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Indonesia Promotes Gender Equality in Digital Entrepreneurship

Modern office - business team having web conference

The growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during the Covid-19 pandemic can be attributed to greater competitiveness through the process of digitalisation, digital adaptation, and digital agility, says Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communication and Information of Indonesia.

During the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, these three processes increased the value of Indonesia’s digital economy by roughly 11%, which was followed by a 25% to 40% growth in Indonesian banking digital financial transactions in the year.

We should be proud that this progress cannot be separated from the role of women as the main pillar in the growth of the MSME business which has contributed 60 per cent of the total 58 million MSMEs in Indonesia.

– Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communication and Information, Indonesia

According to the results of a survey conducted in 2020 based on the “Advancing Women in Entrepreneurial” report, Indonesia has the highest rate of female entrepreneurship engagement in Southeast Asia. This shows that female entrepreneurs still face challenges in the form of a lack of business networks and marketing skills. This survey also reveals that 8 out of 10 women who are already or new to entrepreneurship in Indonesia, desire to improve their skills in doing business

Corresponding to Femmy Kartika Eka Putri, Deputy for the Coordination of Quality Improvement for Children, Women, and Youth at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, women entrepreneurs still face numerous hurdles.

Based on the Gender Empowerment Index, the degree to which women actively participate in the workplace and political arenas is still quite low. Education and the encouragement of entrepreneurial endeavours are two of the most important pillars on the path to reaching equality, and the application of technology is one of the most important factors in expanding the role of women in the workforce.

However, in the economic sector, the government has also made attempts to close the gender gap. Indonesia emphasises the factor of gender equality as one of the subjects of debate, in keeping with the G20 Presidency’s agenda, which bears the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.”

In Indonesia, the female population which is 49.42% is equal to the male population, which is 50.58% and as a result, there will be no joint recovery process if half of the existing population is unable to gain economic access, which primarily affects women.

Deputy Femmy praised the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MCI) for enacting several gender-sensitive policies, such as the Women in Digital Entrepreneurship initiative, which is one of the government’s genuine attempts to expand women’s economic engagement through digital technology.

The government is attempting to address the urgency of women’s participation through strategic policies such as accelerating the provision of digital infrastructure for the acceleration of ICT throughout the country and providing training for digital entrepreneurs through the Digital Entrepreneurship Academy (DEA) in the Digital Talent Scholarship (DTS) programme.

Women are not exempt from the DEA initiative which aims to provide greater chances for females to use digital technology which may result in more businesses going digital. Ideally, women will be able to easily access information and take advantage of technology and digital devices, and they will be able to create new ways to develop their businesses and achieve economic prosperity in the future.

In 2021, DEA adopted the theme #BangkitDiMasaPandemi to assist affected MSMEs with digital selling training. In 2022, DEA will use the theme #PulihBersama to help MSMEs recover from the pandemic through digital entrepreneurship training. This training is also aimed at producing female digital entrepreneurs (womenpreneurs), with 63% of participants being female as of April.

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