Indonesia President and Community Leaders Spotlight Role of Women in Sustainable Peace
A landmark community festival led by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia to commemorate the International Day of Peace, brought together 8,000 people to celebrate women’s empowerment and peaceful communities.
President Widodo, who in 2015 announced his support for UN Women’s HeForShe global initiative to advance gender equality, joined UN Women and the Wahid Foundation, with the support of the Government of Japan, to celebrate the contribution of women entrepreneurs in local development and to emphasize women’s roles in promoting peaceful coexistence and resilient communities.
The gathering in Pesantren Annuqqayah on Madura island, East Java, under the theme “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities”, brought together religious leaders, santri and santriwati, and women's economic groups to take part in a range of events including a panel discussion on how Madura women contribute to peace, a community-led collective peace oath, cultural performances and a bazaar hosted by women’s entrepreneurs showcasing their products.
In his speech, President Joko Widodo said, “Women are the key to peace, from small scope, the regency, to province, to country, and bigger scope, to the world. Peace cannot be forced but cultivated. I congratulate, appreciate and fully support this partnership of UN Women and Wahid Foundation, “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities”, embodied in various Kampung Damai to improve women's economic empowerment, economic entrepreneurship, community based economy, peace and equality. Let’s build and spread the value of peace to the country and to the world," he added.
Miwa Kato, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific said: “Women have a unique position to positively influence their families, communities and society as a whole to build peace and tolerance. By investing in women and girls, by ensuring they can participate in the economic, political and social life of their communities, and by valuing their contributions – Sumenep, the island of Madura, and Indonesia will be stronger, more inclusive and more peaceful”.
Yenny Wahid, Head of the Wahid Foundation, added: “By empowering women we know that it will strengthen the dynamics of their communities to be peaceful and tolerant. This is good for women, good for communities, and good for Indonesia”.