Jakarta (ANTARA) - Digitalization is key to supporting women's economic empowerment, said Shinta W. Kamdani, Chairperson of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), on Saturday

This is because women, both in Indonesia and ASEAN, still face obstacles in gaining equal access to financing, she said during a panel discussion at the ASEAN Women CEO Forum in Jakarta.

The forum is a side event of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit to be held on September 3 and 4, 2023.

Kamdani said that digitalization is essential because it will make it easier for women to achieve economic empowerment.

She pointed out that digital access is not equal in all countries. Thus, it needs to be given special attention to support women's economic empowerment.

Currently, many women still face obstacles in accessing financing for their businesses, especially women running micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), she said.

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"There are still many women in Indonesia who don't have the opportunity to access formal financing, especially since most of our MSMEs are in the informal sector," she added.

She explained that most women face obstacles when applying for a loan because they do not have any collateral, as all assets are owned by their husbands.

Meanwhile, working women, especially those employed in the MSME sector, are hard to identify, she said.

"More transparency and inclusivity are needed regarding how women who start their own businesses can get more support," she stated.

However, financial access is only one of the many obstacles to women's economic empowerment, she noted. Other aspects, such as financial literacy and assistance, also need attention.

The ASEAN Women CEO Forum aims to provide a space for women to share stories and inspire each other, including a business panel on financing opportunities in women's empowerment.

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Translator: Ade Irma, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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