SERIKATNEWS.COM – An honest discussion started between OISAA (Overseas Indonesian Students Association Alliance) presidents of three progressive countries, which are Hungary, Belgium, and the Philippines, about the representation of women in OISAA during the Ambassadors Young Leader 2020 conference. The panel consisted of the President of PPI Hungary (Annisa Ridhatul Khatimah), President of PPI Filipina (Juliana Pandiangan), and President of PPI Belgium (Safira Nur’allya Ramadhanty), all of which are taking the highest leadership role in their region. The passionate conversation ran for two hours, yet it touched many paramount topics such as strategies for more female representation in leadership positions and its effects on Indonesian society as a whole.
OISAA acts as a community that creates a strong bond between Indonesians who are abroad, whose main agenda is to encourage creativity and give inspiration to Indonesia. The online seminar begins by comparing the numbers of women in governmental positions. Although there is a significant shift towards advances and efforts to create gender equality, stereotypes at work still exist.
“In 2005, the injustice in the system is most evident in the incomes between the genders, Belgian women only received 85% of the salary of men who are in the same position as them. On 12th January 2007, Belgium parliament passed the law aiming to implement gender mainstreaming at the Belgium federal level,” Safira, the President of PPI Belgium said.
Safira also explains that gender mainstreaming is a specific strategy with ambitions to strengthen the equality of women and men in society by making sure that all the steps in the political process take gender perspective into account. She further elaborated that the gender perspective means the socioeconomics between men and women.
Although these women believe that representation is significant, they all agree that there should not be closed recruitment for the sake of balancing the gender ratio. They agree that whoever takes on the leadership position should be chosen based on their capabilities rather than their gender. However, the community should look into the real reason of potential barriers that are impacting women from reaching the highest levels of leadership.
“One of the barriers that exist is the lack of confidence. Many (women) are afraid of trying something new. Additionally, a lot of us grew up without the same encouragement (that boys have),” Annisa, the President of PPI Hungary said.
During the talk, Juliana, the President of PPI Phillippines, added. “There is a stereotype that women are more emotional than men. We see the world more compassionately, a lot of us may struggle with being assertive.” Along with this, she also provided a presentation which talks about qualities that make a great leader, which are: life and physical health, mental well-being, social relations, political empowerment, education, leisure activities, mobility, respect, and economic empowerment.
Furthermore, Annisa talks about the challenges she faced in balancing academia and organization responsibilities, and how taking on the leadership position empowered her. Annisa shares that it is easy to feel fragile and small as a minority. However, she sees this as an opportunity to learn and grow. She believes that the role has empowered her as a person. Although wearing a hijab highlights her status as a minority, she came up with an ideology called Hijab Diplomacy, where she uses her hijab as a symbolism of honor and grit rather than as a hurdle.
They conclude the seminar with emphasizing the importance of women getting the highest possible education as encouraging other women to strive for the highest role. Other than the fact that it will help us grow into a holistic individual, it will create a lasting impact for generations. Generally, a lot of us want to settle down and build families if that is the goal, the women at home are the ones who shape the mentality of their children, and to cultivate empowering mothers who mean to have generations with a brilliant mindset to come.