Jepara, Central Java (ANTARA) - The Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Ministry encourages women's representation among village officials to reach 30 percent.

"Women's leadership is still relatively small, as village," Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar noted at the Indonesian Women Ulema Congress (KUPI) here, Thursday evening.

"Thus, this is what we have to push for, so that we can have 30 percent of village official roles to be occupied by women," he remarked.

Iskandar noted that during his visits to villages, he always inquired about the percentage of women's representation among village officials.

While visiting Lerep Village in Central Java, Iskandar found that three women were acting as village officials.

"This is a development that we expected. We will continue to monitor it because it became part of our development in village policy courses that involve women in village planning and development," Iskandar remarked.

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The presence of women ulema is necessary to develop the village civilization, he noted.

Village deliberation should also create transparent planning, so that the village fund and village development policy can be felt by all villages, he stated.

"We develop an open system, not just during deliberation, but its result should also be displayed at strategic locations that we called the APBDes summary," he noted.

"From there, we can see whether this village pays attention to (PAUD) early childhood education, for instance, or if it pays attention to the women segment," he stated.

The involvement of people in village development planning should be optimized and involve various groups, such as the marginal group, women's group, underprivileged group, and cultural group.

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The minister believed that the involvement of women ulema can be an important part in empowering villagers, especially the women's segment, with the development policy course that is oriented toward women.

He expects that the improvement of women's capacity in Indonesia's village development can be expedited.

"There are 74,691 villages in Indonesia, or equivalent to 91 percent of the country's territory, and 74 percent of Indonesian citizens reside in villages," he noted.

"Thus, I believe that solving various problems in villages is equivalent to resolving majority of the nation's problems," he stated.

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Translator: Sugiharto P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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