Indonesia Commemorates Kartini Day, Honoring Pioneer of Women's Emancipation

Indonesia celebrates Kartini Day, honoring the legacy of women's rights advocate Raden Ajeng Kartini. President Jokowi calls for continued efforts to empower women and achieve gender equality, as the nation sees promising signs of increased women's representation in the 2024 elections.

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Indonesia Commemorates Kartini Day, Honoring Pioneer of Women's Emancipation

Indonesia Commemorates Kartini Day, Honoring Pioneer of Women's Emancipation

On April 21, 2024, Indonesia celebrates Kartini Day, paying tribute to the inspirational words and legacy of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a trailblazing advocate for women's emancipation in the country. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on all parties to make Kartini Day a symbol of women's struggle for leadership and strength, emphasizing that it serves as a reminder of the long path women have faced in achieving equality.

In a video sketch of RA Kartini's face shared on his official Instagram account, President Jokowi urged the public to view Kartini Day not merely as a celebration, but as a representation of women's ongoing fight for empowerment. Kartini Day has been observed as a national holiday in Indonesia since the presidency of Sukarno, the nation's first president, through Presidential Decree No. 108 of 1964 dated May 2, 1964, which also bestowed upon Kartini the title of National Hero of Indonesia. The date of April 21 was chosen to coincide with Kartini's birthday in 1879.

Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Bintang Puspayoga, highlighted Kartini's struggle to break through barriers and her ideas that have become a reflective subject for women today in their participation in building Indonesia. The Minister read a letter written by Kartini to Rosa Manuela Adihanan-Mandi, which encapsulated Kartini's ideals and fighting spirit, despite her noble birth. Puspayoga emphasized the need to continue Kartini's efforts in educating equality, as her struggle for women's liberation remains incomplete.

Why this matters:

The Second National Conference of Women saw participants express their aspirations and interests through nine main agendas for women, people with disabilities, and marginalized groups, which are reflected in the five-year development planning documents at both national and regional levels. The 1945 Constitution and various relevant laws and regulations guarantee equality and protection for all Indonesians, including women, children, and marginalized communities. The struggle for gender equality, as Puspayoga noted, must be carried out by both men and women, as equal access, opportunities, protection, and a sense of security are the rights of women that the state guarantees and requires collective efforts to implement.

The 2024 elections have shown promising signs of increased women's representation, with an estimated 127 female legislative candidates (21.9%) expected to be elected as members of the DPR for the 2024-2029 period, marking a 1% increase from the 2019 elections. Out of the 3,676 women who contested for DPR seats, 127 candidates from eight political parties are projected to secure parliamentary positions. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) leads with the highest proportion of elected women at 27 seats (21.3%), followed by the Nasdem Party with 21 seats (16.5%) and Golkar with 20 seats (15.8%). Five women candidates notably received more than 200,000 votes each, with Hillary Brigitta Lasut, a Democratic Party legislative candidate from the North Sulawesi electoral district, garnering the highest vote tally of 310,780 votes.

As Indonesia commemorates

Key Takeaways

  • Indonesia celebrates Kartini Day on April 21 to honor women's emancipation advocate.
  • President Jokowi calls Kartini Day a symbol of women's struggle for leadership and equality.
  • Minister highlights Kartini's ideas and the need to continue her fight for women's rights.
  • 2024 elections see increased women's representation in the Indonesian parliament.
  • Kartini Day underscores the ongoing fight for gender equality in Indonesia.