Gender Equality: a Concern of ASEAN Community Policy and Program


Gender equality should be a focus and essential part of ASEAN Community policy and program. The aims also ought to concern with three pillars of ASEAN Community program, namely ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN Political Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. It is believed that gender equality could be the key and significant center of the three pillars of ASEAN Community.

The aforementioned utterance was expressed by Professor Rashidah Shuib, Ph.D., a researcher of Center for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia. It was her keynote speech in International Joint Seminar 2015 “Rethinking Gender in Making of ASEAN Good Governance”. This event was organized by Master of Governmental Studies and Department of Governmental Studies FISIPOL of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) cooperating with Center for Research on Women and Gender (Kanita), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). This international seminar took place in a meeting hall of A.R. Fachruddin A Foor 5 UMY on Monday (16/2).

According to Prof. Rashidah, gender equality turns a crucial issue entire time. Nevertheless, in political policy, gender issues particularly dealing with women are underestimated. “In fact, it is not all women only working in domestic field. It could occur since patriarchy culture still exists in our country, which tends to give priority to men to work out of domestic field,” she conveyed.

Additionally, Prof. Rashidah asserted that in economic, political, and socio-cultural aspect, men and women have equal rights to obtain justice and merits of those three aspects. They deserve to work in those three areas, moreover it is supported the emergence of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which anything is not private anymore. “In AEC, everything is free because AEC is exempt. Thus, everybody either man or woman is allowed to work and gain good services from other people or countries,” she uttered.

Therefore, based on Prof. Rashidah, it is very important for us to carry out gender equality and mainstreaming as standard practice of ASEAN policy and program in three pillars. “However, before we do it effectively in ASEAN level as three pillar strategies of ASEAN Community, we have to comprehend clearly concepts of gender equality and how gender mainstreaming could be implemented strategies in our job,” she  explained.

Dr. Rahmawati Husein, the other keynote speaker of this international seminar, had the same idea as Prof. Rashidah. She argued that it is vital to raise gender equality awareness in all governmental aspects, especially in disaster management, since men and women have different experience pre, while, and post disaster.

On the other words, Rahmawati contended that women are needed very much to perform disaster management. Besides being the most influenced party of disaster, caused by either human beings or nature, women have certain roles to assist the victims. “Women are valuable human resources to conduct activities of all management disaster stages like aids, responses, recovery, alertness, and mitigation,” she stated.

Moreover, in this seminar were conducted signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) of academic cooperation between UMY and USM as well as launching a book of MIP UMY. This MoA signing was performed by Rector of UMY, Prof. Dr. Bambang Cipto, M.A.; Director of Magister Program of UMY, Dr. Achmad Nurmandi, M.Sc.; Dean of Social and Political Faculty (FISIPOL) UMY, Dr. Ali Muhammad; Director of KANITA USM, Associate Professor, Dr. Noraida Endut; and Head of Master of Governmental Studies (MIP) UMY, Dr. Dyah Mutiarin.

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