Jakarta (ANTARA) - Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga emphasized the need for all stakeholders to relentlessly fight for the genuine actualization of gender equality in Indonesia.

"Kartini has been our source of inspiration to unwaveringly strive to address challenges in our long journey towards gender equality. We need to continue to reflect on the fighting spirit of Kartini to not give up and keep fighting," Puspayoga noted in her ministry's statement received here on Thursday.

The minister made the statement during the celebration of Kartini Day in South Sumatra on April 30.

In her speech, Puspayoga affirmed that the Indonesian Constitution and a range of applicable laws guarantee equality and protection for all citizens, including women and children.

The minister then underscored the need for gender-oriented development programs to implement the Constitution and laws.

"In order to realize gender-oriented development, policies and programs must accommodate different aspirations, experiences, and needs of both men and women. That way, we can pave a way for fairer development," she stated.

She also placed emphasis on the importance of heeding the voices of women while finding solutions to problems they are facing.

Bearing all that in mind, Puspayoga called on all parties to unite for the sake of creating a friendlier environment for women.

"Women account for about a half of Indonesia's population. On the other hand, Indonesian women are still experiencing various issues and challenges," she remarked.

The minister then cited the Human Development Index, Gender Development Index, and Gender Empowerment Index that have shown apparent gaps between men and women in terms of the access to, participation in, and benefits of development.

The minister expressed belief that Indonesia would benefit from elimination of the gaps, considering the huge number of women in the country.

"Bringing progress to women means bringing progress to our beloved Indonesia," she added.

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Translator: Anita P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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