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Presidential candidates' plans for women and children: A closer look

Antara News - November 15, 2023

Narda Margaretha, Raka Adji, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) has determined three pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2024 General Elections: Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar, Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD, and Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

The three pairs have released their vision and mission documents to inform Indonesian citizens who will cast their votes on February 14, 2024.

The Baswedan-Iskandar pair presents the vision of "An Equitable and Prosperous Indonesia for All" with missions named "Eight Ways of Change", while Pranowo-Mahfud proposes the vision of "Towards an Excellent Indonesia: Quick Move to Realize an Equitable and Sustainable Maritime Country" with missions called "Eight Quick Moves."

The Subianto-Raka pair raises the vision of "Together With Onward Indonesia, Towards Golden Indonesia 2045" with missions called "Eight Missions of Asta Cita."

Their visions, missions, and programs will form the basis of the 2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) to usher in the achievement of the Golden Indonesia 2045 vision, in which Indonesia aims to become a developed country.

The General Elections Commission Regulation (PKPU) Number 19 of 2023 concerning Nomination of Participants in the General Elections for President and Vice President states that the statement letters of visions, missions, and programs of the candidates are based on the principle of Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution.

They are also an elaboration of the National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPN) in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.

The implementation of the visions, missions, and programs of the elected president and vice president will be outlined in the five-year RPJMN, which is ratified by a presidential regulation.

RPJMN, prepared using a technocratic approach, represents a five-year development stage within the 20-year RPJPN period.

The visions, missions, and programs of the candidates, as well as the RPJMN and the RPJPN, will guide Indonesia's future development.

The three pairs of candidates have prepared their programs to cover various important sectors, including commitments to support vulnerable groups, such as women and children.

For women, who make up more than 50 percent of voters, understanding the candidates' visions, missions, and programs is crucial to ensure that their needs and interests are represented.

Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar

The Baswedan-Iskandar pair from the Coalition of Change places education, employment, and political participation rights in mission number 2, which focuses on poverty alleviation through job creation and fair wage realization.

They aim to guarantee equal opportunities for women to attain the highest possible level of education.

Various employment opportunities for women and their participation in politics are also addressed, such as encouraging an increase in the number of female officers in the National Armed Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) to fill senior officer positions and raising the minimum percentage of women in all TNI and Polri recruitment drives.

In their vision-mission document, they also pledge to enhance women's involvement in the country's foreign policy.

The pair also proposes the Women- and Children-Friendly Indonesia program, which ensures the implementation of maternity and paternity leave for parents. They also intend to provide affordable childcare and construct lactation rooms in public spaces.

Their document includes a goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates by strengthening the role of integrated health posts (posyandu) and community health centers (puskesmas), including activating the roles of midwives and health cadres.

Regarding the issue of violence against women, the pair intends to establish integrated crisis services, including a 24-hour emergency hotline, safe houses, forensic exams, free psychological treatment and services, and free legal support.

The pair, backed by the Nasdem Party, National Awakening Party (PKB), and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), will enforce the implementing regulations for the sexual violence crime law to safeguard women, even though the PKS previously rejected the sexual violence crime bill, deeming it lacking in comprehensive regulation on morality-related crimes.

Baswedan and Iskandar aim to ensure the fulfillment of the fundamental rights of orphaned and abandoned children by guaranteeing their health, education, and potential development opportunities, providing social assistance and protection, and enhancing the quality of social welfare institutions.

Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD

This pair, supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), United Development Party (PPP), People's Conscience Party (Hanura), and United Indonesia Party (Perindo), committed to advancing women and improving children's welfare.

This is part of their fifth mission: to accelerate the development of excellent, productive, and characterful Indonesians.

Meanwhile, the Onward Kartini program, named after Indonesian women's emancipation activist R.A. Kartini, aims to fully support women's choices in all fields of work and professions, and to encourage women to access entrepreneurship, technology, education, and health.

Their vision and mission document states that their program plans to strengthen home industries and facilitate digital access for women, increase funding for women's productive economic activities, and reduce the wage gap.

This discourse is inseparable from unequal pay between women and men. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) recorded that the gender wage gap in Indonesia in 2022 stood at 22.09 percent.

The average wage for male workers is higher than that for female workers. Specifically, the average wage for male workers is Rp3.33 million (around US$214.85), while for female workers, it is only Rp2.59 million (around US$167.11).

The Pranowo-Mahfud pair also plans to extend childbirth leave for both mothers and fathers with full wages and benefits, and to increase the quality and quantity of childcare services in both the formal and informal sectors, so that parents can work without worries.

While they are committed to ensuring equality for women and men in childcare roles in the family, they still describe mothers as guardians of family health and the ongoing growth and development of children and family welfare.

Pranowo and Mahfud stated in the document that they plan to implement the Protect Friends program to raise awareness of the importance of supporting victims of violence and to provide budget support for anti-sexual violence and bullying task forces in all institutions.

They also emphasized that they will revitalize assistance for victims of violence, including sexual and domestic violence.

Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka

The Onward Indonesia coalition's presidential and vice presidential pair includes the issues of gender equality and women's empowerment in their Asta Cita mission number 4.

Their goal is to promote policies and initiatives that protect the rights of women and people with disabilities, such as the right to education, work, and political participation.

They believe that by supporting policies and initiatives that protect the rights of women and people with disabilities, the government can eliminate gender discrimination and enable them to fully contribute to the country's development.

They also consider it necessary for the government to provide more intensive and adequate protection for children's growth and development, including proper nutrition.

However, the pair did not specify any achievement indicators for this program. They only committed to ensuring that policies are inclusive, gender-sensitive, and prioritize efforts to empower women and protect children.

In addition, they aim to strengthen the roles, functions, institutions, and budgets related to women's empowerment and child protection.

Subianto and Raka did not address the issue of maternity and paternity leave. They also did not mention violence against women and children in their vision and mission document.

According to the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, 25,050 women and 21,241 children were victims of violence in Indonesia in 2022.

Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/298707/presidential-candidates-plans-for-women-and-children-a-closer-loo