From a digital tech maestro to waste management expert, there was nothing short of inspiring when three innovative women converged at UNDP Indonesia this week, to share their illustrative stories to UN audience. The three women - Sophie Kemkhadze, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dayu Dara Permata, the Senior Vice President of tech giant GO-JEK and Resa Aprianengsih, founder of a shelter facility for kids living in Indonesia’s biggest landfill – gathered to mark the International Women’s Day 2019.

The theme of this year’s IWD is think equal, build smart and innovate for change, and these are exactly what the three women have been championing in their life

Every year on March 8th, the world has been celebrating International Women’s Day since 1910. The Day has grown into a worldwide women’s movement to promote gender equality. With the rise of #HeForShe and #MeToo movements, the conversation of gender equality has taken more of public space and debates in recent years.

This year’s IWD theme calls for immediate attention towards the acceleration for gender equality, particularly women’s involvement in Science Technology Maths and Development. Women, represent half of the world population, and yet they represent about one-third in the STEMD field. On the other hand, the future is shifting towards the digitalization and robotics era.  

Our first speaker, Dayu Dara Permata, the Senior Vice President of GO-JEK & Co-Founder at GO-LIFE, said that her personal mission was to provide solutions to improve the nation. She added that app-hailing Go-Jek has given the platform to fulfill her mission by providing job opportunities for many Indonesians today

She encouraged other women in Indonesia to challenge the mostly patriarchy system, to excel in their career. 

“In my career development, I don’t want only to survive it, but also to thrive it. Internal challenges are the most fundamental challenges, mostly in the systems, where patriarchy exists in the professional world in general. However, I believe that women should always be brave with their decisions.”

Resa Aprianengsih, the founder of the Kingdom of BGBJ, also shared a thoughtful experience of her journey to find her true self-identity, dreams, and her aspirations for her neighbourhood in Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi.

“Working as a female leader is not easy. Starting from building the infrastructures, most men who worked with me will underestimate my ability in carpentry. So, I just showed them what I am capable of.” Amidst the prejudice towards women in the society, Resa never slowed down to deliver her dedication for children at Bantar Gebang landfill, which has become her top priority.

Sophie Kemkhadze, UNDP Indonesia Deputy Resident Representative, shared her reflection towards her career journey in the development. Reflecting the gender bias she experienced during her early years of career, she said “People will pull out a card of you being a woman to underestimate you. This probably happened less nowadays than it was, but I always find a way to deal with it. It made me realize that my success comes with responsibility also to help other women to succeed as well.”

The IWD 2019 Talks concluded with some key takeaways on how gender equality has paved the way the careers of the three accomplished professionals. Women’s voices and efforts have contributed to the society around them. The acceleration of women empowerment and gender equality these days will also contribute to the advancement in the community as women will fully participate with no barriers regarding their genders.

Article by: Enggi Dewanti

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