December 27, 2023
JAKARTA – The head of the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka campaign team for young women voters (Pink Fanta), Suci Suaib Saenong, has said the candidate pair will seek to resolve the issue of stunting and provide facilities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Suci claimed that the two problems are closely related to the topic of empowering women and lamented that this was barely brought up in the latest debate on Dec. 22.
“The only one who raised issues relevant to women was Gibran,” Suci said in a statement on Monday, as quoted by state news agency Antara.
Stunting, which is a lack of growth in height compared with a child’s age, affects one in four children under the age of five years nationally, according to a 2021 Health Ministry study.
Like his father, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Gibran has sought to address the problem of stunting, including by offering free lunches and milk for schoolchildren and nutritional supplements for pregnant women.
Suci claimed that this program would benefit both women and MSMEs, most of which are run by women.
By some estimates, women own 50 percent of all micro-enterprises and 59 percent of SMEs in East Asia and the Pacific.
“It will be very impactful because [the provisions] are to be locally produced and procured from MSMEs in the region, which in turn will bring about a positive economic impact,” she said.
“Not only will MSMEs improve, but also public health.”
Suci went on to explain the relationship between developing MSMEs and empowering women. “We know that during the COVID-19 pandemic, women were the last line of defense. They ran their MSMEs online from home while continuing to educate their children,” she said.
“Such is the role that women have in preparing the ‘golden generation’,” Suci added.
The Jokowi administration has repeatedly called for action to maximize the nation’s demographic dividend, whereby over 70 percent of its people are of prime productive age.
The government is aiming to create a “Golden Indonesia 2045” generation of high quality human resources by the time the country turns 100.
As a demographic, women will play an important role in the upcoming elections. One pollster even suggested that older women from the regions ought to be protected from vote buying, as they are more likely to be swayed.
The Prabowo-Gibran camp seeks to target female voters, whose numbers are more significant than male voters.
“Choose the candidate pair that prioritizes women,” Suci said, as quoted by Antara.