Indonesia stresses importance of education for women at Islamic conference

Gayathri | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 8:56 AM IST

Indonesia stresses importance of education for women at Islamic conference

Indonesia has called on the Muslim world to empower women through education, stressing that women's access to education is their fundamental right.

“It is unfortunate to see that in the 21st century, many women still have no access to education. Indonesia is ready to contribute to ensure equal rights for women in education,' Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in a statement on Tuesday.

She was speaking at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) 43rd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Retno said women were key agents of change, who should play greater roles in tackling challenges in the Muslim world today, including addressing terrorism, radicalism and extremism. 

'Women as primary educators of children have the ability to encourage and strengthen the values ​​of tolerance and culture of peace to the Islamic community,' she said at the annual meeting, which this year focused on education.

The minister emphasized the importance for member countries to realize its commitment into a set of concrete programs to ensure women could have access to education and to increase commitments on funding for education. 

“Islamic countries should ensure that the principle of education for all could become part of their national policy and ensure there could be sufficient funding for education at the national level,” Retno said. 

The minister said education had been a priority issue since the establishment of the OIC. Cooperation on education, science, technology, innovation, empowerment and the advancement of women's role were key points in the OIC 2025 Program of Action, she added. (ebf)