Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, underscored that women's empowerment is the key to handling extreme poverty.

He recalled that while serving as Kulon Progo District head, he found several elderly widows and poor people in extremely poor regions.

"Women's empowerment is the vision, so that women, who are part of the aging population, are productive," Wardoyo stated at the 2024 BKKBN Partnership Technical Coordination Meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He emphasized that gender mainstreaming is important for development.

"Gender mainstreaming has a very important meaning. Women-based development is very meaningful to us," he remarked.

He also highlighted the importance of reducing the maternal mortality rate in a bid to achieve the 2045 Golden Indonesia vision, under which Indonesia is targeting increasing its per capita income to US$30,300, among other things.

"Golden Indonesia must be free from hunger and stunting, and do not forget about the maternal mortality rate as well as infant mortality," Wardoyo remarked.

He noted that currently, the maternal mortality rate in Indonesia stands at 189 per 100,000 mothers giving birth.

He also said that Indonesia has succeeded in reducing the total fertility rate by 2.18, where women, on average, currently give birth to two children. However, this situation is not evenly distributed across all provinces.

Furthermore, the BKKBN head underlined that the number of people getting married at a young age had declined nationally, as there are currently only 19–20 people per 1,000 individuals who got married at a young age.

He reminded women to avoid getting married too young, getting pregnant when they are too old, having short inter-pregnancy intervals, and giving birth too often.

Women who get pregnant over the age of 35 are more vulnerable to health risks and are likely to give birth to stunted babies, Wardoyo said.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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