At the work place and beyond, women continue to tackle the gender barrier. Professionally and personally, this is an uphill climb. What can be done to address this issue?
Among the many organisations working towards empowering Jakarta-based women’s organisations is the ASEAN Women’s Circle (AWC). The organisation—which advocates for women and children’s rights—has committed to providing continued support to remedy gender-biased prejudices and laws, as well as pushing for an agenda that calls for women’s rights to be addressed on a larger scale. The Permanent Mission of the Philippines to ASEAN in Jakarta organised a panel discussion about Gender and Development on 5 December carrying out theme “Empowered by Passion” with the AWC Executive Committee and members in attendance.
Keynote speakers included the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN H.E. Elizabeth P. Buensuceso and AWC President Sari Percaya. A series of talks covered issues highlighting concerns related to women in business and how they have been redefining entrepreneurship. Simply put, in a world where globalisation has taken hold, both men and women face many of the same challenges and start businesses in the same industries.
Studies have shown that both men and women deal with limited access to funding—especially in the startup industry. Besides, building a support network is essential for the success of the businesses, and this obstacle applies on men and women. Another challenge is finding a balance between work and family life. All in all, although globalisation has enhanced access to businesses opportunities, both men and women strive for the same struggles in the world of entrepreneurship and business management.
A number of businesswomen were welcomed to delve further into the topics and their own experiences such as Co-Founder of Barong Batik Thelma Victorio, Fonder/Director of Mummy Project Titya Sumarsono and Author Dorothy Delgado Novicio.
In her speech, Novicio generally talked about “what does it take for us [men and women] to empower?” in which she broke down to Envision, Modern tech, Planning, Opportunities, Women groups & support systems, Education and Rediscovering as the core values for work/life success. She also has recently launched a book that talks about inspiring narratives, focusing on courage, perseverance, devotion and love shared and written by women from various backgrounds in different countries titled Journeys: The Rosary in the Lives of Wandering Women.