Ms. Grata Endah Werdaningtyas
Permanent Mission of the
Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
Agenda Item 62:
“Advancement of Women”
New York, 13 October 2009
Allow me to first of all thank the Secretary-General for the comprehensive set of reports that provide us with a sound basis for our discussions on the advancement of women.
The Indonesian delegation also wishes to associate itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished delegate of Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action remains a vital and powerful agenda for women empowerment as do the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The proposed MDG+10 review and the 15 year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 2010 should focus on overcoming obstacles. Beyond the commemoration, it is more important to yield concrete strategies and action based on the lessons learned over the years.
In the same vein, in the three decades since the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), generations of women have benefited from its provisions. CEDAW has also been instrumental in framing national efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women which is detrimental to their role in society. Our efforts to promote the aims of CEDAW should not be distracted by the burden of the multiple crises.
Women are an intrinsic pillar of development. When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life. Women not only make up one half of humanity’s potentials in the world. They also bring different perspectives into a complex, inter-dependent and fast-moving world.
It is therefore crucial for the international community to systematically link women to development. Women should also be part of decision making so their needs are appropriately reflected.
As for Indonesia, we are committed to advance the participation of women in economic development and the democratic process as highlighted in the Long Term National Development Plan.
At the national level, Indonesia has introduced a gender responsive budget in its government agencies. Gender focal points and working groups have been set up in various departments and government agencies in order to strengthen coordination among them and to serve as the critical branches of the national monitoring system on gender mainstreaming.
In form with Indonesia’s democratic spirit, women’s advancement and their empowerment continue to increase in every sector in Indonesia.
Indonesiacontinues to promote participation of women in the political and democratic process. The legislative elections in April 2009 resulted in the increasing number of female members of parliament, from 11% in 2004 to 19% in 2009. We are fully committed to support women’s full and equal participation in decision making processes at all levels.
In the economic sphere, traditionally women’s labor in rural area has been confined to agriculture. In recent times however women entrepreneurs are growing; comprising 35% of the small and medium enterprises in Indonesia. Through the Women Cooperative Program for Family Welfare, Indonesian women are given greater access to credit to build their small businesses particularly in rural areas.
Over the past three decades, there has been a marked increase in the feminization of the labor force driven by the urban economy. As more women gained more opportunities to tap the labor market, there has been a related phenomenon that has been growing in force - that is - the simultaneous increase of informal work and migration.
While this trend is not necessarily negative, a high degree of insecurity has been associated with all migrant workers in the informal sector, but more so for women because of their vulnerability. Women’s susceptibility to violence has been addressed and acted with vigorous international and regional collaboration. Some of which has resulted in improved conditions for all migrant workers including women.
Women constitute more than 70% of all Indonesian migrant workers. The Indonesian government continues to ensure the well being, safety and security of their situation abroad. We are conducting advocacy and mediation, as well as providing legal counsel as necessary for migrant workers abroad.
Aside of providing protection and assistance to women, it is also important to emphasize prevention measures and training. National legal frameworks and Task Force on Human Trafficking were established among others to protect and regulate migrant workers. Indonesia also continues to engage countries of destination in formulating mutually beneficial agreement on the protection of migrant workers.
At the same time, we are working with the ILO to train government officials on the protection of migrant workers, as well as developing a national database to conduct periodic statistical analysis.
We observe the encouraging progress in our effort to address the advancement of women. However we should not lose sight of the importance to overcome gender inequalities and major obstacles to advance women that continue to persist. This situation is further exacerbated by poverty that is affecting the lives of the majority of the world’s people, in particular women and children.
Before concluding, we wish to reemphasize the international community’s role in advancing some of the pertinent points as follows:
1) In the short term, in the midst of the current economic downturn, the role of women should be even more accentuated. The multi-dimensional needs of women should not be overlooked in our effort to redeem the global economy to a more equitable path.
2) For the long term, women’s full potential, including in decision making process and economy, can be better realized with education and other productive resources provided from the earliest stages.
3) Furthermore to promote women’s greater role in non-agricultural activities, microfinance instruments, including micro-credit for poverty eradication should be further promoted to give women and particularly those in rural areas
4) On violence against women migrant workers, awareness-raising and other preventive measures including legal framework should continue to be reinforced. Collaboration among relevant countries should be strengthened.
Mr. Chairman, in pursuing these stated objectives, Indonesia stands ready to cooperate fully with civil society and international organizations particularly the United Nations that are equipped with a strong, unified and adequately resourced gender entity. Indonesia will contribute constructively to our common effort of the advancement of women.
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