Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas stated that this year's Eid al-Fitr is a present and blessing for Indonesian women since it coincides with Kartini Day.

Kartini Day, a celebration of women's emancipation in Indonesia, commemorates activist Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879-1904), who advocated for women's rights and education.

"Praise be to God, some of our brothers and sisters will celebrate Eid al-Fitr on the same day as Kartini Day. This is a present for Indonesian women," Qoumas stated while opening the Eid exodus posts operated by Banser on Tuesday (April 18).

Qoumas, as head of the Nahdlatul Ulama-affiliated organization Ansor Youth Movement, officiated the post dedicated to the Eid exodus operated by Ansor's paramilitary wing Banser. At the same event, some 100 orphans also received donations from the organization.

Kartini is an inspiring figure for all women, primarily in her fight to achieve equality with men, he remarked.

The minister expressed hope that in the spirit of Eid al-Fitr, Indonesian women can become more empowered and independent, as one meaning of the Muslim holiday is to free oneself.

"There is also a reason why we affectionately call Indonesia Ibu Pertiwi (Mother Earth). It is because of the decisive (role that) a mother and the women played for the nation's progress," Qoumas stated while referring to Indonesia's national personification.

Meanwhile, in response to potential differences in the Eid al-Fitr date among major Muslim organizations, he emphasized the need to respect differences.

"Indonesia is founded for our differences, not for our homogeneity. What is important is how we respect each other while celebrating Eid on different dates. Do not make differences into division," the minister emphasized.

He affirmed that residents must also be prudent in responding to such differences, as it is common in Indonesia.

"On the contrary, we must be thankful because we can celebrate Eid for longer," Qoumas stated.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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