyah

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