Women’s Equality and Empowerment Become the Main Issues During RI’s G20 Presidency

Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Priority Issues at the G20, Dian Triansyah Djani explained that equality and women’s empowerment is one of the main issues that Indonesia will raise while serving as the G20 Presidency. During his tenure as President of the G20, Indonesia will hold three meetings related to women, one of which is Women 20.

“The issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment at the global level is an issue that we need to continue to fight for. W20 plays an important role in ensuring that gender considerations and perspectives are mainstreamed in various discussions within the G20,” said Triansyah Djani.

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, in a special meeting of the UN Security Council, Tuesday, February 11, 2020, reaffirmed Indonesia's support for Palestine.  (Photo: PTRI)

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, in a special meeting of the UN Security Council, Tuesday, February 11, 2020, reaffirmed Indonesia’s support for Palestine. (Photo: PTRI)

According to Triansyah Djani, there are many women’s issues that can be discussed during the Indonesian Presidency at the G20, such as the labor sector, the COVID-19 pandemic and so on. He added that the Indonesian government wants the issues discussed at the G20 to be shared by as many people around the world as possible.

Chairwoman of Women20 Hadriani Ulitiur Ida Silalahi explained that gender-based violence and discrimination against women are still ongoing today, where one in three women in the world experience gender-based violence. The World Economic Forum even records that around 33 thousand girls get married early every day.

An activist holds a candle and shouts slogans while standing guard for a teenage girl who was raped and killed by 14 men in Bengkulu, outside the presidential palace in Jakarta.  (Photo: AP)

An activist holds a candle and shouts slogans while standing guard for a teenage girl who was raped and killed by 14 men in Bengkulu, outside the presidential palace in Jakarta. (Photo: AP)

Citing data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women or Komnas Perempuan, Hadriani said last year there were nearly 300 thousand reports of cases of violence against women. Many victims do not report or do not have access to report.

“With the following data, it is clear how important efforts to eliminate discrimination are to achieve women’s equality. Equal conditions for women can promote women’s empowerment. Women who are empowered can contribute maximally to society at large, both with their education and abilities,” said Hadriani.

Hadriani underlined the importance of achieving women’s empowerment and autonomy as well as improving their political, economic, social and health status to achieve sustainable development.

According to the Deputy for Gender Equality at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, Lenny N. Rosalin, the development of gender equality has been included in Law no. 17 of 2007 concerning the National Long-Term Development Plan for 2005-2025.

Lenny added that although 35.07 percent of Indonesia’s 270.2 million population are women of productive age, the participation rate of the female workforce is lower than that of men.

Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in August 2020 showed the labor force participation rate of men was 82.41 percent, while women were 53.13 percent.

Lenny explained that most of the businesses carried out by women were small-scale and home-based businesses. Women experience many difficulties in maintaining and developing their businesses compared to men, among others due to unequal gender norms, the high burden of child care that must be carried out by women and the low access to productive assets.

A worker carries goods on his head at a market in Surabaya on International Women's Day, March 8, 2021. (Photo: AFP/June Kriswanto)

A worker carries goods on his head at a market in Surabaya on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021. (Photo: AFP/June Kriswanto)

In addition, continued Lenny, women lack the opportunity to develop skills, limited access to finance, lack of mentors and networks and policies that are not gender friendly.

“Why do women need to be economically empowered? Because so that she can later have a lot of influence, at least in a better parenting pattern. With the income she earns, she will send her children to higher education, she will provide her children with healthier food. So this is included in the parenting scheme,” said Lenny.

Based on data from his ministry, according to Lenny, during January to December 2020, there were 8,686 cases of violence against women with a total of 8,763 women victims. Of these cases, 61 percent were cases of domestic violence.

The most common types of violence experienced by women are physical, psychological, neglect and sexual violence.

Meanwhile, the number of cases and victims of violence against children is much higher. During last year, there were 11,278 cases with 12,425 victims consisting of 3,608 boys and 8,817 girls. The most common types of violence experienced were sexual, physical and psychological violence. [fw/em]

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