Indonesia, Canada Project Explores Women's Role amid COVID-19

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • A screen capture from an online event held by the National Support for Local Investment Climates/National Support for Enhancing Local and Regional Economic Development (NSLIC/NSELRED) held from February 7 - February 13, 2021/ NSLIC/NSELRED

    A screen capture from an online event held by the National Support for Local Investment Climates/National Support for Enhancing Local and Regional Economic Development (NSLIC/NSELRED) held from February 7 - February 13, 2021/ NSLIC/NSELRED

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Support for Local Investment Climates/National Support for Enhancing Local and Regional Economic Development (NSLIC/NSELRED) Project on February 11, hosted an online talk show addressing the strengths, challenges, and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs and their leadership role in the business and public sector amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The talk show took place during the International Development Week 2021 or IDW2021—an annual initiative hosted by the Canadian government and development organizations focused on gender equality, health, and climate change—that was held from February 7 to February 13 underlining Canada’s commitment towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    “Studies show that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women’s businesses around the world—including here in Indonesia,” said H.E. Cameron MacKay, the Ambassador of Canada to Indonesia. “Understanding the specific challenges facing Indonesia’s women, especially rural women, the Canadian Embassy is providing capacity building and technical support to help them start, adjust, and expand their businesses via the NSLIC/NSLRED project.”

    The Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), Suryani Motik, conveyed that in the current crisis situation, housewives act as finance ministers as well as a leader for their children. This situation drove women to struggle maintaining their economy and businesses, and some cases found they dared to start businesses from scratch.

    Since its inception, NSLIC/NSELRED has supported over 4,600 businesses, half of which are owned by women and has reached over 70,000 beneficiaries for the project —40 percent of which are women. 

    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) participating in the project have benefited from assistance to develop new sales strategies, including online sales and marketing helping companies to open new markets and establish business links with a wide range of partners to facilitate improved market access for products such as corn, coffee, coconut, organic rice, and palm sugar in 28 regencies. 

    The project aligns with Indonesia’s 2020-2024 National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) and supports 18 out of the 39 national priority areas.

    “We are pleased to support this talk-show, which brings together prominent women business leaders, women entrepreneurs leading small and medium sized businesses, and gender equality champions from 34 provinces of Indonesia”, said Cavelle Dove, the Project Director of NSLIC/NSELRED.  

    She further explained that through creating opportunities for dialogue and by promoting women’s contribution to the economy, especially during the current pandemic, we seek to advance gender equality and demonstrate the important role that women play in their family, community and Indonesian society as a whole. 

    The National Support for Local Investment Climates/National Support for Enhancing Local and Regional Economic Development (NSLIC/NSELRED) is a project funded by the Canadian Government through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and partners with Indonesia’s National Development Planning Ministry (BAPPENAS) to help increase job opportunities for impoverished Indonesians by improving the investment climate and supporting the development of competitive MSMEs.

    The project is implemented by Cowater International, a global international development company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and with corporate hubs in Brussels, London, Montreal and Nairobi. 

    Read: President Jokowi Highlights Women's Empowerment at G20 Summit

    NSLIC/NSELRED