Promoting women’s equality and empowerment is an important goal for a harmonious and prosperous society, and important for a society which wishes to utilise the talents of its people to the fullest potential. The Indonesian Constitution guarantees women’s rights, and presidential instruction 9/2000 embedded gender mainstreaming across all arms of government. A number of other presidential instructions have been issued to promote women’s equality and empowerment, and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection has many nation-wide programs to achieve these goals.
In support of these goals, we are proud to partner with Australia Awards and Deakin University in Melbourne, to conduct a short course on “Leadership Development for Islamic Women”. Thirty senior women from Islamic organisations across Indonesia, including ten senior women leaders from South Sulawesi, are participating in this course, which began with a workshop in Makassar on 14 August 2017. The course includes two weeks of seminars, training, meetings and site visits in Melbourne and Canberra in September; and a post-course workshop in early 2018 in Jakarta. We hope this short course will help strengthen women’s leadership in Indonesia, engender greater understanding between senior women in Australia and Indonesia, and lead to ongoing, practical links between Australia and Indonesia at the people-to-people level.
This speech was delivered at the opening of the introductory workshop in Makassar.