President Jokowi: Women play a key role in defeating the pandemic

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President Joko Widodo
President Joko Widodo. Photo: RAYI GIGIH/IO

Jakarta, IO – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo commended all Indonesian women on International Women’s Day, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. 

He especially mentioned the prominent role of women in supporting the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that Indonesian women have historically taken part in overcoming difficult situations, such as natural disasters and wars. “When the world is faced with uncertainty and people suffer from natural disasters, pandemics and even wars, we can see women who turn into saviors and rise to the challenge,” said the President. 

Jokowi also commended women’s struggle in their quest to pursue achievements in many fields, such as economy, health, society and politics. 

In celebrating International Women’s Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “We cannot emerge from the pandemic with the clock spinning backwards on gender equality.” 

Guterres highlighted women’s contribution to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. He also appreciated the ideas, innovation and activism that changed the world for the better and welcomed more women leaders in all spheres of life. 

However, women often have to bear the brunt during the global pandemic. Girls and women are kept out of their schools and workplaces, resulting in increased poverty and violence. 

To solve the problems, Guterres implored countries to ensure quality education for every girl and make a considerable investment in women training and decent employment. Other important steps are to take effective action to stop gender-based violence and provide universal health care. 

The UN chief also recommended other measures, such as leadership opportunities, so that the world might benefit from more women leaders. 

International Women’s Day stemmed from a protest by female workers in New York on March 8, 1909. They demanded shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. In 1911, International Women’s Day began to be celebrated by highlighting women’s social, cultural, economic and political values. At that time, it was officially celebrated in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1977, it was officially listed as an annual celebration by the UN to fight for women’s rights and promote world peace. (eka)