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STATEMENT 

BY

 

MRS. LINDA AMALIA SARI GUMELAR

MINISTER FOR WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

AND CHILD PROTECTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

 

AT THE GENERAL DISCUSSION

56TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

 

ON AGENDA ITEM 3:

“Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled: “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”

 

 

Review of the implementation of: the BPfA and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the GA – sharing of experiences and good practices on implementation of the Platform for Action, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges

 

New York,   28 February 2012

 


Madame Chairperson,

 

I first would like to thank you for your leadership and contribution to the work of the Commission in the past year. I am certain that the work of the Commission will enrich our respective efforts for the advancement of women, in line with the Beijing Platform for Action and Millennium Development Goals, major outcomes of the UN conferences on Women and the Millennium Development Goals.

 

My delegation aligns itself with the statement of the distinguished Representative of Argentina on behalf of G77 and China.

 

Madame Chairperson,

 

The Fourth World Conference recognized that for development to be successful it needs to build human capital which is an essential asset for economic growth.

 

Given that development is never an exclusive process reserved for the benefit of a specific group only, the advancement of women, including those in rural areas, will always be a crucial aspect of the process.There is ample evidence globally to show that empowering rural women is an important investment that yields lucrative development returns.

 

On this year’s priority theme, we welcome the recommendations of the Secretary General’s report (E.CN.6/2012/3) on actions to strengthen the rural economy in which many women participate. By the same token, the Secretary-General’s Five-Year Action Agenda announced early this year, provides further impetus for efforts helpful to women and young people. We deem that initiative a crucial mechanism that will allow the United Nations to focus more intensely on specific areas of women’s rights, namely violence against women, their participation in political activities, and their involvement in social and economic recovery efforts globally.

 

Bearing in mind the MDGs, the Agenda can be a spur for accelerated action in the last three to meet the 2015 MDG deadline. Taking into account the possibility of new commitments on gender in a post 2015 development framework, a thorough and geographically balanced assessment of the global status of women, based on lessons learned from the implementation of the MDGs, must guide further global efforts. The Secretary General’s Agenda should help facilitate that process.

 

Likewise, I take this opportunity to underscore the importance of linking national and regional perspectives with the outcomes of major UN women conferences in shaping the post 2015 framework. Noting the Rio+20 Conference, it is equally important for their role in sustainable development to be highlighted.

 

With these objectives in mind, the newly established UN-Women should enhance its role to impact these matters by supporting renewed actions on the part of all stakeholders so that women can gain lasting concrete benefits and be allowed greater participation in development and all spheres of life.

 

Madame Chairperson, The current global economic crisis is deepening, or can potentially deepen the impacts of poverty on poor households, including women-headed households. An enabling environment has to be created in order to broaden economic choices for the poor, thus contributing to household and community resilience and self-sufficiency. Women certainly need to have access to those choices.

 

Our 2010 national census reveals there is a relative balance between women and men in Indonesia’s urban and rural settings. Providing productive avenues for both groups to realize their full potential is a government priority. Simultaneously, tackling pockets of poverty, which are more prevalent in rural areas, is also a priority. As much as 13.33% of the total population is poor. Two-thirds of whom live in rural areas.

 

It is Indonesia’s view that women’s empowerment is both a vital objective and a means of overcoming rural poverty. All stakeholders are encouraged to pursue this goal. The government has instituted administrative practices to ensure women enjoy equal rights, including by mainstreaming gender, and using gender-budgeting in various government programs. At the same time, the diverse potentials of rural women are being promoted through programs that give them access to economic resources and serve to enhance their economic empowerment.

 

Through our Women’s Economic Productivity Enhancement Program, the Independent and Progressive Indonesian Women Village Model (Desa Prima), and cottage industries, more women are gaining access to employment and enjoying economic independence as entrepreneurs. Cottage industries, 55% of which are concentrated in rural areas, are empowering rural women by providing them with gainful employment. Astoundingly, 73% of the cottage industries are being run by women, even though 36% of them do not have a higher level of education than their male counterparts. Despite social obstacles, it is encouraging to note the high level of workforce participation by rural areas in the economy, particularly its informal sectors, when compared to urban areas.

 

Micro-credit, community-based support groups, training and capacity building are just a few of the programs dedicated to building women’s economic capacity, including in rural areas. The conditional transfer scheme, such as the Family Hope(Keluarga Harapan) program that transfers cash to women in poor households, has helped women strengthen their economic power.All of these programs are designed to mitigate the negative impact of poverty which creates an incentive for women trafficking, child labor, migration, urbanization and early marriage.

 

A recent development I wish to highlight is the increasing use of ICTs by rural women in Indonesia to gain greater access to markets.

 

Madame Chairperson, let us not overlook the important link between rural women’s economic empowerment and food security. Household food security is improved by women with the economic capacity to ensure reliable food supplies. Another dimension to the provision of food security by rural women is their positive impact on rural development through the growth of the agriculture sector, which is a key to poverty eradication. In Indonesia, one of the programs being promoted is “Scholars Build Villages” (Sarjana Membangun Desa), which inspired women to obtain higher education in agriculture, with the intention of dedicating their time after graduation to organizing agriculture programs in rural areas. The government is also promoting women’s participation in the development of gender-responsive participatory irrigation programs and food diversification.

 

In the field of education Indonesia continues to pursue equal rights for women and men. Indonesia’s MDG report for 2010 reflects that the country is on track to achieve the MDG targets for primary education and literacy. At the primary education level, the disparity in participation rates among provinces has been significantly reduced with the Net Enrollment Rate (NER) above 90% in almost all provinces.

The school drop-out rate for primary and secondary educationhas been trending downward owing to several programs being implemented, such as scholarships to poor students; retrieval and remedial programs; special education in remote, marginalized, natural and social disaster areas, and for economically disadvantaged families; formal education packages; and an inclusive education program for children with special needs.To guarantee the rights of girl child to education, Indonesia is working to ensure that by 2015 every Indonesian child receives at least nine years of basic education. In relation to the unemployment situation, ensuring informal education for out-of-school young women has helped to provide them with better life skills so they can find jobs and participate actively in society.

The Government continues to engage the main challenge to improving equal access of girls and boys to quality basic education. The policy to allocate 20% of the national budget to the education sector will be continued in order to accelerate the achievement of universal junior secondary education by 2015.

 

With regard to women and health, the Government has been increasing its national budget on health over the last couple of years. Indonesia’s public health expenditure represents 70% of the WHO recommendation, which is US$ 35-40 per person per year. Enhanced services for reproductive health are being provided for teens as an integral part of family planning programs. Such activities have improvedthe knowledge, attitude and behavior of teenagers regarding their reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, narcotics, psychotropic drugs and other addictive substances. It will also improve the quality of family life as well as the life skills of teens.

 

In combating violence against women, the Government continues to implement laws relating to domestic violence. To date, more legal protections have been established to ensure standardized service for women and to give women and children victims of violence access to justice. The capacity of law enforcement’s officials to cases of handle violence against women and children is also being improved.

 

To empower women in the power structure and facilitate their participation in the political decision-making process, there are two laws mandating political parties fill a quota of 30% for women as members of their executive boards at the central and regional levels and as proposed candidates to become legislators. The Government is now proposing an affirmative action scheme for the upcoming 2014 General Election so women will be better represented in parliament.

 

A Women's Parliamentary Caucus has been established to actively collaborate with the government and civil society to promote the formulation of pro-women legislation. The overall percentage of men and women in public service is almost equal: 56% of men and nearly 44% of women. To ensure that the advancement of women’s rights is institutionalized, the Government has drafted a Law on Gender Equality. The Parliament on December 2011 agreed to include the draft Gender Equality Law as one among many others in the National Legislation Program for Priority Bills in 2012. Simultaneously, more government institutions have implemented the policy on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting since 2010.

 

Madame Chairperson,

 

The Government remains committed to the implementation of all elements of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. We are looking forward in presenting our progress report on advancing women’s rights at the CEDAW Committee session next July.

I thank you.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333,   Fax: 1.212.972.9780   -   www.indonesiamission-ny.org

 

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