Gender equality can boost people’s welfare: Finance Minister


Gender equality and women’s empowerment can improve people’s welfare, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati remarked during a webinar on ‘The Role of Indonesian Women in the Banking Sector,’ on Thursday.

“It is necessary to carry out gender-based social inclusion because it provides benefits for the country, society, and the economy. A better and more women’s participation can reduce poverty and increase the economy’s size and growth,” Indrawati said.

Gender-based social inclusion would also provide benefits to corporations by improving their financial performance, innovation, as well as consumer and employee satisfaction, she highlighted.

In 2021, Indonesia’s gender gap index only reached 0.688, meaning that Indonesia still has to work more to increase equality between women and men in order to reach a score of 1, the minister said.

“We still have much homework on how to increase inclusiveness by providing (opportunities to) and empowering women in the fields of education, health, social, and most importantly, in the economic and political fields,” Indrawati said.

Based on data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), only 30 percent of Indonesian women hold managerial or equivalent positions, both in the public and private sectors, which is lower than other ASEAN countries such as Laos, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, and Thailand.

Only 39.5 percent of the workers in the financial sector are women, she pointed out. There are even fewer women experts working in the financial sector (12 percent), far lower than men (28 percent), she added.

Therefore, Indrawati emphasized that the goal of global women’s empowerment and gender equality can be achieved by providing opportunities for women to become leaders at all decision-making levels.

“The gender empowerment index in Indonesia continues to improve, but the gender gap is still quite large, especially in women’s leadership, both in the private, public, and financial sectors. This has to be resolved,” she said.

Source: Antara News