Five young women become “one-day” ministers, ambassadors and an editor in chief

Women Take Over participants with Rudiantara. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Five young women assumed the positions of Minister of Communication and Information of the Republic of Indonesia, the Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia, the leader of Google Indonesia, and two chief editors of a newspaper in Indonesia for just one day, on 9 October 2019 in Jakarta. They are participants in the #GirlsTakeover or ‘A Day to Be a Leader’ event initiated by Plan Indonesia in the context of International Women’s Day – October 11th. The activity is held every year to convey a message to the public that women can also lead. 

The five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, were selected through a strict process by Plan Indonesia and Youth Coalition for Women. Over a 10-day period, 506 registrants from all over Indonesia sent essays and videos about gender issues in the media. “This shows their sincere enthusiasm to show their potential,” commented Dini Widiastuti, Executive Director of Plan Indonesia, to the media in Jakarta, Thursday (09/10/2019). 

This year’s #GirlsTakeover theme is “Women in the Media”. According to Dini, this theme intends to build a positive public image about women and female leaders in the media. “We involve leaders of institutions that play a vital role in influencing public opinion about women in the media,” said Dini. 

Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara expressed his appreciation for this initiative and acknowledged the central role of the media for positive narratives about women. “They struggle to get equal opportunities. Our task is to work together to create mass and social media that are safe and positive for all, including women. We strongly support the activities initiated and continued by Plan Indonesia and hope that it inspires other women,” Rudiantara added. 

On the same occasion, Plan Indonesia collaborated with Google Indonesia to hold discussions and training about tips to maintain privacy and security while surfing – #JagaPrivasimu for Indonesian Women. The training was held for all #GirlsTakeover participants and around 100 women who are members of the Youth Coalition for Women and many other organizations, in the Google Indonesia office. 

Google Indonesia’s Managing Director, Randy Jusuf, said, “Making technology available for everyone means protecting everyone who uses it, regardless of gender, age, race, etc. When users are smarter in the internet, we hope that they will get more from it, which is why specifically we are very happy to be able to participate in the #GirlsTakeOver initiative to increase understanding of internet security for women, as well as creating opportunities for girls (or women) to show leadership, express themselves, and reach their full potential.” 

Plan Indonesia’s collaboration with partner institutions is expected to continue so that there is a long-term and strategic partnership to provide equal opportunities for women in the public sphere including in the media. 

“In addition to Jakarta, the #GirlsTakeover activity was also held in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) with three positions taken over by three women: the Governor of NTT, Editor in Chief of TVRI NTT, and Editor in Chief of Pos Kupang. So that there is a total of eight female children involved in the Day to Be Leaders activities, both in Jakarta and Kupang. They received a briefing for three days in the Women Leadership Camp separately in the two cities. Besides, 16 other women participated in the Women Leadership Camp. We hope they will be more empowered. These women will also become agents of change,” said Dini. 

The names of the participants of Women Takeover: Riska (15 years) from Lembata takes over the position of the Minister of Communication and Information, Rudiantara; Sabrina (15) from Blitar takes over the position of Managing Director of Google Indonesia, Randy Jusuf; Wafi (17) from Surakarta takes over the position of Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia, Marina Berg; Naura (17) from Magelang takes over the position of Director of Media Indonesia News, Usman Kansong; Manda (16) from Bogor takes over the position of Editor in Chief of The Jakarta Post, Nezar Patria; Elin (16) from Kupang City takes over the position of NTT Governor Victor Laiskodat; Gema (15) from Lembata takes over Pos Kupang Editor in Chief Hasyim Ashari; Veni (15) from Nagekeo takes over the position of the Head of TVRI NTT News Section, Irawati Barmantyas. (*/est)