Few Indonesian women have as many roles in life as Mien Rachman Uno. The 69-year-old is a wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a top-level businesswoman and an educator. Mien, however, believes there is nothing unusual about her.
“God has created women to be versatile,” Mien said during an interview at her house in a leafy residential neighborhood in South Jakarta. “I’ve seen a lot of smart and resilient Indonesian women who are not only excellent in their domestic roles, but also stand out in their communities.”
The Mien R Uno Foundation, established by her husband, Razif Halik Uno, in 2000, has collaborated with universities and local communities to develop small businesses in Indonesia. Mien travels extensively throughout the country, giving lectures that inspire young Indonesian entrepreneurs.
“During my travels, I’ve seen women opening small shops, sewing clothes and embroidering mukena [Muslim women’s veils] to supplement their family income,” Mien said. “These housewives are unbelievable.”
Mien draws much of her inspiration from Raden Ajeng Kartini, a prominent Javanese aristocrat who was a pioneer in the struggle for Indonesian women’s rights at the turn of the 20th century. In 1964, President Sukarno declared her birthday, April 21, a national holiday, Kartini Day.
“Kartini fought for women’s emancipation,” Mien said. “And thanks to her, a lot of things have changed for us now. We can now show that we’re as competent as our male colleagues in the workplace. But we shouldn’t abandon our duties as wives and mothers.”
Mien said she believed that being a housewife was one of the toughest jobs in the world.
“There aren’t any schools that teach you how to be a housewife,” Mien said. “On the surface, it all appears to be easy and simple. Yet a housewife is also a personnel manager, finance manager, food and beverage manager, events organizer as well as an educator — all at once.”
Unfortunately, she said, society, as well as women themselves, still look down on this role.
“They often say, ‘Oh, I’m just a housewife’ in an unhappy tone,” Mien said. “They don’t see the importance of their position. When they do their job well, every person that comes out of the house will be able to perform well at school or in the office because they’re well taken care of at home,” she said.
Mien graduated from the Institut Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (Institute of Teaching and Education) in Bandung in 1965.
That same year, she married and moved to Riau with her husband, who was working for Caltex oil company. Mien dedicated the first 10 years of her marriage to being a full-time housewife and mother to her sons, Indra Cahya Ilato Uno and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno.
“Staying at home doesn’t mean doing nothing,” she said. “I closely monitored my children and encouraged their talents.”
According to Mien, the main development of the child’s mind happens during the first decade of their lives.
It was also Mien who first recognized Sandiaga’s talents as a businessman. “Since he was a child, he’s always been thrifty,” she said with a smile. “He was also good at selling things like stickers and T-shirts to his schoolmates.”
Now an adult, Sandiaga was named among the 150 richest Indonesian businessmen by Globe Asia magazine in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
“Some people would say children will grow up on their own,” Mien said. “But that’s not true. They’re like diamonds. Our job, as parents, is to recognize their worth and hone their skills in order that they can make it in the world.”
Mien said she also believed that families were the foundation of a nation. “Good families will give birth to a strong generation to develop the nation,” she said. “In order to achieve that, husbands and wives have to work closely together as a team.”
According to Mien, this ideal is getting more difficult to reach as today’s women increasingly pursue their own career ambitions.
Mien’s own impressive career started in 1975 after the family returned to Jakarta. Mien worked on several television programs and with numerous companies and organizations before focusing on personality development programs.
In 2001, she established her own school, the Duta Bangsa (Ambassadors of the Nation) College, in Kemang Selatan, Jakarta. The school, founded with the slogan “Empower Yourself,” offers classes to develop social and presentation skills.
“It saddens me to see so many people who keep complaining. How can they develop this nation if they do nothing but complain?” Mien said.
“Let’s all work hard to make a difference. When we want something, we have to fight to get it. ”
Despite the increasing equality between men and women, Mien said women still have to respect their husbands as the heads of their families.
According to Mien, this principle also applies when the wife earns more than her husband.
“We have ample opportunities to get better jobs and earn more,” she said. “However, we shouldn’t brag about it in front of our husbands. Put yourself in his shoes and try to imagine how he’d feel about it.”
Money matters, she said, have become a major cause for divorce among Indonesian families. “Money should never rock the foundation of our families. If that happens, the nation will collapse,” Mien said.
source : thejakartaglobe.com
and also we can find out another her biography in Bahasa Indonesi at tokohindonesia.com. This website can’t be saved and neither copy pasted, so if we want to get whole her biography, we can read at that address. Love her.. 😉