Sharing best practices and experience on women and leadership
Monday, 26 September 2016 06:42

“As an individual, women have unique perspective in seeing opportunities, chances, and responsibilities. Therefore they are more responsive in various public and domestic affairs, making their leadership essential to the communities” said H.E. Yohana Yembise, the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection during the opening ceremony of the Sharing Best Practices and Experiences on Women and Leadership Program, Surabaya (19/9).This, as much, summarizes the whole idea of women empowerment. That, women should lead, creating new solutions to many public difficulties.

Sharing Best Practices and Experiences on Woman and Leadership is a collaborative work of the Ministry of State Secretariat, Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, and the Colombo Plan Secretariat, aimed to address many complex issues women faced nowadays, such as violence, discrimination, poverty, sexism, impacts of new technologies, threats of environmental degradations and many more. 18 participants from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, each share their experiences of women’s empowerment and leadership and how it may lead to better communities.

Mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, shared her amazing experiences in empowering women and the society at large. One of her successes was the closure of the biggest red light district in Southeast Asia located at Dolly District in Surabaya. The sex workers then trained to make shoes, sandals, clothes, and other products sustaining their livelihoods, empowering them at the same time. She implied “for the well-being of the communities, reducing children and adolescent juvenile delinquency, women empowerment, and the betterment of children education in the future.”

Wisnu Setiawan Muchidin, Expert Staff to the Minister of State Secretariat for Law, Human Rights, and Governance said “the program is future oriented looking at the increasing number of women holding significant roles in a number of development sectors, such as medium and large scale companies, high ranking government officials, ministers, as well as head of states.” Indonesia’s experience on women’s involvement in leadership has been resulted in successes. For example, in the area of politics, there has been an increase in women’s involvement from 11 per cent in 2009 rising to 18.6 per cent in 2014.

Brilliant ideas coming out of the action plans the participants produce at the end of the program, showed how the program may lead to better women empowerment and, in the end, social transformations. Kumari Jayaratne from Sri Lanka highlighted the importance of women’s economic empowerment. Her action plan aimed to train confined women with batik-making skills (batik is Indonesian traditional fabric drawing) and its marketing, enhancing their ability to acquire economic advantages, therefore skills necessary to survive when they were freed.

The participants suggested that the Program was a great experience, providing not only in-class theories, but also real practices and implementations in the society. It also promoted friendly relationship between participating members resulting global networking for a better future.

 

 

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