MAMPU Hosts a Multi Stakeholders National Conference for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality19 February 2020
Author: Amron Hamdi
With the theme ‘Advance Women, Advance Indonesia,’ the National Conference for Multi Stakeholders Synergy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment brought together more than 200 stakeholders from various sectors and regions to discuss pressing issues and search for solutions to challenges facing women across the country. Executive Secretary of the National Development Planning Ministry Dr. Himawan Hariyoga Djojokusumo opened the proceedings on 27 November 2019 in Jakarta.
The conference — which was the result of cooperation between the Government of Indonesia and the Government of Australia through the MAMPU Program — aimed to build synergy and strengthen relationships between civil society, members of regional and national parliaments, local government, private sector actors, and the media, to bring about positive changes for Indonesian society, and especially women.
In his opening speech, Dr. Himawan explained, “Our strategy to improve women’s quality of life is to increase protection of women, empower women in various fields of development and improve coordination between all parties to ensure women gain access to, participate in, and have control over development. This strategy is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Government of Indonesia is committed to realising more inclusive economic growth and ensuring ‘no one left behind’, as stated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 59/2017 regarding the Implementation of Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the mandates set out in the Perpres is the involvement of non-governmental actors such as philanthropic organisations, business actors, academics and social organisations “.
Four themes were discussed during the one-day conference, namely: 1) The reach of social protection and reproductive health
programs and women’s access to these programs; 2) Women and Politics; 3) Elimination of Violence against Women; and 4) Women in the World of Work. Representatives of civil society organisations, businesses, the central and local governments, higher education institutions, and the media were involved in the vibrant discussions. A number of specific recommendations were produced during each of the thematic discussions, the recommendations were centred around harnessing multi stakeholders synergy to reduce inequality.
Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Dr. Sharman Stone provided an opening speech and stated, “I am very excited to come back to Indonesia and meet with women leaders, policymakers, business people and civil society activists who work to advance gender equality in Indonesia. Australia is proud to be able to work with Indonesia to achieve better outcomes for women and girls, to create economic growth and better living standards for all.”
Participants of the conference produced a number of important recommendations for policymakers, including: 1) Strengthen women’s, especially poor women’s, access and opportunities to become actors of change in gender-equality based development; 2) Push for cooperation and synergy between the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and other organisations, including MAMPU Partners, to work to address priority issues for women; 3) Encourage innovative IT-based protection and empowerment efforts for women informal workers and migrant workers, by utilising good practices, and involving all relevant stakeholders; 4) Push for the harmonisation of national and regional regulations, especially the regulations which discriminate against women and children (333 regional regulations have been found to directly discriminate against women).