International Women’s Day

Panel of Inspirational Women Discusses Achievements and Challenges in Promoting and Achieving the Empowerment of Women

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018

Author: Radhiska Anggiana

Jakarta, Indonesia — Investing in women's empowerment is a direct path towards reaching gender equality. Many women have made enourmous contributions to society, through businesses, in technology, as entrepreneurs or employees or by working to empower others. However, despite some progress we still find women's rights and empowerment are far from reality in most countries.

Deputy Country Director for Indonesia of German International Development Agency GIZ, Zulazmi (left) and UN Women Representative, Sabine Machl (right) with the panelists of the talkshow titled "Urban Activism and More Opportunities for Women's Empowerment". Photo: GIZ/Arvianto
Deputy Country Director for Indonesia of German International Development Agency GIZ, Zulazmi (left) and UN Women Representative, Sabine Machl (right) with the panelists of the talkshow titled "Urban Activism and More Opportunities for Women's Empowerment". Photo: GIZ/Arvianto

"Women and girls still face barriers that prevent them from achieving their full potential," said Sabine Machl, UN Women Representative in Indonesia. "We need to ensure equal choices and opportunities for them. In the month of International Women's Day, let us take action and work together in creating a positive change for women and girls."

UN Women Representative, Sabine Machl opening the talkshow. Photo: GIZ/Arvianto
UN Women Representative, Sabine Machl opening the talkshow. Photo: GIZ/Arvianto

Challenges, best practices and further step of how to empower women were discussed at the talkshow titled "Urban Activism and More Opportunities for Women's Empowerment", hosted by German international development agency GIZ and UN Women on 14 March 2018 in celebration of International Women's Day.

"Gender equality is a human rights," stated Rafael Teck, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy. "Human rights are a guiding principle for the German development cooperation. Gender equality helps to greatly improve the quality of life of all people and is therefore an essential factor in achieving sustainable change together in our work with all our partners. This is also reflected in GIZ's work. On the occassion of the International Women's Day, we collaborate with UN Women to continue the dialogue involving all stakeholders, including the public and private sector, civil society organisations as well as academics."

The talk show aimed to inspire and call on people to work together and take a more active role to ensure greater empowerment of women. The panelists were Dayu Dara Permata, Senior Vice President of ride-sharing startup GO-JEK and head of affiliated lifestyle app GO-LIFE; Alanda Kariza, Authors of Sophismata and Beats Apart; Kalsoom Jaffari, Co-Founder of Beyond the Fabric; Lily Puspasari, Programme Specialist at UN Women in Indonesia; and Cut Sri Rozanna, Programme Director, Social Protection Programme, GIZ. The talk show featured individuals who have worked to advance gender equality and intended to inspire other women and men to promote women's empowerment.

Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono
Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono

Speaking at the panel discussion, all speakers gave their opinion on why empowering women is such a priority. "Refugee women are the most vulnerable," said Kalsoom Jaffari, Co-Founder of refugee led initiative, Beyond the Fabric, who lived as a refugee in Indonesia for five years. "They are suffering from different kind of problems. They are totally dependent on their families and also facing domestic violence. These are barriers that refugee women face and why they need to be empowered".

"We need two strong tools, one is education and second is training for the refugee women. Refugee women need this, so that they know about their rights, gained self confidence and they don't have to be dependent on their family members," she added.

Dayu Dara Permata, Senior Vice President of GO-JEK and head of GO-LIFE, highlighted the role of the private sector in advancing women's empowerment. "We want to empower women because simply they are very skilled. The productivity of the country and the opportunity in the market cannot be unleashed, unless we empower women."

"In a company or organization, if the teams are very diverse with enough representation of women, there will be more innovation. The world cannot advance if half of the population are held back," she added.

Speaking about women's representation and participation, Cut Sri Rozanna, Programme Director, Social Protection Programme GIZ said "Women's involvement in development, in planning, designing, and implementation, is necessary, so that women's voice are represented and women's issues are addressed."

Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono
Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono

In line with this year's International Women's Day theme, the talk show also discussed urban activism and how women and men around the world are now raising their voice for women's rights, from global marches to social media campaigns. "Everyone from different background can contribute to create changes for women," said Alanda Kariza, author of Sophismata and Beats Apart. "Gender equality that I would like to see is how women can have equal opportunities to be anything that they want to be."

Photo: UN Women/ Aryanadi Cahyono
Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono

"Now, our homework is with all of this activism, how we can synergize and work together. Be it participating in a march, speaking up through social media, or joining a seminar like this, we must have same spirit and stand together to achieve gender equality."

Lily Puspasari, Programme Specialist at UN Women added that "I would like to see more change makers at all levels as everyone can step up and play their part for gender equality. Be a change maker. You can start with those issues closest to your heart and closest to your environment."

The talkshow was attended by 90 participants from public, civil society organizations as well as representatives from embassies in Jakarta.