Women in parliament project closes on a high note in IndonesiaDec 14, 2015
Jakarta, 14 December 2015 – Indonesian Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection for the Republic of Indonesia Yohanna Susanna Yembise expresses her appreciation to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) following the closure of a joint project that aims to improve women’s participation in parliament.
Minister Yembise made the statement at the closing of UNDP’s Strengthening Women’s Participation and Representation in Governance in Indonesia (SWARGA) project. With grant assistance of nearly US$2 million from the Royal Norwegian Embassy – and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection as implementing partner – SWARGA aims to improve the performance and representation of female politicians in parliament.
“The that SWARGA has done is just the beginning, thank you to UNDP, I ask UNDP keep supporting us.,” Yembise said adding “I am so proud of the female parliamentarians in Indonesia. Gender equality is important and we need to work hard.”
Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Stig Traavik said, “Gender equality is a core value for Norway and I firmly believe that women’s active participation in politics and society is good – for women and society as a whole. I hope the efforts to make women’s voices heard in parliament and beyond continue into the future.”
UNDP Indonesia Country Director Christophe Bahuet said the SWARGA project reflects UNDP’s strong commitment to putting gender equality at the heart of the development process.
“Many studies around the world show the significant development benefits that countries derive from gender parity, including in political institutions. Many countries – and Norway is one of the best examples one can think of – have demonstrated the value that gender equality brings to political, economic and social life,” Bahuet said in his speech.
SWARGA has supported female politicians to improve their performance in elections through trainings in communication, campaigning and substantive development issues. SWARGA has also enhanced the knowledge and skills of elected female parliamentarians, particularly with budgeting, oversight and the lawmaking process.
With SWARGA support, the two female parliamentary caucuses in the national parliament have merged into one for increased effectiveness. SWARGA has developed a female parliamentary network, which enables better communication and coordination between female politicians across party lines and across different elected bodies at the national and subnational levels.
The SWARGA project started in 2013 and was implemented in 11 provinces for trainings of parliamentarians and would-be MPs, and there were four pilot provinces for the establishment of women’s parliamentarian networks.