What is Santri Oz?

Santri Oz is an initiative for women’s empowerment programs in Indonesia through intercultural activity, women’s story and female creativity founded by Australian Alumna; Ana Surjanto.

What has happened in Indonesia?

The cases of violence against women in Indonesia have increased dramatically from 2013 to 2017. The National Committee of Women Affairs in their report demonstrated that there are 279.760 violence against women in 2013 and become 348.446 in 2017 (Komnas Perempuan, 2018). Many women have become the victims in violence including sexual and verbal harassment, human trafficking, and raping such as in Central Java, Legal Resources Center for Gender Justice and Human Rights (2018) reported that there are 766 cases of violence against women in 2013 and increased become 2.737 cases. Thus, it is needed to empower Indonesian women to educate better society as the effort to deter violence against women. Further, empowering women and young girls will enable them to develop self esteem, strengthen leadership and communication skill, and promote inclusive society and gender equality.

Why does this initiative matter?

Women represent half of the world’s population, therefore, also half of its potential. United Nations (UN) Secretary-General; Kofi Annan (2003) said that “when women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life”. Further, it has been shown that empowering women spurs productivity and economic growth (UN Women, 2020). Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality of rights and opportunities between women and men in many sectors of life. In my context of Indonesia, there have been gender bias towards the roles and involvements of women in the fields of politic, education and sport.

For instance in the field of sport, it is kind of taboo for Muslim girls who wear hijab playing football, while I see women playing footy (Australian rules football) during my postgraduate study in Melbourne. Even footy can be used to empower Australian women. Therefore, I make this Santri Oz’s initiative as the platform for empowering Indonesian (Muslim) women and young girls which aims to educate better society and promote gender equality. The programs on the website consist of intercultural activity including footy coaching clinic, women’s story and female creativity. I believe those programs will be impactful in empowering women and then inspiring nations.