KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Presidential candidates incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and challenger Prabowo Subianto pledged to empower women to achieve economic equality during the final presidential debate in Jakarta on Saturday.
During the second segment of the debate, the moderator raised the issue of gender inequality in the economy, asking the candidates to explain their strategy for increasing women’s participation in the economy while reducing sexual discrimination in the workplace.
“According to the global gender gap index, women’s participation in the economy in Indonesia is only 51 percent, compared to men’s participation at 84 percent. What will be your policy to guarantee women’s participation in the economy and what will you do to actually reduce sexual discrimination in the workplace?” moderator Balques Manisang said.
Prabowo emphasized the importance of the role of women, saying that this has been evident throughout his campaign.
“The role of emak-emak [housewives] has been very crucial during this campaign. Thus, policies, laws should reflect their interests because those will determine the Republic of Indonesia’s social and political life,” he said.
His running mate Sandiaga Uno added that two-thirds of family livelihoods were upheld by the role of women who start small businesses from their homes.
“These awesome, independent women just want policies that are on their side. The OK OCE program is also dominated by women,” he said, referring to the One District One Entrepreneurship program that was introduced by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga, then deputy governor, before he resigned to run alongside Prabowo in the presidential race.
“The key is empowerment. I have worked with women in Jakarta and what they complain about the most is access to markets. We will also provide them with training because 80 percent of the women that fail when starting a new business, fail because they don’t have anyone to guide them. Finally, we will also provide them with access to capital. Because these awesome and independent women pay back the loans they receive 99 percent of the time,” Sandiaga said.
Meanwhile, Jokowi’s running mate Ma’ruf Amin said the pair would also pay attention to women running small businesses.
“We have provided umi [mothers] with microloans, micro business and waqf banking at Islamic boarding schools. I know 100 percent that many mothers have felt that the programs help and they are proud. We will build and continue these programs. In villages, we will create Dewi-Dewi [short for desa wisata or tourism villages] and Dedi-Dedi [short for desa digital or digital villages].” he said.
Jokowi added that the pair aimed to expand a microloan program targeted at women.
“We will also create the Mekar loan program for women. In these past four years, we have had 4.2 million customers and this year we are trying to get 10 million,” he said.
Neither pair addressed the second part of the question on sexual discrimination in the workplace.
Editor: Herlina Kartika
Editor: Herlina Kartika