International Women’s Day

UN Women and Institut Français d'Indonésie jointly organized public lecture and discussion on Feminism and Women's Rights

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018

Author: Radhiska Anggiana

Jakarta, Indonesia — In celebration of International Women's Day, Institut Français d'Indonésie and UN Women hosted a lecture and public discussion on concepts of feminism and policies for women's rights on 8 March in Jakarta. The event aimed to deepen public knowledge and understanding on gender equality and feminism through historical and comparative perspective, as well as to discuss collective action for the improvement of the situation of women and girls.

A public lecture on "Understanding Feminist Discourse" and talkshow on gender equality through the lens of international cooperation was organized by Institut Français d'Indonésie, Embassy of France and UN Women in celebration of International Women's Day. Left to right: Emilienne Baneth-Nouailhetas, Educational Cooperation Attaché Embassy of France to Indonesia; Prof. Claire Joubert, Universite Paris 8; Prof. Dr. Wening Udasmoro, Gajah Mada University; Prof. Vennetia Danes, Deputy Minister for Women's Rights Protection; Dr. Ani Soetjipto, University of Indonesia; Sabine Machl, UN Women Representative; Francois Croquette, French Ambassador for Human Rights. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan.
Left to right: Emilienne Baneth-Nouailhetas, Educational Cooperation Attaché of the Embassy of France to Indonesia; Professor. Claire Joubert, Universite Paris 8; Professor Dr. Wening Udasmoro, Gajah Mada University; Professor Vennetia Danes, Deputy Minister for Women's Rights Protection; Dr. Ani Soetjipto, University of Indonesia; Sabine Machl, UN Women Representative; Francois Croquette, French Ambassador for Human Rights. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan

"Today, despite some progress we still find women's rights and empowerment is far from reality in most countries," said Sabine Machl, UN Women Representative in Indonesia on her opening speech. "At the current rate of progress the global gender gap will take 100 years to close. So there is a real need for urgent action in order to speed up a transformative change."

Francois Croquette, French Ambassador for Human Rights, spoke about how promotion and protection of women's rights is the benchmark for democracy. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan.
François Croquette, French Ambassador for Human Rights, spoke about how promotion and protection of women's rights is the benchmark for democracy. He also said that Indonesia should more actively work on advancing human rights and equality. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan

"No matter what our role in the society, we have to work together to achieve gender equality. It is not for a single entity, but for all of us to make our interventions more gender-sensitive and targeted."

Prof. Vennetia Danes, Deputy Minister for Women's Rights Protection, spoke about programme that the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has done to ensure the protection of women's rights. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan.
Professor Vennetia Danes, Deputy Minister for Women's Rights Protection, spoke about the programme of work that the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has done to ensure the protection of women's rights. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan

Achievement and challenges in promoting and achieving gender equality were presented in the first part of the event, a public lecture on histories of feminism and women's rights in Europe and in Indonesia. Professor Claire Joubert from Université Paris 8, France presented a lecture titled Understanding Feminist Discourse: Resources for Analysis and Action. She shared her account of the history of the women's movement and key concepts, from the Suffragette movement, to reproductive rights, from the the personal is political, from the third world and postcolonial feminism, to intersectionality. Professor Wening Udasmoro from Gajah Mada University presented a lecture titled Indonesian Contemporary Discourses, where she shared her insights on the narrative of Indonesian women's through different historical periods. The lecture was concluded with a question and answer session with the lecturer, and a music performance by Sisters in Danger, winner of Most Popular Award UN Women's 2017 UNiTE song contest.

Jean-Charles Berthonnet, Ambassador of France to Indonesia, spoke about the importance of putting gender equality in a daily conversation. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan.
Jean-Charles Berthonnet, Ambassador of France to Indonesia, spoke about the importance of putting gender equality in a daily conversation. Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan

The second part of the event brought together: French Ambassador for Human Rights. François Croquette; Deputy Minister of Protection of Women's Rights from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Professor Venetia Danes; and Senior Lecturer from the University of Indonesia, Dr. Ani Soetjipto. The panelists answered questions and discussed the situation of gender equality through the lens of international cooperation and strategic perspectives.

In his opening speech, Jean-Charles Berthonnet, Ambassador of France to Indonesia said that there are several strategies that can be implemented to address women's rights issues, such as ensuring law and policies that support gender equality; providing education, so that women and girls know their rights; and actively supporting gender equality.

The event brought together 150 participants including teachers, students, civil society organizations, members of the public, the media and representatives from embassies in Jakarta.

Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan.
Photo: UN Women/ Putra Djohan