Australian aid to empower Indonesian women

    Indonesian women at a training workshop. Australia has unveiled an eight-year program that will help Indonesian women gain access to jobs, social programs and family planning, among others. Photo by: Josh Estey / AusAID

    Indonesia is set to benefit from two Australian initiatives.

    The first is a 120 million Australian dollar ($122.7 million) program that aims to empower Indonesian women. The eight-year program is expected to start late 2012 and will help Indonesian women gain access to jobs, social programs and family planning, among others.

    The money will be coursed through Indonesian providers and in-country nongovernmental organizations. The first tranche of AU$60 million will be delivered within the next four years.

    Grants and technical assistance amounting to AU$100 million will also be provided to 17 think-tanks and research institutions under a second initiative. The institutions are expected to provide the Indonesian government “independent advice” on poverty-reduction programs, letting policymakers know “what works and what doesn’t.”

    Examples of research may include policies on child vaccination and women having access to midwives during childbirth. Funding is expected to start early 2013. An expert panel tasked to consider new ideas will be formed within the year.

    Australia has committed more than AU$570 million to Indonesia under its 2012-2013 budget. The government is expanding aid to Indonesia for it is “able to see what good is being done on the ground,” Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr said in a statement following a July 16 meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta.

    Meanwhile, Australia has opened its 2012-2013 Human Rights Grants Scheme, an annual funding scheme that provides AU$100,000 to organizations and projects that help prevent, monitor and report human rights violations, and strengthen human rights institutions, among others.

    Interested organizations should submit their expressions of interest to Australian diplomatic missions by Aug. 17.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.