99 Most Powerful Women
A nation on the rise needs its women to play a more active role in its affairs. With its economy growing at 6% per annum, Indonesia must allow more women to hold leadership positions in business, politics, culture and social organization. As our 99 Most Powerful Women list aptly illustrates, there is no shortage of female talent in the country. Women have long played a prominent role in the lives of nations and businesses but increasingly they do not want to be treated differently to men. Where in the past they may have sought special treatment, today they want to be seen as equal partners with their male colleagues.
GlobeAsia List of 99 Most Powerful Women
1. Kristiani H. Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the sixth First Lady of the Republic of
Indonesia, playing a strong role behind her husband. In the wake of his
electoral victories in 2004 and 2009, Ibu Ani has concentrated on
problems of education, health, empowerment of women and public welfare.
She has been at the front line when disasters have struck and been
honored for her work with microfinance. She is now getting to know a
host of other first ladies through Indonesia’s membership of the G20.
2. Mari Elka Pangestu
Minister of Trade
the exit of Sri Mulyani Indrawati as minister of finance, Mari Elka
Pangestu moves higher on the list of top women in government. While her
lack of any political backing is seen by some as a weakness, her
expertise in international trade makes her a strong player in
international and bilateral negotiations. She was seen as scoring a
major win over her cabinet colleague MS Hidayat at the industry ministry
this year in pushing through the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement. A
former academic, she has retained her media savvy to push Indonesian
3. Anny Ratnawati
Deputy Minister of Finance
Ratnawati is a new entrant to the list in the new post of Deputy
Minister of Finance, where she was promoted from her earlier job as
Director General of State Budget. A graduate of the Bogor Institute of
Agriculture (IPB), previous positions included special adviser to the
minister of finance and head of education and training at the ministry.
4. Tati Bakrie
said that behind every powerful man is a powerful woman, and in the
case of Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie, that woman is his wife
Tatie. She plays a crucial role in the Bakrie family’s social and
philanthropic activities through the Bakrie Foundation and the Bakrie
for the Nation Foundation. These two organizations focus on scholarships
and poverty alleviation, while the Bakrie Center Foundation in
Washington has worked with prestigious groups such as the Carnegie
5. Siti Hartati Murdaya
of the most powerful women in Indonesian business, Siti Hartati Tjakra
Murday with her husband Murdaya Poo owns the Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM)
Group. As well as controlling assets estimated at close to $1 billion,
Hartati pioneered a close relationship with President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono prior to his election in 2004, leaving her husband to follow
her out of the camp of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri. She is
also prominent as chairwoman of the Indonesian Buddhist Council
6. Karen Agustiawan
President Director of PT Pertamina
Agustiawan, 52, is the president director of the state-owned oil and
gas giant PT Pertamina and one of its youngest ever directors. With a
strong career in the oil and gas business in the private sector behind
her, she started at Pertamina in 2006 as an adviser to former chief Ari
Soemarno and then took charge of upstream operations in 2009 before
being picked for the top job.
7. Megawati Sukarnoputri
Politician, former president
daughter of Indonesia’s charismatic first president, Sukarno, Megawati
had her turn to lead the country from 2002 to 2004, but then lost the
presidency to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. As head of the oppositionist
Indonesian Democratic Part of Struggle (PDI P), she failed to convince
voters at the 2009 polls that she should move back to the State Palace.
Now seen as too old for another attempt in 2014, she faces a difficult
succession process as head of the party.
8. Melani Leimena Suharli
Politician, Deputy Chairperson of MPR
the Deputy Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Melani
began her political career in 2005 as a member of the Democratic Party.
The daughter of national hero Johannes Leimena, Melani is a member of
the party’s powerful board of patrons. Before entering politics, she was
a businesswoman and staunch activist for women’s rights. She is the
owner of PT Al Amin Universal, a travel industry company.
9. Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Director World Bank
you’ve got to be the loser in Indonesia’s toughest political fight, at
least a well-playing job in Washington is some compensation. Sri Mulyani
Indrawati’s head-to-head confrontation with Golkar Party chairman
Aburizal Bakrie over her treatment of his companies proved too much for
the government, which is believed to have arranged her departure from
the post of finance minister to take up a managing director position at
the World Bank. Many believe she’ll be back one day to play a new role
in Indonesian public life.
10. Herawati Boediono
of Vice President Boediono, Herawati takes a low-key role as
Indonesia’s Second Lady. Married to Boediono in 1969, they have two
children and two grandchildren. A devout Muslim, her concerns are
focused on public welfare, with particular interest in the provision of
better healthcare, reducing the child mortality rate and implementing
family planning. She is active in a number of organizations, including
the National Handicrafts Organization (Dekranas).
To read the rest of the list (11-99), please get a copy of GlobeAsia Magazine October 2010 edition.