2012-12-04 | 20:28:06

     Jakarta, 20 Muharram 1434/4 November 2012 9 (MINA) – Indonesian Vice-President Dr. Boediono offered, Tuesday, Organization Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries ideas on empowering women the way Indonesia has been doing.

     “In Indonesia, Micro and Small-Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of the informal sector where the majority of women workers are concentrated,” the Vice-President said in the opening speech of  OIC’s 4th Ministerial Conference on the role of Women in Development, in Jakarta, on 4-6 December 2012.

     At least 170 delegates representing 42 out of the total 56 OIC members,  representatives of OIC subsidiary bodies, observers and other guests participate in this biannual conference, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of  Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.

     The OIC biannual women forum is attended by OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu     and UN Under-Secretary General/Executive Director of UN-Women,  Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean President from 2006 to 2010.  

     Vice-President Boedionio said women in Indonesia run 39% of all micro and small firms and 18% of all medium and large firms. At present a number of ongoing, nation-wide programs to strengthen women-headed MSMEs, in particular grassroot cottage industries are underway. 

     The struggle for women’s rights in Indonesia began around the same time of the national struggle for  independence in early 20th century. The National Women’s Day that is celebrated every 22 December, is also the commemoration of the First Indonesian Women Congress held in 1928.

     Under this Congress, he went on to say, women associations from many parts of Indonesia became an important instrument to solidify the Independence movement. Indeed, Indonesian women were right in the center of this movement along with their male counterpart.

     In the aftermath of Indonesia’s proclamation of Independence, women’s rights to participate fully in development and all spheres of life were further reaffirmed under our 1945 Constitution. Since then, relevant regulations and policies have been put in place to safeguard women’s rights.

     He noted economic and financial crises, and threat of food insecurity and climate change are still echoing globally and will remain so for years tocome. “More than ever, women are dispropotionally impacted by the crises which render them more vulnerable to multiple discriminations,” said Vice-President Boediono, who is a professor of economy.

     “The theme of this year conference “Strengthening women’s participation and roles in economic development in OIC member states” is corresponding with the current international situation,” he said.

     This theme is a continuation of commitments made by OIC members States in three previous conferences to step up efforts in promoting Women’s role and participation of women in economic development. A common challenge for most developing countries, including those within the OIC.

     The Conference is convened every two year, and the previous conferences took place in Turkey, Egypt and Islamic Republic of Iran. The theme of the 4th conference is “Strengthening Women’s Participation and Roles in Economic Development in OIC Member States”.

     In this conference, member states  share their views on the role and participation of women in economic development and review the progress on the implementation of the OIC Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (OPAAW)  adopted in Cairo in 2008.  (L/R-009/R-010/R-005/R-007/R-003).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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