Indonesia is a rapidly developing country that is slated to be one of the world’s top five economies by 2050.
All Indonesians are playing a part in driving this development; however, to date, women haven’t had the same opportunity as men to contribute to Indonesia’s growth.
But that trend is changing as more Indonesian women make space on the national stage, using their greater equality to enable a better Indonesia.
International Women’s Day is helping to put the spotlight on women around the globe who are working to make a difference and change perceptions beyond the traditional roles.
Energy Factor has profiled three Indonesian women who are embodying the essence of this day and impacting the country’s future.
Patrem Yeni Fatimah is a farmer who has worked to educate communities in the Bojonegoro region, changing behavior, creating healthier lifestyles and inspiring the next generation.
As part of the Health Awareness Community Movement Program (Aku Sehat) in Bojonegoro, a health education program kickstarted by ExxonMobil Cepu Ltd, she is teaching better hygiene habits.
“It makes me happy if I can help people improve their thoughts and behaviours, making everyone healthy,” Patrem said.
“I hope there will be younger generations who are even better health care cadres than what I am now, so that our communities can continue to become much healthier.”
Florentina Hatmi, known as Mimi, is a single mother to two teenage children and works as a role model for the next generation, using her career and home life to inspire other Indonesian women to reach further.
She started her career in banking, and now the former accountant is the vice president for finance at ExxonMobil Indonesia, where she teaches women the importance of independence.
“We never know what will happen to our spouse in the future. And being independent is really important. We need to pursue whatever we like to support our multiple roles [at work and home],” Mimi said.
Mimi cultivates a similar independence in her children.
She said this broader sense of female independence is extremely important in the country’s oil and gas industry, which typically has an under-representation of women.
Sri Intan Wirya also works in the oil and gas industry, specifically for ExxonMobil Indonesia, where almost one in four employees is female. That ratio is well above the global oil and gas industry average of about 15 per cent.
Sri Intan said she is bringing the lessons learnt from working in Malaysia, back to Indonesia and teaching these to her daughters.
“Deep in my heart there were moments when I kept questioning my ability, especially when dealing with male-dominated groups,” she said.
“[However], international assignments boosted up my confidence, convincing me that I was capable of doing my tasks in an international organisation in the industry that has been largely dominated by men,” she said.
She is imbuing this confidence to her daughters to improve her future, as well as helping to bring greater equality to Indonesia.
Indonesia’s women are each making changes in their own lives but are part of a larger movement that includes others who are instilled with the same spirit. All of them are helping transform Indonesia and propelling their country on the path towards becoming one of the world’s most powerful nations.