Detiktoday.com – Minister of Finance (Menkeu) Sri Mulyani Indrawati hopes and invites all parties, including the women’s caucus in parliament, to continue to voice policies that have a gender dimension. According to him, the gender dimension is very important because it can be a very determining element in the success or effectiveness of emerging policies. The Minister of Finance expressed this when giving a keynote speech at the Indonesian Parliamentary Women’s Caucus Webinar, which was held virtually on Monday (10/08).
One example of a policy that has a gender dimension is the provision of social assistance (bansos) in the National Economic Recovery (PEN) program. The design of social assistance distribution, which covers 29 million vulnerable groups, is channeled through the female family head.
“(On the policy) we talk with the focus of women. Don’t forget that these policies are not gender-neutral. We do it very consciously that we want women who get it because the head of a female family is the first instinct to protect children and their families, “said the Minister of Finance.
Likewise with Government assistance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the PEN program. For MSMEs there is more than IDR 120 trillion budgeted for MSMEs in Indonesia. Assistance to MSMEs is channeled through financial institutions ranging from banks that provide distribution to small business loans such as People’s Business Credit (KUR), as well as to non-bank financial institutions (LKBB) such as Madani Investment (PMN), Pegadaian, and Government Investment Centers. (PIP). The minister also stated that more than 6.2 million customers who received it were women entrepreneurs who were members of the Fostering a Prosperous Family Economy (Mekaar) program.
In addition to policies in handling COVID-19, the Minister of Finance also mentioned other government policies that have a gender dimension. At the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Finance said that he always asked all levels of the Ministry of Finance to start introducing gender tagging. This means that all state financial expenditures must be tagged with gender dimensions. The Minister of Finance emphasized that this aims to monitor whether spending and government policies take sides and are aware of gender differences.
“Physically and biologically (women and men) are different. Therefore, the policy must not be gender-neutral, but the policy must know the differences between men and women. So that he can provide equal and fair sides between gender differences, namely men and women. The aim is to provide equal opportunities and provide fair siding for mankind who have sex differences, “said the Minister of Finance.
Then, the Minister of Finance also mentioned that starting in 2020, a National Strategy for Financial Inclusion for women has been launched, which aims to fill the gaps that still occur in women’s groups. This National Strategy has several priority aspects, including increasing education and financial literacy for women, support for MSMEs managed by women’s groups, priorities regarding digital financial services for women, and increasing access to insurance and pension funds for women.
On that occasion, the Minister of Finance also encouraged the expansion of employment opportunities for women in Indonesia to be encouraged. According to the Minister of Finance, this could be one of the driving forces in increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Indonesia. Research from McKinsey also in 2018 shows that gender equality will give Indonesia the opportunity to increase its GDP to USD 135 billion.
“We also want the number of women in Indonesia who can be productive both within their families and outside their families, they can increase not only in terms of family income but also the dignity and confidence of women themselves. For Indonesia, if We can increase the role of these women by more than 7.7 million women who can enter the labor market, then our economic growth will be 0.7% higher. And of course the average income of the community will be able to increase by USD432 per person each year , “explained the Minister of Finance.
At the last opportunity, the Minister of Finance emphasized that the Government will certainly continue to take various steps to overcome COVID-19, but at the same time, the government must continue to understand, advocate and even design policies and decisions to keep gender dimensions in mind.
“I hope that this Parliamentary Women’s Caucus will become an advocate or women’s group that can advocate and promote public policy policies that are not only to solve social economic problems but they will consciously continue to promote gender justice. And of course the role of women in creating a balance will have a tremendous impact on the family economy and the economy of our society and country, “said the minister.