Bali to hold first Miss Internet Indonesia

by Luh De Suriyani on 2013-07-24

The Association of Indonesian Internet Providers (APJII) Bali branch is organizing a Miss Internet 2013 competition, calling for young women to participate in the event.

Wahid Juniarto, chairman of the organizing committee, told journalists in a press conference yesterday that the competition was aimed at increasing Internet usage among girls and women.

“We encourage women to use Internet services to enhance their knowledge, information and skills. It is an appreciation of any woman who uses the Internet for good purposes,” Juniarto said.

Registration for the competition has opened and the grand final will be held in Denpasar on Sept. 14. Women aged between 17 and 25 years old, who have a Bali identity card, are eligible to register as contestants.

Contestants are required to have online activities, such as creating a blog, social networking, online business and other social activities in the virtual world.

According to data from APJII, around 63 million people in Indonesia use Internet services; around 51 percent of whom are women and girls. The National Planning Agency (Bapenas) has forecast that there will be 130 million Internet users in Indonesia by the year 2014.

In Bali, APJII’s 2012 survey showed that 1.4 million of the 4-million population in Bali use Internet services. However, female users accounted for only 36.7 percent of this.

“By organizing the competition, we are eager to promote safe, healthy and beneficial uses of the Internet,” he said.

Many people blame Internet services for easy access to programs that have a negative influence on children, girls and women, such as cybercrimes, violence and pornography.

Juniarto, however, stressed the positive impacts of the Internet, as people could have wide access to science and technology, news, current issues, business and education opportunities and many other advantages.

“Women and girls play a crucial role as Internet users within a family. A mother who is ‘Internet and computer-literate,’ will take control of her children’s online activities,” he maintained.

Zulfadly Syam, chairman of APJII Bali, said that most Internet users in Bali had monthly incomes above Rp 2 to Rp 3 million (US$200-$300).

“We are targeting attracting 60 percent of the population to use Internet services,” Syam declared.

In Bali, he said, the majority of people were only Internet users. “They are not yet eager to become online businessmen or Internet producers,” he said.

Online businessesare growing slowly here. “Only 0.1 percent of Internet users in Bali do their business online,” he said.

The lack of customer trust and slow Internet speeds has hampered online business. However, he also admitted that there were some illegal Internet providers and fake business websites causing image problems for the Internet.

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