History Behind Mother’s Day in Indonesia and ACT’s Role in Empowering Women

Mother's Day in Indonesia is a tribute to the struggle of women in fighting for the Independence of Indonesia and also in doing their various roles in society. To support Indonesian women, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has come up with programs to empower them economically.

Indonesian mother's day
Illustration. One of the women whom ACT supports financially through Waqf for MSMEs. (ACTNews/Gina Mardani)

ACTNews, SOUTH JAKARTA – Indonesia celebrates Mother’s Day on December 22. It was officially made a holiday under Presidential Decree No. 316/1959 by President Sukarno. What is the history behind Mother’s Day in Indonesia?

The Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection explained that Mother's Day is a day to remember and appreciate the struggle of Indonesian women. They have participated in the struggle for Indonesian Independence and have also actively taken various roles in society.

In the Guidelines for the Commemoration of Mother's Day, the Ministry of Education and Culture writes that inspired by the spirit of the Youth Pledge of 1928, several Indonesian female leaders decided to unite in an independent forum. From December 22 to 25, 1928, the First Indonesian Women's Congress was held in Yogyakarta.

One of the decisions was the formation of an organization called the Indonesian Women's Association (PPPI). In 1929, PPPI changed its name to the Association of Indonesian Wives (PPII). In 1935, the second Indonesian Women's Congress was held in Jakarta. This congress stipulated the main function of Indonesian women as Mothers of the Nation whose duty is to grow and educate a new generation with a stronger sense of nationality.

At the Third Indonesian Women's Congress in 1938 in Bandung, December 22 was designated as Mother's Day and later confirmed by a Presidential Decree.

Appreciation for mothers and women has also fueled Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s empowerment programs that include the provision of business assistance for women-owned MSMEs and scholarships for female teachers. With these programs, ACT strives to strengthen the roles of women as a driving force for the nation's progress. []