Around 95 representatives from civil societies and governments from Southeast Asian countries namely Indonesia, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines call on more participation of women in corruption eradication programs.
The statement was made during the Southeast Asia Regional Conference held in Jakarta here on Tuesday.
"It is time for women to be more active in eradicating corruption as the women and children will be the first group being negatively impacted by it," Secretary General of Indonesian Women`s Coalition Dian Kartikasari said.
She argued corruption creates a domino effect to the people particularly women and children.
"Corruption does not only cause material loss but also casualties. Corruption in Indonesia, for example, is said to have contributed to the high mortality rate of mother and babies in the country," she added.
Meanwhile Monica Tanuhandaru, Officer in Charge for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Indonesia, said corruption is a major hurdle in reducing poverty, the fulfillment of human rights and the management of state based on the principles of good governance (transparent, democratic and accountable).
"Corruption has been widespread, systematic, interrelated between one actor to another, both those in power, decision-making, public service workers and entrepreneurs," she said.
The Tuesday conference comes up with Action Plans which will be presented during the United Nations high-level panel (HLP) meeting in Bali next March 24.
Among the Actions Plans made during the conference today are the importance of anti-corruption education and joint movement to raise critical awareness on the values of truth, honesty and transparency; the involvement of grass root-level women in the consultation process of policy development and corruption eradication program; the development of watchdogs for anti corruption at all levels and the enhancement of justice and gender equality at all levels as part of the effort to fight corruption.