Khoeriyah, who goes by ‘Lala’ among her friends and family, lives with her parents in a modest row house in North Jakarta overlooking a stream. After graduating from Jakarta State University where she studied fashion design, Khoeriyah first drew patterns for a clothing designer before landing a job 8 years ago with garment manufacturer PT Tainan Enterprises. “I’m very proud of my bachelor degree …. The number of students in fashion design is very small and I am very proud to be one of them …. I am also very proud to be an employee at Tainan Enterprises,” Khoreiyah says with a wide grin.
At PT Tainan, Khoeriyah works in the layout division where she prepares patterns for 16 fashion lines. “I work mostly on blazers and shirts…. and in my daily activities at work I prepare patterns for whatever lines require layouts,” she explains. As the sole breadwinner in her household, Khoeriyah emphasizes the importance of the income she earns at PT Tainan, saying, “My father is a retired employee from a private company and my mom is a house wife …. Having my own income means I can provide for my family because both of my parents no longer work, and while I’m still living with my parents I provide for the family – I cover all the needs of the house.”
In addition to earning an income and gaining work experience at PT Tainan, Khoeriyah adds that she has also learned about the importance of reproductive health through her job. “I first learned about preventing pregnancy and contraception from my mother …. and now I am fortunate that in Tainan Enterprises we have HERproject that provides information on contraception,” Khoeriyah explains. At the suggestion of buyer ANN INC., three years ago, PT Tainan implemented the HERproject, a women-focused workplace health education program that provides trainings on topics ranging from nutrition, to sanitation, to reproductive health and beyond in an effort to improve the health and wellbeing of employees.
When asked how the reproductive health information gained through the HERproject has impacted her life, Khoeriyah responds with a smile, “I want to have two kids. One boy and one girl.” She adds that choosing when and how many children to have will allow her to build a better life for her children, explaining, “I can plan a better family with two kids …. First and foremost, I consider the funding for their education. Secondly, a smaller family seems to be a happier family. We can share a love that is fuller.”
In addition to using the family planning education from the HERproject in her own life, Khoeriyah adds that her knowledge about reproductive health has helped her coworkers and neighbors as well: “I have shared knowledge on contraception and prevention of HIV transmission with my friends. In the factory I shared this with my friends in pattern room …. One of my friends asked me about how to use the birth control pill and I gave her a detailed explanation on how to use birth control pills …. I also share this information with my mom at home and my mother shared [the information] with the neighbors.”
In her eight years at the factory, Khoeriyah notes that she has seen a change in her coworkers since the introduction of the HERproject. “The change that I witness among my friends following HERproject is that they know more about contraception, how to plan their number of children, family planning, how to use contraception, and prevention of HIV,” she says. This knowledge extends beyond simply improving their health and also aids the women workers in advancing their careers, adds Khoeriyah. “Without the HERproject, employees would not be able to plan their families – they would not know how to use contraception.”
For Khoeriyah, the information she and her coworkers receive about reproductive health is about more than simply health care, it’s about empowering themselves to plan their lives and build better lives for their children. As Khoeriyah puts it, “Family planning is important. Most importantly it will help us plan a family in terms of number of children, and how to provide support for the children, especially support for their education, and also to provide better care and more love for the children.”
“I can plan a better family with two kids …. First and foremost, I consider the funding for their education. Secondly, a smaller family seems to be a happier family. We can share a love that is fuller.”