Empowering Mothers: Navigating Multi-Dimensional Roles for Economic Independence


As April 21st approaches, Indonesians prepare to commemorate Kartini Day, a celebration centered on the essence of women's struggle for equality and empowerment. This day serves as a reminder that every woman deserves the opportunity to build herself and fulfill multiple roles, from career pursuits to household responsibilities, in order to achieve her fullest potential. Yet, despite progress, many women, especially mothers, still require special attention.

According to a 2021 survey by Orami, 40% of mothers still feel a lack of empowerment, citing reasons such as financial issues, low self-esteem, time management, limited social engagement, and unfulfilled potential.

Empowerment is understood as a multidimensional active process that enables women to realize their full identities and strengths in all areas of life. Financial concerns emerge as a major dimension affecting mothers' sense of empowerment, with 27% expressing financial worries in the same Orami survey.

Independent economic aspirations are fueled by various desires, including 33% of mothers expressing a desire not to rely solely on their husbands' income, 23% seeking financial decision-making autonomy within the family, and 22% longing for self-actualization opportunities.

Ferry Tenka, Founder of Orami & Chief Product Officer of SIRCLO, emphasized that entrepreneurship is seen as an ideal option by 7 out of 10 mothers to achieve economic independence due to its flexible working hours. However, despite the dominance of women entrepreneurs in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, negative stigmas persist.

"Despite the negative stigmas, data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2021 showed that women entrepreneurs in the MSME sector accounted for 64.5% or equivalent to 37 million entrepreneurs," Ferry Tenka explained, emphasizing the need for support through equal access to education and economic opportunities.

R.A. Kartini's ideals continue to inspire women across Indonesia to strive for equal access and economic opportunities. Here are some steps mothers can take to support their multiple roles and empowerment:

  • Empowerment for Oneself: Investing in education and training is crucial, as it not only enhances professional lives but also personal development, with 22% of mothers desiring economic independence for self-actualization.
  • Empowerment for the Family: Managing family finances jointly, as indicated by 33% of mothers, reflects a desire for economic empowerment within the family. Studies show economically empowered women prioritize family needs, including nutrition, health, and children's education.
  • Empowerment for the Community and Nation: Mothers play a vital role as agents of change and economic drivers, particularly in the MSME sector, which creates 97% of Indonesia's jobs. However, they need support to access financial education, credit, digital technology, and more.

Orami's commitment to empowerment is evident through its program, IbuSibuk, which empowers mothers through technology to become Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) or 'momfluencers.' Currently, IbuSibuk supports over 100,000 mothers, enabling them to contribute to their families and the national economy.

Dian Ayu Palupi, a Momfluencer from Bali, expressed her satisfaction with being a part of IbuSibuk, as it allows her to balance household duties while making a meaningful contribution. The flexibility of such opportunities has led 6 out of 10 mothers to pursue momfluencing as a side job.

Since joining IbuSibuk, momfluencers have experienced a significant impact, with 80% reporting an increase in campaign projects with renowned brands, leading to 45.9% contributing to household income, up from 14.2% previously.

To support momfluencers in enhancing their skills, IbuSibuk provides intensive mentoring, including training in photography, video editing, and live streaming sales techniques.

As Azzah Azizah, a Momfluencer from Makassar, acknowledges, the continuous support from IbuSibuk's team has been invaluable, helping her develop skills in digital marketing and beyond.

Kartini's legacy lives on as women across Indonesia continue to strive for empowerment, embracing their multidimensional roles and shaping the nation's economic landscape.

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