Empowering media to reduce inequalities in IndonesiaBefore 20 participating media outlets from various areas of Indonesia, Tendy Gunawan, the ILO’s programme officer for equal employment opportunity, promoted the inclusion of people with disabilities in the world of work. He highlighted the important role of mass media organizations in promoting skills development and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Journalists can help shape a better understanding about disabled persons and in particular the overwhelming barriers they face with respect to health, education, employment and work, and access to the built environment. The media, therefore, has a responsibility to raise awareness about the rights of disabled persons as well as ensure that their rights are promoted and protected,” said Tendy at the media media workshop titled “Creating Stories on Reducing Inequalities”.
The ILO spoked in the two-day workshop, held from 21-22 November, together with other speakers from UN agencies such as UNDP, UNWomen, UNAIDS, WHO and so forth. The workshop was conducted by UN Indonesia through its Communications Group (UNCG), aimed to amplify efforts in reducing inequalities and to emphasize the role of media in reporting inequalities.
In the workshop, the ILO also reintroduced its Media Guide on Disability, jointly developed with Indonesian Press Council in 2014. The first of its kinds, the Guide was created to provide a practical resource to media professionals interested in reporting on the issues facing people with disabilities in Indonesia.
Promoting equal employment opportunities for autismThe ILO also participated in the interactive discussion titled “Autism Advantage Luncheon” in Jakarta on 4 December. The purpose of luncheon was to promote employment of autistic people globally by showcasing talents of autistic people and encouraging companies to utilize these skills.
Tendy Gunawan, the ILO’s programme officer for equal employment opportunity, presented the results of the 2017 ILO’s assessment on responses and actions taken by the companies in terms of recruitment, placement and training opportunities for people with disabilities. The assessment also viewed companies’ awareness level towards issues related to employment and disabilities.
“Many companies still have lack of understanding and awareness on issues related to recruitment, placement and training for workers with disabilities. Many companies also still consider recruitment of people with disabilities as a burden, not as an investment,” stated Tendy.
On the contrary, he added, private companies have many positive experiences hiring and retaining people with disabilities. Top enterprises have found people with disabilities as untapped human resources. Many of these companies are learning that people with disabilities are productive and that they bring many benefits to the workplace. They shape a more authentic, loyal and creative culture.
The event also presented a testimony from an autistic worker, Natrio Catra Yososha. A university graduate from University of Gajah Mada in Yogyakarta, majoring in archeology, he shared his working experience. He also emphasized the importance of equal opportunity, considering the untapped talents of autistic people in certain types of works such as data entry, data management and so forth.
“By having a job, I can contribute to the society,” he said.
The event concluded with a key note from M. Farhan, Member of Indonesian Parliament. He underscored the elimination of discrimination at the workplaces. “We need to continue building a supporting mechanism and an ecosystem that are enabling people with disabilities to be absorbed by the labour market,” he stated.