"The gender responsive teaching materials are expected to shape mindsets into non-discriminatory, fair, and equal behavior, and take into account the needs of both men and women," said Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati Puspayoga, in Jakarta, Thursday.
The Minister said that gender issues in the field of education can be looked at from three main aspects, including access to all levels of education, participation and experience throughout studies, and the quality and competitiveness of graduates.
In terms of participation and studying, Puspayoga said there are still some gender inequalities, which can halt the efforts to strengthen and empower women.
"Biased gender constructions can still be found, both in references used in the studies, or in the methods applied, and the elaboration of values projected in the learning process," she said.
Such biases, she continued, can affect the viewpoints, orientation, attitude, and decision-making process of students, both males and females, that will eventually affect the development in Indonesia.
Gender and education issues are important parts of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, specifically, in goals four and five.
The fourth goal focuses on ensuring inclusive and equal quality and access to education for both men and women, while the fifth goal focuses on gender equality, as well as empowering women and girls.
"Such SDGs are in line with the Presidential Instruction Number 9 of 2000 on Gender Mainstreaming in National Development, as well as the Law number 7 of 1984 on the Ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women," she said.
Meanwhile, Head of the Research and Public Service of the Ministry of Religious Affairs' Islamic Higher Education, Directorate General Suwendi, said that cooperation between the Ministries and Islamic universities should proceed beyond launching gender responsive books.
"There are more than one million students in Islamic universities in Indonesia. Information must be circulated regarding the curriculums and books launched so it can be used in the lessons," he said.
There are 11 gender responsive university books that were launched as a result of the cooperation between the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Islamic Universities in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Mataram. (INE).
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