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Deakin course supporting Indonesian women leaders striving for gender equality

Deakin course supporting Indonesian women leaders striving for gender equality

A course designed by Deakin University researchers is empowering Indonesian women from diverse faiths to increase women’s participation in the public sphere.

The leadership course, now in its third year, is implemented by the Alfred Deakin Institute on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia Awards in Indonesia program.

The 25 awardees from Indonesia with Deakin course leaders and advisors.

Over two weeks, the 25 awardees from Indonesia participated in a wide variety of site visits, focus group discussions and technical training to develop their knowledge and skills to support gender equality in their communities and workplaces in Indonesia.

Course designer and leader Dr Rebecca Barlow.

Dr Rebecca Barlow is the Course Designer and Leader of the program, and is a Senior Research Fellow based within the Alfred Deakin Institute.

“The inspiring group of women who participated in this course are true leaders of progressive change in their societies, and are leading the way in tackling gender inequality,” Dr Barlow said.

“Throughout the course, we explored questions such as ‘Why have women been excluded from mainstream leadership cultures around the world?’ and ‘What structural changes are necessary for women to be better represented in leadership positions?’.”

“Indonesia is one of Australia’s largest and most strategic allies, as well as a long-time friend. We hope that this course continues to develop that friendship through the connections and networks these women have made.”

Cr Emilia Sterjova of Whittlesea addressing in Bahasa the multifaith women leaders from #Indonesia @Deakin_ADI  @deakinmedia @AustraliaAwards @DubesAustralia on the final day in #Melbourne

Shahram Akbarzadeh (@S_Akbarzadeh) July 26, 2019

The awardees were able to develop meaningful linkages with Australia at the individual and organisational level through seminars, workshops and site visits that provided them with an expanded set of resources and strategies that can be adapted to their local contexts in Indonesia.

They heard from experts such as Sushi Das, senior journalist with RMIT ABC Fact Check, Tasneem Chopra, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, Stephanie Amir, Councillor for the City of Darebin, and Celeste Liddle, renowned Indigenous activist and author.

Alumni from the program in 2017 and 2018 have gone on to run successful local-level projects in Indonesia, including in areas such as legal literacy in family law, social media training for youth, raising awareness of gender equality in schools, and anti-radicalism.

“We are incredibly excited to see what the latest cohort will do with their new knowledge and skills developed during this course. I have no doubt that they will develop an equally impressive set of projects for implementation in 2019.”


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