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Erna Surjadi

About Me: 

I believe God has a long amazing plan when He let me born long time back.
I was born in capital city of Indonesia; and had a happy childhood with big families who lived together in a big house (three families with their children plus the grand parents).

I heard from my mom that my father, the middle child, worked hard to support family although the parents never thought he could make it. The eldest is always the best, as traditionally they believe. In fact my late father became a very good entrepreneur and made money a lot. He became number one within the big family.

I started realizing differences between girl's rights and boy's rights when I was 10 years old. My father didnot allow me playing out side anymore. Girls should stay inside the house more and culture need to be followed. Later on I knew that is patriarchy culture implementation which made most women/girls stay behind and become followers only.

I was lucky, I got scholarship for my bachelor degree in University, I got also my next scholarship for master degree when I was on the thirties from office. My husband was my high school class mate and we were working for social-work together for about 15 years before and after marriage. I had to open clinic till late at night which become stressors to my brand new family. Coming home early meant you don't have many patients; and less or even no money in your hand. I almost committed suicide due to parents-in law perception/actions and high stressors to my family life.
I was again very lucky, communication and love between spouses save my family moved on with few adaptation, adjustments and more spending time together with children during week end. My husband's principle - the best is for my family.
We eventually succeeded built up coping mechanism over the challenges and constraints. God is so good when He allowed me taking computer study during my early career as government employee - thus I have common topics and activities together with my hubby. We cried and laughed together the children and we prayed together - the two boys are my family treasure. Even we were far away due to duty travels and study, my husband keep saying, it is just in the matter we closed the two hands in praying - by God's holy soul we are together. This is worthed when some day all the four of us stayed in four different countries due to study and works. Right now we stay in three different countries - ICT brings us closer.

The principle in living by God's grace made me learned more about family career development system and got my doctoral degree in Sociology specialty in gender. I worked for various institutions, government, privates and international organization and I know my God has a plan to help more people, especially women and girls. However, I received injustice due to people believe I am a strong gender lady, watching power abuse in working condition, being harrassed but twisted around by certain people who wanted me stop working and I was tortured mentally and being discriminated with my reputation was spoiled so badly - however I would never have stopped fighting for gender equality and equity towards peace, harmony and advancement.

Right now I am working for CSO to promote gender empowerment against poverty in Indonesia. I am still involved with international environment like this VOF forum, UN women's rights, health care informatics society, E Health, APEC Women's Leaders network, Business Professional Women (BPW) International, Indonesia public policy forum and several universities for education and trainings.
I am grateful my family is in middle up society, persistenly supporting my career and dignity as human being; and now I am willing to contribute something for adolescent girls to reach their better future and be the leaders in my country and the world.

The struggling and fighting for betterness is still on going though
My time maybe almost over, I never regretted what I am working on in gender movement; the politic and power abuse are scary though; I believe I have my treasure in family: Love, Faith and Support. I received so much blessings in life, although Im not a perfect woman, I would have never changed my principles to fight for gender although temptations, fraud and liars are around. My own life with the blessings make me believe God has prepared a good place for me and my loving family and relatives; someday..

We might be looked as powerless person; but in Truth and God - we are strong!.
I think most important for women as agents of changes: first empowered your self, then empowering your family then others.
This gender movement might not be completed soon, but I believe with this VOF and proper understanding about gender equality approach, we shall get better results within the next 10 years.
One cannot do everything - but together hi VOF Ladies; we could do something!!

Move on Ladies!
My prayer for all the very best!
ES

My Passions: 
Gender harmony for the Nation and the world
My Challenges: 
Patriarchy Culture, Bearocracy, egalitarian ethos, power abuse, gender sensitivity, availability funds
My Vision for the Future: 
Women empowerment for family advancement towards future investment
My Areas of Expertise: 
Health management information system, system analyst, knowledge management, statistics, human resources development, sociology, gender and human rights
My Languages: 
Other, English

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