Delegations at last year's Bali Democracy Forum. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Bali Democracy Forum to Focus on Role of Women in Democracy


NOVEMBER 28, 2019

Jakarta. Next week's Bali Democracy Forum will highlight the role of women in democracy with an official theme of "Democracy and Inclusivity," an official said on Thursday.

The twelfth edition of the annual conference will take place on the popular tourist island's Nusa Dua Convention Center on Dec. 5-6.

It will be opened by the first woman to claim the mantle of House of Representatives Speaker, Puan Maharani.

"Having women in leadership roles is very important for a democracy. We will take on this theme in dialogues at the ministerial level," Cecep Herawan, the director general of information and public diplomacy at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said in Jakarta.

Two women foreign ministers, Monikca Juma from Kenya and Marise Payne from Australia, have confirmed their attendance so far. They will present their own takes on women in leadership.

"We will talk about inclusivity and how everyone's involvement is really important. We'll have panels where members of the public, the media, the business community and students can take part," Cecep said.

This year the forum will try a new format to avoid discussions becoming too formal. Panel discussions featuring state delegates will dominate. 

"We will have a panel discussing the general election, featuring members of the General Elections Committee [KPU]. We're trying to get the Election Commission of India on board to share their experience and best practices because India holds the biggest elections in the world," Cecep said.

A total of 140 countries have been invited to the forum, with 81 having confirmed their attendance. So far, the foreign ministers of Palestine, Fiji, Solomon Island, New Zealand, Australia and Kenya are confirmed to attend, while Venezuela, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Singapore, Qatar and the Maldives will send their deputy foreign ministers.