Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced around three million women would be assisted with jobs, family planning and increased protection against domestic violence as part of a $60m aid program in Indonesia, including in rural and remote settlements.
"Indonesia continues to make strong progress in women's rights, education and jobs," Senator Carr said.
"Nearly half of all school students are girls, and more women than men are enrolled in universities.
"But there's more to be done, especially in rural and eastern Indonesia where female literacy, income and reproductive health are poor.
"The contrasts with Australia are stark – an Indonesian woman is 30 times more likely to die in childbirth, than her Australian counterpart.
"Many women continue to have little or no say in communal decision-making – a result of poor economic and social standing.
"That's why we're reaching out to three million rural women – helping them with jobs, anti-violence programs and choices on whether, when and how many children to have.
"And this program has strong Indonesian support – another sign of Australia's close relationship with our northern neighbour."
The $60 million initiative over four years will help poor women with:
- Finding local jobs, including removing discrimination at work;
- social programs like health care and schooling for children so women can return to work or find new jobs;
- maternal and reproductive health, including contraception and family planning advice;
- advice and protection for women working as domestic helpers overseas; and
- regional services to protect women against domestic and communal violence.
The initiative would be delivered by AusAID through Indonesian providers and in-country non-government organisations. Service planning would commence immediately with program delivery to start later this year.
- Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7500
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555
- AusAID Media: 0417 680 590