President of Indonesia and Community Leaders Spotlight Role of Women in Sustainable Peace


Press Release
For immediate release

Massive event commemorates International Day of Peace, celebrates women’s empowerment and resilient communities

Sumenep, Indonesia – A landmark community festival today led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to commemorate the International Day of Peace, brought together 8,000 people to celebrate women’s empowerment and peaceful communities.

Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

President Widodo, who in 2015 announced his support to UN Women’s HeForShe global initiative to advance gender equality, joined with UN Women and the Wahid Foundation, with the support of the Government of Japan, to celebrate the contribution of women entrepreneurs in local development and to emphasize women’s roles in promoting peaceful coexistence and resilient communities.

The massive gathering in Pesantren Annuqqayah on Madura island, East Java, under the theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”, brought together religious leaders, santri and santriwati, and women's economic groups to take part in a range of dynamic events including a panel discussion on how Madura women contribute to peace, a community-led, collective peace oath, cultural performances and a bazaar hosted by women’s entrepreneurs showcasing their products.

In his speech during the International Day of Peace commemoration, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said, “Women are the key to sustainable peace, from family, to country, to the world. Peace cannot be forced, but cultivated. I congratulate this partnership with UN Women and Wahid Foundation, “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities”, which will build peaceful societies. Let’s build and spread the value of peace to the country and to the world.”

Supporting women’s empowerment to build social cohesion is the goal of UN Women’s new “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities” programme, supported by the Government of Japan. Under this programme, UN Women and the Wahid Foundation have partnered to promote women’s leadership and economic empowerment to build social cohesion and strengthen resilience at the community level.

Miwa Kato, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific said: “Women have a unique position to positively influence their families, communities, and society as a whole to build peace and tolerance. By investing in women and girls, by ensuring they can participate in the economic, political and social life of their communities, and by valuing their contributions – Sumenep, the island of Madura, and Indonesia will be stronger, more inclusive and more peaceful”.

Yenny Wahid, head of the Wahid Foundation, added: “By empowering women we know that it will strengthen the dynamics of their communities to be peaceful and tolerant. This is good for women, good for communities, and good for Indonesia.”


About UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with the Governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards.

About Wahid Foundation

Wahid Foundation was established to advance the humanitarian vision of KH Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) in advancing the development of tolerant, multicultural, society in Indonesia, improving the welfare of the poor, building democracy and fundamental justice, and expanding the values of peace and non-violence in Indonesia and throughout the world.

At both a regional and global level, Wahid Foundation facilitates dialogue and the building of understanding between Muslims and other religions and cultures, including between those living in the Muslim world and those living in the West. In Indonesia, Wahid Foundation fosters the emergence of promising young thinkers and activists to realize the commitment and vision of Gus Dur. Wahid Foundation organizes education events for youth, capacity building for Muslim clerics to generate cross-religions, cross-cultural, and cross-ethnics dialogue, and assists and promotes them to actively participate in the process of building economic welfare and justice and good governance.

Media Inquiries:

Radhiska Anggiana
UN Women, Ph: 08121347144

Khoirul Anam
Wahid Foundation, Ph: 085714346499