Indah Suryadharma Ali: Empowering and contributing to the Nation’s women

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Indah Suryadharma Ali, Chairwoman of Perhimpunan Perempuan Lintas Profesi Indonesia. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – Her work as a representative of the people has not limited Indah Suryadharma Ali from being active outside the political world. Having many friends from various professions influenced to Indah decide to establish  Indonesian Women’s Cross Profession Association (PPLIPI).

When interviewed by Independent Observer, Indah related how PPLIPI was established in 2016. Although she was only 2 years of age, she was grateful that the organization she led has been incorporated.

Indah said that she founded this organization, because she has many friends in various professions. “I think that if my friends whose professions are different join together in an organization, we can do lots for women” explained the woman who became a member of the House of Representatives of the United Development Party.

Indah states that women are now more advanced, even if there are still many issues that women have to fight for, starting from education, health, politics, and economic empowerment. “I think if  these issues get more and more attention, then improve, it certainly will be better,” she said.

Various professions
As befits the name of the organization, its members are very diverse in their professions. “Almost all the professions are here,” she said. They range from politicians, businessmen, doctors, psychologists, lecturers, and lawyers. “At the sub-district level, even teachers and midwives join in,” she continued, smiling.

While the new organization is still young, Indah is proud, because PPLIPI has branches in 8 regions in Indonesia: Jakarta, Central Java, West Java, East Java, Jambi, North Sumatra, Riau Islands, and Aceh. “Now the regions that are progressing to form organizations are South Kalimantan, Kendari, East Kalimantan and West Sumatra,” she explained.

Up until now, more than 1000 people have become members of PPLIPI. Many programs have been carried out. Through one of them, in 2017, capital was provided to 1300 entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). “Everyone gets capital of Rp300 thousand,” she said.

The requirement to get capital is only one: that the person actually has a business. “There is testimony from a person who got capital assistance, selling Nasi Uduk. After being given the capital, he can sell ‘Bala-Bala’, tofu, tempeh. We hope by having more capital, their profits can swell,” she said.

In addition to capital, PPLIPI also holds health seminars on cervical cancer, “considering that women are still vulnerable to this disease, not just in Indonesia. The data says that cervical cancer is ranked the highest as a cause of deaths. This is our concern,” she explained.

The latest from PPLIPI: this April it will hold a gala dinner for charity, inviting Krisdayanti and Dwiki Dharmawan. “Raising funds for rebuilding schools at the site of the earthquake.” she said.

Also in the framework of its anniversary, PPLIPI will hold an awards night. In July or August, PPLIPI will again provide capital assistance for business actors. “Hopefully this year the number of people assisted can increase compared to last year,” she explained.

Regarding the funding sources for various PPLIPI activities, they are derived from member zakat (donations). “Member zakat we donate should become productive zakat,” she added.

Because the purpose of the organization’s presence is to empower women, all sectors are accorded attention. For example, the Small and Medium Micro Business Commission (MSME) takes care of SME problems. “We also have a Domestic and International Partnership Commission, to enable cooperation with domestic and foreign parties,” he said.

“Yesterday we took part in Hong Kong Fashion Week, we brought one of the SMEs to it. That’s why I say, PPLIPI does not intend to do big things, but we try to do something. If the benefits are felt, that’s what we want,” she continued.

Nowadays women’s roles in various fields have been opened. “The opportunity already exists, just how the women themselves want to go forward or not. Because now there is no discrimination. Indeed, this woman started something that was left far behind from men. So I hope this bulkhead becomes more and more disguised and even nonexistent. But for me the great woman is not a woman who excels outdoors, but she ignores the house. So it must be balanced. When to prioritize the house, when to prioritize work,” she explained.

Indah hopes with the presence of PPLIPI, the impact can be felt directly by women.

“Hopefully, Indonesian women become more and more qualified,  more dignified, and able to empower themselves. Because we believe that if women are able to empower themselves, they can increase their dignity. It is expected that women can contribute to the development of the nation and state.’ she concluded. (Dessy Aipipidely)