Jakarta (ANTARA) - Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga lauded efforts to highlight women's role in nation building and the national fashion sector through the "Kebaja Saja" (My Kebaya) photo exhibition organized by ANTARA News Agency.

"Kebaya is not merely an item of clothing but is the symbol of identity and character of Indonesian women. Kebaya, as the national fashion heritage, has existed since hundreds of years, and it is time to toil to make kebaya to be recognized by the global community as our national dress," Puspayoga stated here, Wednesday.

The minister said that preserving kebaya, apart from promoting the national culture, is also an effort to enhance national micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially as most women in MSMEs are active in the fashion sector.

Hence, promoting kebaya as the national dress will not only augment the national identity but also advance the people's economy and national MSMEs, the minister noted.

"In the momentum of the 77th anniversary of Indonesia's independence, we still see gender disparity between men and women, yet (at the same time), we can also see more women fighting for their freedom, such as through this event where great women are committed to preserve the national culture by wearing kebaya," Puspayoga affirmed.

The minister then commended the "Kebaja Saja" photo exhibition, organized in keeping with the momentum of Indonesia's independence anniversary at the ANTARA Photojournalism Gallery, Central Jakarta, that highlighted important roles of Indonesian women in the independence struggle, the nation-building process, and contemporary struggles.

Meanwhile, ANTARA News Agency President Director Meidyatama Suryodiningrat encouraged the younger generation to respect and preserve the national culture and highlighted that collaborative movement and efforts will enhance the efforts.

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Translator: Anita Permata D, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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