ASEAN Launches "ASEAN HeForShe" Campaign to Promote Gender Equality

Date: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Author: Radhiska Anggiana

"Gender equality is not a matter concerning women only, but all of us including men and boys. By encouraging men and boys to be agents of change, we would like to inculcate a culture of respect for women and girls. The proactive involvement of men and boys in settings such as family, school, community including those at leadership positions is pivotal in promoting greater gender responsiveness in the ASEAN Community," Le Luong Ming, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

ASEAN HeForShe Campaign launch. Photo: UN Women/Putra Djohan

Jakarta, Indonesia — In partnership with UN Women, ASEAN launched the ASEAN HeForShe Campaign in conjunction with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. The launch aims to raise awareness on gender equality in ASEAN region by encouraging men and boys to be agents of change, to promote a culture of respect for women and girls and to recognize how men and boys can benefit from gender equality.

Opening the launching event, Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Yohana Yembise acknowledged that gender equality is one of important focus of the Government of Indonesia, however challenges remain "Indonesia has a strong patriarchal tradition. This is a mindset that we need to change and it is not an easy task". "We have to focus on ending violence and discrimination against women. By doing this, we hope that this will accelerate the achievement of gender equality in Indonesia," Minister Yohana added.

Minister Yohana Yembise speaks about gender equality In Indonesia at the launching event. Photo: UN Women/Putra Djohan
H.E. Le Luong Minh (centre) receives a HeForShe pin from Miwa Kato at the campaign launch at ASEAN Secretariat. Photo: UN Women/Putra Djohan

Emphasizing that gender equality is not a matter concerning women only, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Dr Miwa Kato said "Society based on respect for diversity and tolerance is good for women and men alike. It's not just women's issue." "We now have evidence to prove what we have long believed to be true: that there can be no peace, no development, and no security unless both women and men are given equal opportunities to meet their full potential and live their lives free from all forms of discrimination," she added.

On this occasion, Dr Miwa Kato pinned five HeForShe Champions: Secretary General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh; Deputy Secretary General for Socio Cultural Community, H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee; Canada's Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Peter MacArthur; Vice Chair, Senior Officials Committee for the ASEAN Socio Cultural Community and Focal Point of Singapore for the ASEAN Committee on Women, Richard K T Tan and President Director and CEO of Maybank Indonesia, Taswin Zakaria.

The Youth Session featuring leaders of ASEAN University Student Council Union. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan

The key highlights of the campaign launch included proposed actions and hope for the future of women and girls, voiced by the leaders of ASEAN University Student Council Union and a panel discussion with ASEAN senior officials, leader from the private sector and representative from women's organization on their perspective in overcoming challenges to gender equality and how they can bring forward real changes in the region.

ASEAN has put in place a multitude of regional initiatives to promote gender equality including, most recently, a Joint Statement of Women, Peace and Security and the ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention that seeks to promote a culture of respect for all including women. The ASEAN HeForShe Campaign with UN Women will further strengthen efforts to mobilize men and boys in ASEAN as an advocate for gender equality to support women's rights.

For more information

Please contact: Radhiska Anggiana
Communications Officer, UN Women Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 39830330 | Mob: +62 21 812 134 7144
E-mail: radhiska.anggiana@unwomen.org