Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration noted that as many as 3,498 women in Indonesia have become village heads and strive to create inclusive villages.

"From the regulations in the village law, it has been stated that village heads are obliged to carry out democracy that is gender-just," the ministry's director general for the development of economy and investment in villages, disadvantaged regions and transmigration Harlina Sulistyorini said at the Women 20 (W20) event, which was followed online here on Wednesday.

The W20 is part of the Indonesian G20 Sherpa Track. The engagement group is focused on issues of women's development, inclusive growth, gender equality, and women's cooperation in the international economy.

Sulistyorini said the women who serve as village heads had spread across Java (1,527), Sulawesi (736), Sumatra (648), Kalimantan (211), Papua (188), Bali and Nusa Tenggara (103) and Maluku (85).

However, the number of women village heads in the country is still deemed low, as it is only 5 percent of the total number of village heads, which reaches 74,962.

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For that reason, the participation of every woman must continue to be increased so that programs in the villages can become more systematic and friendly to women, people with disabilities and children.

She noted that women's involvement in every discussion in villages would offer a clearer description of children's needs and is expected to reduce gender inequality in villages.

According to Sulistyorini, the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration is collaborating with the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection regarding strengthening gender awareness in villages.

"Thus, we have women and children-friendly villages," she added.

She admitted that the ministry had not been able to confirm the exact number of inclusive villages in Indonesia. However, she hoped that all villages could become inclusive and highly empowered.

To this end, she invited all parties to encourage women's participation jointly at the village level. Thus, every decision taken can advance village programs and performance in all parts of Indonesia up to remote areas and the eastern part of the country.
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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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