Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of women in decision-making positions needs to be increased to realize inclusive development, Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Bintang Puspayoga said.

"Women must have access to be involved and participate in the planning and implementation of programs and budget policies and exercising control over their implementation," she added here on Tuesday.

At a national seminar on "Women's Leadership Innovation in the Education and Regional Sectors," she said that women and men have equal opportunities to be politically active and make various decisions and policies.

She expressed the hope that equal opportunities between women and men can result in more representative and inclusive policies.

According to her, women's leadership with a gender perspective and the encouragement of children's rights must be supported by all parties.

"We do not rule out the role of men because, after all, women's progress cannot be separated from men's participation, role, and support," she said.

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Women's empowerment aims to increase women's knowledge and skills so that they can improve themselves and achieve prosperity, she explained.

In the last three legislative elections, the number of elected women representatives increased, but the goal of 30 percent women's representation affirmation policy has not been achieved, the minister noted.

"We need to find solutions to this, about what should we do, as 49.5 percent of the Indonesian population are women," she said.

According to her, low women's involvement in public policy-making institutions is slowing down efforts toward gender mainstreaming in development.

Given the low representation of women in policy-making seats, Puspayoga said, women who are in strategic positions face harder challenges because they have little support.

"Women are the power of the nation and the world. Women make up half of Indonesia's population, this means that women will determine Indonesia's welfare in the future," she added.

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Translator: Sugiharto P, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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