One of our former presidents is a woman.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s founders had anticipated the issue of gender equality long before the nation’s independence, deputy for inter-institutional relations, socialization, communication, and networking for the Pancasila Ideology Education Agency (BPIP), Prakoso, has said.

"Gender equality had been manifested by the establishment of Kartini Schools (Sekolah Kartini) to promote equality between women and men," he remarked in his keynote speech at a seminar entitled ‘Preparation of Gender Archives as Memory of the World’, which was broadcast live on the YouTube channel of the National Archives of Indonesia on Friday.

Besides Kartini, there were also other female figures who played significant roles in the history of the nation's struggle, the deputy said.

He then cited the examples of Dewi Sartika who pioneered the education of women, Cut Nyak Dien, who led the fight against the Dutch amid the Aceh War, and Queen Shima, who became the ruler of Kalingga Kingdom after her husband died.

"Moreover, there were two female members of the Committee for Indonesian Independence Preparations (BPUPKI): Maria Ulfah and Siti Sukaptinah," Prakoso added.

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At the BPUPKI meeting, Ulfah proposed that the Constitution of Indonesia include basic rights, including equal rights for women and men, he said.

The second and fifth principles of Indonesia's Pancasila ideology accommodate her proposal, as the second principle envisages a "just and civilized humanity", while the fifth one defines "social justice for all Indonesian people", he added.

Currently, Indonesia has implemented the principle of gender equality by providing equal political opportunities to women so they can become leaders without any gender discrimination, the deputy said.

"One of our former presidents is a woman," he noted.

In addition, the current chancellor of Bandung Institute of Technology; chancellor of Padjadjaran University; head of Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency; and the Indonesian Finance Minister are women, he pointed out

Hence, Prakoso said he hoped that the archives of Kartini’s struggle and the archives of the First Indonesian Women's Congress can be listed as Memory of the World by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"The archives will show the world that Indonesia is one of the countries whose establishment was initiated by the issue of gender equality," he added.
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Translator: Putu Savitri, Uyu Liman
Editor: Suharto
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