10/12/2021, 14.13
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Indonesian Sisters call for a stop to discrimination against girls

by Mathias Hariyadi

An online meeting was held on International Day of the Girl Child to discuss, among others, the digital education of people of all ages. Minors represent about 26 per cent of active Indonesian Internet users.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, which is celebrated every year on 11 October, the Indonesian Association of Religious Sisters (IBSI) held a webinar titled "Digital Generation for Our Generation".

The virtual talk was facilitated by IBSI's Protection and Care Unit, locally known as Talithakum Indonesia.

During the meeting, which was attended by men and women religious as well as lay people working in the educational field, Sister Kristina Fransiska and Sister Levita spoke with two experts in child protection and human trafficking.

Sister Catharina Sri Juwarni, head of Talithakum Indonesia, said that the problems associated with discrimination against girls have become a national issue and have forced religious congregations to task someone with monitoring them at the local level.

“Only if we are united can we eradicate this problem from our society,” the nun said.

Ciput Eka Purwianti, from the Ministry for Women Empowerment and Child Protection, spoke about the importance of digital education and proper information.

According to a report by the Ministry of Communication and Information, 73.7 per cent of Indonesia’s population are active Internet users; that is 196.7 million out of 270.2 million. About 30 per cent (79.5 million) are young; of these, 25.6 per cent are aged 5 to 18.

Data show how child protection must include social media and often presents itself as an educational problem.

For Purwianti, “The issue becomes even more serious if parents entertain their children with mobile phones and tablets. Sometimes it is the parents who are dependent on social media.”

The latter’s role as a source of information should also be re-evaluated.

“Often everything that comes from social media is taken for granted,” Purwianti said, “but we should do checks and verifications via traditional media so as not to risk spreading hoaxes and fake news,” she added.

What is more, young Internet users are exposed to cyberbullying, self-harm and suicide, as ewll as online pornography and addiction to games, but "as educators and teachers, we seriously lack knowledge about modern wireless gadgets and social media.”

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