West Papua actually has so many important figures that have contributed their talents for Indonesia. Many West Papuans have shown achievements in various sectors such as sports, politics, environments and also educations. One of the most prominent political figures from West Papua is certainly Yohana Yembise.
Yohana Yembise is a Papuan woman that is appointed as Indonesian Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection. Not only she makes history by becoming the first ever woman minister from Papua, she also has various other achievements that can inspire young Papuan women to work harder and achieve their dreams.
About Yohana Yembise
Yohana Susana Yembise was born in Manokwari, West Papua on October 1st, 1958. She is currently serving as the Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in Indonesia. Yembise grew up and studied in Papua. In 1985, she studied in Cenderawasih University and after graduated in 1992, she continued her study in Regional Language Center (RELC), SEAMEO Singapore.
After that, she got her Master Degree from the Department of Educations in Simon Fraser University, Canada. In 2001, she went to University of Newcastle where she got her Doctoral degree in 2006. Yembise has a splendid career in education and she also has long experience teaching in Cenderawasih University. Her background in education is proved to be very useful in her career as a Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.
Yohana Yembise’s Role in Women Development in Papua
As a minister that is responsible for improving the quality of life of women and children in Indonesia, of course she pays attention to all issues involving women and children in all parts of Indonesia. But as a Papuan woman that is highly respected by the people in her place of birth, she really gives huge contribution in empowering women in Papua.
The provinces in Papua island, Papua and West Papua have developed a lot compared to the past. However, we also cannot neglect the fact that it is only recently the government pay more attention to the easternmost island of Indonesia. As a result, Papua is less developed compared to the other regions of Indonesia, especially Java.
This is why Yohana Yembise wants to be an agent of change of women empowerment, to become a real life example for women in Papua to stand up and fight for their rights. Every single time she visits Papua, she never forgets to encourage the young women to not be afraid to involve more in politics. If the government body is always dominated by men, women will always be marginalized because there is no one fighting for women’s rights in the decision making level.
To empower Papuan women, Yembise, built a non formal school for women in Waropen, Papua. The school teaches many important skills for women in Papua so they can actively participate in economy. Furthermore, the main purpose of this school is also to raise awareness regarding violence to women and children.
Women can be an agent of change, not only in their family, but also for their societies. This is why Yembise was appointed as the leader of Srikandi Sungai Indonesia in Sorong, West Papua. The purpose of this organization is to keep the rivers clean to ensure better health for the people. This is a very important role since there are many rivers in West Papua and the people need to pay more attention to the cleanliness of the rivers.
But the most important example the minister can show to the Papuan women is how to successfully thrive as a woman in both domestic and public sector. All this time, many women in Papua are trapped between the traditional stigma that women have to stay home and their dream to realize their potentials and achieve their dream. Yembesi shows that a woman doesn’t have to sacrifice one to get the other. Women have so many roles in the society and they can be successful in all of them if they want to.
Yohana Yembise is truly an inspiration for Papuan women. Many young women in Papua don’t dare to dream big because Papua is less developed compared to the other regions of Indonesia. The different quality of education makes them worry whether they can compete with the other people from the big cities with better access to education and information.
Yohana Yembise is a living proof that Papuan women can achieve their dream as well. Yohana Yembise was born in West Papua, spends most of her life in Papua and also got her education there. But look at her now, she becomes the first women professor in Papua and the first women minister from Papua. It is an evidence that there is nothing stands in their way if they want to be persistent in pursuing their dream. She is also a proof that Papua actually has pretty good education system and it also keeps improving. Papuan women nowadays have more opportunities to be what they want to be as long as they are not afraid to pursue their dream.