Press Release: President of Indonesia and Community Leaders Spotlight Role of Women in Sustainable Peace

Massive event commemorates International Day of Peace, celebrates women’s empowerment and resilient communities

Date: Sunday, October 8, 2017

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre) with UN Women and partners. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre) with UN Women and partners. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

President Widodo, who in 2015 announced his support to UN Women’s HeForShe global initiative to advance gender equality, joined with 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.

Community festival led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to commemorate the International Day of Peace. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Community festival to commemorate the International Day of Peace. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

The massive gathering in Pesantren Annuqqayah on Madura island, East Java, under the theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”, brought together religious leaders, santri and santriwati, and women's economic groups to take part in a range of dynamic 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 during the International Day of Peace commemoration, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said, “Women are the key to sustainable peace, from family, to country, to the world. Peace cannot be forced, but cultivated. I congratulate this partnership with UN Women and Wahid Foundation, “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities”, which will build peaceful societies. Let’s build and spread the value of peace to the country and to the world.”

Supporting women’s empowerment to build social cohesion is the goal of UN Women’s new “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities” programme, supported by the Government of Japan. Under this programme, UN Women and the Wahid Foundation have partnered to promote women’s leadership and economic empowerment to build social cohesion and strengthen resilience at the community level.

Miwa Kato, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Miwa Kato, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

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”.

For more information, visit UN Women Asia-Pacific website for the full press release.

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