Yohana Yembise, the Woman to Watch in Papuan Politics

Yohana Yembise
Yohana Yembise

Yohana Yembise is Indonesian’s Minister of Women Empowerment and Children Protection (2014-2019). Her full name is Yohana Susana Yembise, born on October 1st, 1958 in the city of Manokwari. She was defeated as the candidate of Biak Numfor regent (2014-2019) but was appointed as one of the ministers in the administration of President Joko Widodo.

Her achievement today had been through long stories. One of them is her statement about the regency election; she surveyed to find out the reasons why she lost her opportunity in the election. She said she was failed by money that the resident had made commitments to another candidate who had provided them cash aid for various needs.

Her name is famous as the first woman from Papua, who was appointed as Indonesian minister. Here is the profile of her:

Highly Educated Woman

Yohana Yembise
Yohana Yembise

First educated in Jayapura, these are the list of the schools where Yohana Yembise has also completed her high school:

  • 1971 – SD Padang Bulan Jayapura, Papua
  • 1974 – SMPN 1 Nabire, Papua
  • 1979 – SMAN Persiapan Nabire, Papua
  • 1985 – she studied English Education and earned her bachelor’s from Cendrawasih University, Jayapura.
  • 1992 – she earned her diploma from the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization – Regional English Language Center (SEAMEO RELC).
  • 1994 – she went to Simon Canada Fraser University, British Columbia to get her education masters
  • 2007 – she later earned a Ph.D. from Australia’s University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Further on, Yohana Yembise went to the University of Newcastle in the UK to pursue her Doctorate.

Prominent Early Career

Yohana Yembise
Woman in Papuan Politics

Back in November 2012, Yohana Yembise was also the first woman from the land of Papua to get the honor to be a professor at the Cendrawasih University in Jayapura, Papua in the Educational Sciences Department.

One year before, there was a committee awarding the Australian Development Scholarship for Indonesia where she was selected as one of the members. Along with her team at Cendrawasih, she was mapping out the talented and highly educated Indonesian young women and was designing good positions for them.

Yohana Yembise also held several important positions, include:

  • Vice-Chairman of the Papua Research Institute in Jayapura, Papua
  • Head of the English Language Centre, Cendrawasih University
  • Member of Joint Selection Team (JST) of ADS/USAID – Australian Development Scholarship
  • Indonesian’s Minister of Women Empowerment and Children Protection (2014-2019)

Paul Grigson, the Australian’s Ambassador to Indonesia, described this mother of three as one of the alumni of Australia Award (then Australian Development Scholarship) with the highest-achieving.

The Three Ends Campaign

Yohana Yembise
Yohana Yembise

As the Minister of Women Empowerment and Children Protection, Yohana Yembise pays a lot of attention to anti-trafficking in Indonesia. She started the Three-ends campaign that has three prominent goals:

  • End violence against women & children
  • End human trafficking
  • End barriers to economic justice

The campaign began a year after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo named her as a minister. She went to visit so many places in Indonesia from the provinces to city districts. Her dialogue with various Indonesian women and children had opened her eyes to mapping and surveying the violence and human trafficking issues.

These are the main reasons behind Three-Ends campaign:

  1. There is a high level of violence cases against women and children anywhere, even in the safest place called home.
  2. The issue of trafficking is very high in Indonesia, especially in West Java, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).
  3. Indonesian women still face serious gaps or barriers related to increasing the quality of the family economy. She believed that the low quality of the family economy could lead to domestic violence as well as violence against children because women are completely dependent on their husbands.

The Achievement of Yohana Yembise Three-Ends Campaign

Yohana Yembise

This Three-ends program had been acknowledged by all heads of offices in provinces and districts/cities and included in every APBD (local government budget). The program has been done; the echoes have started, and public awareness is increased.

People started to gain the courage to report their cases. The assumption is the more they report, the number of violence, especially domestic violence and violence against children will gradually decrease. While supporting the Three-Ends program, many regions made their programs such as small businesses to develop the women’s economy.

The issue of trafficking is the biggest problem that is difficult to end. Most of them are systematic, structured, and hard to track. Even so, along with other Ministries include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs, and Ministry of Law and Human Rights, they continue the work. They do a lot of socialization to increase parents’ awareness always to protect their young children.


Also, Yohana Yembise is enthusiastic in encouraging women in the land of Papua to pursue better and higher education, including overseas. Her achievement has also raised the hopes of Papuan women to become professors or even ministers in their country.