What defines a woman? Some might say it’s complicated, some will say boldness, and some say uniqueness. When women gain power, they have the capability to control their own lives and acquire the ability to make strategic choices. 

Inspiring women are able to empower other women because they sense self-worth, they own their strength to determine their decisions so they can positively affect others. 

Speaking of inspirations, here are some of Indonesia’s inspirational women;

As a UN Ambassador, in her activism, Nadya Hutagalung has inspired others to care for the environment. Her goal is to protect wildlife and endangered animals that exist in the lands of Indonesia. Her passion for wildlife conservation started when she went diving after giving birth to her firstborn. She was shocked to find the corals looking mostly grey and crumbled. There was a decrease in the number of fishes and an increase in plastic bags. As a new mother (at that time) she was horrified and she began to really intensify her thoughts and actions to do whatever was in her capacity to protect our earth and make a difference. 

Agnes Monica, also known as AgnezMo (stage name). She is an Indonesian singer-songwriter, actress, performer, and dancer. She was professionally known as Agnes Monica before amending her name into AgnezMo. She has accepted a lot of awards back in Indonesia. Her ambition and faith has brought her to go International in 2017. In the following year, she collaborated with Chris Brown, Timbaland and Keith Martin. In 2019, Agnez Mo attended American Music Awards and won an award for Social Award on iHeartRadio Music Awards 2019. Recently, she got the honor to be enshrined in the form of a wax figure by the Madame Tussauds Museum of Singapore.

Kelly Tandiono is an Actor, Model and Entrepreneur. She was first introduced to the modeling industry when she was 16. After graduating from school, she was already featured in numerous well-known women’s magazines and had modeled on the catwalk of Calvin Klein’s fashion show in Singapore Fashion Week. Kelly Tandiono is also known for her athleticism where she has tremendously shown her expertise in triathlon. Kelly joined her first triathlon in 2019 and is planning on participating in future races. 

Nadya Natassya, also known as Nadcil, is an Indonesian tattoo artist. It is rare gem that we see a professional female tattoo artist in Indonesia, who also happens to be the city’s OG female tattoo artist. Her name is quite popular because of her distinct creative bright “watercolor” style. All her tattoo pieces are said to have been inspired by her interest in another tattoo artist, named Nicko Inko. Her designs show high attention to details, a lot of colors, linework and pointillism. Nadya is able to change the traditional perspective towards tattoos on women, from something that is unfavorable to something that is beautiful. Tattoos are very personal and reflect someone’s personality and story. She is the owner of Sidespace Tattoo Studios with branches in Jakarta and Ireland. 

Another artist that we appreciate is Christine Ay Tjoe. She is known as the one of the most prominent female contemporary artists in Indonesia. She experimented with the drypoint technique, and it taught her a lot about needle sharpness and perfect lines. In her works on paper and canvas, lines, straight or curved, remain important. Her work is beautifully sensitive to the point of fragility and reveals two different styles of the artist. After she opened an exhibition in Bandung, she was offered to open many exhibitions, leading her to rise in the world of fine arts. Her works are no longer only exhibited in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya, but also worldwide, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Seoul, Tokyo, Miami, New York, Paris, and Germany.

Nicoline Patricia Malina is a fashion photographer. Her work has appeared in international fashion publications and prestigious advertising. Her photographic aesthetic is distinctive with rich colors and impeccable sense of details dominating the scene, combined with raw and cinematic black and white. In 2013, she founded NPM Photo, a creative artist management and media consultancy representing photographers, video directors, and illustrators, with clients all over Asia and Europe. She also likes to share her passion and knowledge with others. Each year, she teaches thousands of photographers through her classes. The class has produced many new talented photographers into the Indonesian fashion industry.

Last but not least, Butet Manurung, the founder of Sokola Rimba. It all started when she went to Bukit DuaBelas National, located in Jambi to teach children. She found herself struggling to blend in with the people of Rimba, because of their traditional perspectives of education. For them, education is only for boys and girls are not permitted to have the same education. They believe education is made for war and war is men’s job. With this fact, Butet admits that she feels sad especially when there are women who would love to attend school. However, she does not want to interfere with the traditions that have existed for a long time. With all her works and efforts to give the same rights and opportunities for both boys and girls, Butet Manurung founded Sokola Rimba. Sokola Rimba is different from other schools. It has a roofless building. Sokola Rimba is just a small hut without walls and is always moving from one place to another. The curriculum is also not the same as the school curriculum in general. Now, Sokola Rimba reached other areas of Indonesia, reaching as many as 16 points, some of them namely areas such as Flores, Halmahera, Bulukumba (Sulawesi), Besar Island, Mount Egon, Aceh, Yogyakarta, Makassar, Klanten, and Sumba.