Yogyakarta, 22 December 2021 – The Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection (Ministry of PPPA) staged the G20 Empower and Women20 (W20) Ceremonial Kick-Off virtually, coinciding with the height of the 93rd Mother’s Day Commemoration today. At this event, the Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Bintang Puspayoga reiterated that women have enormous potential in supporting and encouraging the nation’s economic growth and that these opportunities and potentials must be expanded and supported by all parties through global cooperation, specifically the G20.
“Women’s and marginalized groups’ participation is a major concern in Indonesia’s leadership in the G20. We believe that through the global collaboration between the Government, Regional Governments, the private sector, international institutions, academia and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and other stakeholders, the challenges faced by women, especially in dealing with the impact of the post-COVID-19 recovery period, can be addressed.” Minister Bintang said at the G20 Empower and Women20 (W20) Ceremonial Kick-Off, which was streamed live online.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said that a shift in thinking is required to make a significant effect on women’s empowerment. This is the first step that should be supported by creating a welcoming environment and giving women equal opportunities to contribute. “Indonesia’s presidency at the G20 brings the spirit of inclusiveness. Indonesia’s main focus during the G20 would be on empowering vulnerable populations, such as women and children.”
Women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the UN Women report, women whose salaries are mostly derived from family businesses have seen a considerable drop in income of up to 82 percent. Furthermore, throughout the pandemic, women were burdened with more domestic concerns and unpaid care. Both women and men are affected by rising household problems and workloads, with 69 percent of women and 61 percent of men locked in unpaid domestic labor.
Following up on this, Minister Bintang hoped that the agenda related to strengthening the role of women, particularly during the COVID-19 recovery process, can be discussed more deeply at the G20 forum, which is in line with the Indonesian Presidency’s theme of ‘Recover Stronger, Recover Together,’ so that it can contribute to the development of global strategies and policies, which are in line with the ‘Brisbane Goals,’ as well as national policies.
At the G20, there were 2 (two) special groups that discussed improving women’s positions and equality, namely G20 Empower, which consists of a government and private alliance, and Women20, which is an engagement group. Indonesia has selected the agenda or work theme to be discussed in each of these groups.
G20 Empower focuses on three major themes: company accountability for Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to encourage leadership and strengthen the company’s position in the workplace; private sector and government efforts to continue to encourage and support the role of women in SME (Small Medium Enterprises) as an economic driver; and developing women’s future readiness in the digital economy.
Meanwhile, four topics will be discussed in the W20 Indonesia. First, the promotion of equality, security, and welfare by eliminating discrimination that hinders women’s participation in the economy. Second, the promotion of economic inclusion by supporting women-owned and managed MSMEs. Third, the increasing resilience by addressing vulnerability, with a focus on women with disabilities and rural women. Fourth, a health response that is gender-equal.
Minister Bintang believed that women would confront numerous complex challenges in the future. “With the advancement of technology 4.0, it is critical to give equal opportunities for women in the workplace and in business. “This issue must be studied and remedies to be found for the sake of strengthening the quality and capacity of women in the future,” he added.
Furthermore, Minister Bintang hoped that the topic of women’s empowerment can continue to be improved through the G20 forums that discuss efforts to expand women’s participation and involvement in global and local communities, in order to better and strengthen women’s bargaining position in society. The Ministry of PPPA will also continue the initiatives of Italy and is committed to hosting a Ministerial Meeting on Women’s Empowerment during the 2022 Indonesian Presidency in Bali.
“I believe that the Indonesian Presidency of the G20 can continue to encourage the creation of concrete actions through the development of recommendations, policies, and sharing of experiences, as well as by collaborating and building common strengths to continue to support equality and promote women’s strategic position,” Minister Bintang said.
The Kick-off meeting at the same time inaugurated the Chair and Co-Chair of Women20 Indonesia, namely the Chair of the Indonesian Women’s Congress (KOWANI) Hadriani Uli Silalahi and the President Director and CEO of XL Axiata Dian Siswarini. In addition, the Chair and Co-Chair of G20 Empower are Director and Chief Strategic Transformation and Information Officer of XL Axiata Yessie D. Yosetya, Chair of the Permanent Committee for Education for the Indonesian Women Entrepreneurs Association (IWAPI) Rinawati Prihatiningsih, and Assistant Deputy for Professional Institution Participation and the Business World of the Ministry of PPPA Eko Novi Ariyanti as the government’s representative in the G20 Empower.
Indonesia’s G20 presidency commenced on December 1, 2021. As the mother ministry of the G20 Empower alliance and the Women20 engagement group, the Ministry of PPPA is actively involved in the G20 implementation. The Indonesian delegation will outline the priority agenda for the G20 Indonesia Presidency at this ceremonial event. Furthermore, G20 members, representatives from invited nations, civil society organizations, and relevant international organizations are expected to discuss and propose concrete initiatives in order to produce concrete actions that respond to global concerns.
During the year 2021, G20 Empower held several series of activities nationally, including hosting a series of webinars to highlight the critical role of women in the business sector and the workplace; and recruiting over 50 Empower G20 advocates who are CEOs/Senior Directors of Indonesian firms. Empower’s G20 advocates are expected to be able to advocate for and establish programs, procedures, and policies in their organizations that promote gender equality and opportunity, as well as contribute more broadly to the community and society.
W20 Indonesia collaborates with International Knowledge Partners, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academia, government agencies, the private sector, and other stakeholders. Several W20 hybrid side events will be held in a number of cities of Indonesia in 2022, such as Batu, Likupang, Banjarmasin, and Manokwari. By showcasing gender equality and women’s empowerment in diverse parts of Indonesia, the Grand W20 Summit will take place from 27 to 29 July 2022 in Lake Toba, North Sumatra.