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UNFPA Indonesia Highlights Gender Equality as Priority Concern for Government

Translator

Najla Nur Fauziyah

Editor

Nabiha Zain

22 March 2024 13:18 WIB

People take part in a rally to support women's rights calling for gender equality, protest against gender discrimination and demanding the impeachment of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo during International Women's Day in Jakarta, March 8, 2024. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

TEMPO.CO, JakartaHassan Mohtashami, UNFPA Indonesia Representative, hopes that teenage pregnancy and child marriage in Indonesia will become a priority concern of the government since it could impact the level of gender equality in Indonesia.  

"If [teenage pregnancy and child marriage] occurs more often, gender equality cannot be achieved. She [the victim] will not have enough time to pursue education nor work,” said Hassan during a media visit to Tempo on Thursday, March 21, 2024. 

Among the solutions to overcome this problem, he said, is the family planning program (KB). Teenagers need to be educated on the matters of reproductive health. UNFPA also supports Indonesian ministries in their policies concerning sexual and reproductive health, especially for women and children.

Hassan also claimed to have voiced this concern to several relevant authorities in Indonesia such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women and Children Empowerment, and Ministry of Education.

On a separate occasion, Prita Kemal Gani Founder and CEO of LSPR, an educational institution, in the UN CSW68 (United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 68 Session) event held at the UN headquarters in New York on March 18 voiced equality in education for children and women to alleviate poverty.

Indonesia's population is currently 279 million. Of these, 51 percent are women and 39 percent are children. According to Prita, an appropriate and equitable role of education is needed to overcome existing inequality. 

"The inequality that exists in the education sector in Indonesia not only inhibits personal growth and individual potential but also the continuation of systemic poverty," she suggested.

Prita further explained that there are three concrete actions that LSPR has carried out to empower women and children to fight poverty through education. First, the Scholarship Program which is disbursed through LSPR. Secondly, holding Skills Training for MSMEs. LSPR, for example, has partnered with NGOs and the government to hold skills training programs for adults who want to improve their job prospects.

Third, creating sustainable and inclusive educational institutions. LSPR, among others, has established the SDG's Center to support poverty alleviation efforts while realizing gender equality. In addition, the Center for Health & Gender Literacy was also established.

Through the UN CSW68 Forum, Prita hopes that the collaboration of all parties, including other member states in the UN, can be created to achieve a common goal, namely fighting for equal education for children and women in alleviating poverty.

SUCI SEKARWATI

Editor’s Choice: Long Road Ahead for True Gender Equality 

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