Becoming Srikandi: The Indonesian Wonder Women of Renewable Energy

February 11, 2022

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Today, as the as the world marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), UNDP is calling for more women warriors or ‘Srikandi’ in Indonesia’s sustainable energy sector.

Srikandi, a revered heroine in Indonesia's ancient Javanese mythology, is generally referred to as a female warrior fighting for justice. Srikandi has become a symbol of bravery and gender equality, thanks her wisdom and nobility. Therefore, it's only fitting to dub the new breed of female sustainable energy practitioners in Indonesia as the "Srikandi” or the Wonder Women of sustainable energy.

Finding the next Srikandi in sustainable energy coincides with UNDP's call for greater gender equality in Indonesia's energy industry. Last year, UNDP published a paper with India as the case study regarding the green sector and women entrepreneurship. One of the key recommendations is the need to raise the bar of policies targeting women's participation in the energy sector to address the gender disparity.

Indeed, in Indonesia, just five percent of women in decision-making positions in the energy sector are currently female. There are only 51 women energy auditors out of 1,128 energy auditors, and just 3,4 percent or 34 women energy managers in Indonesia. Responding to this much-needed demand, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, recently hosted a certification training workshop of 25 female renewable energy practitioners to become energy manager and energy auditor. The training programme is called ‘Srikandi’, hence the participants were dubbed as the new ‘Srikandi of energy conservation’. The training was done through UNDP’s Market Transformation for Renewable Energy Use and Energy Efficiency (MTRE3) Project.

The female participants had to go a separate five-day with their male counterpart on general energy conservation certification course before attending the women’s only certification course in November 2021.

Filyasa Roriskasari, one of the participants from Angkasa Pura II explained the training's relevance to her career development in the energy sector. She mentioned, “the training has put more confidence towards what I can implement in my company and the unit I am working on, at the energy power supply unit.”

During the training, participants learned both theoretical and practical skills needed for the certification process.

One participant, Rina Irawati, said the training has boosted her self-confidence to tackle sustainable energy.

”There are more men becoming energy auditors presumably because of its high technicality to energy measurement. However, through this training, I saw fellow women participants who are interested to be auditors.”

L.N. Puspa Dewi, the Director of Energy Conservation Ditjen EBTKE, welcomed the training, saying “we need human capital especially women energy auditors and managers and the training is highly relevant to provide the gap between the needs and the demand we see today.”

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP’s MTRE3 Project aims to support the Indonesian government in its effort to increase gender-responsive activities in the energy efficiency sector.

”It is important to support women in energy sectors to thrive and contribute in energy efficiency sector. Srikandi of Energy Conservation Training is not the end. Hopefully, it will bring positive domino effect on the regulatory and energy management aspect,” said Boyke Lakaseru, National Project Manager UNDP Indonesia.

The head of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Center for Human Resources Development for Electricity, New, Renewable Energy, and Energy Conservation (PPSDM KEBTKE), Laode Sulaeman, expressed the need for cooperation to level up women’s involvement in management level in Indonesia. He said, “It requires support from various parties as well as the participation of women as Energy Conservation heroines, as currently, the number of certified auditors and managers is very small.”

Indonesia has set a goal of increasing renewable energy utilization by 23% by 2025. Women's participation in the energy sector is critical to the cause of moving away from fossil fuels and practicing energy efficiency. Women role models, particularly in sustainable energy, will be critical in not only decreasing greenhouse gas emissions but also ensuring that no one is left behind.

Back to our mythical warrior, Srikandi, she is also avid archer capable of hitting the enemy's target with pinpoint accuracy. Perhaps, by having more Srikandi in Indonesia’s sustainable energy sector, the country could be one step closer in meeting its sustainable energy target – timely and with precision.

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Text by Enggi Dewanti

Edited by Tomi Soetjipto