Indonesia's new president, giving women real choices in reproduction, the struggles of youth in Latin America, China's economic slowdown, and India's battle against tobacco

This week's round-up of commentaries covers Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Apple and Facebook paying for female employees to freeze their eggs, why an education doesn't give youth a successful future in Latin America, China's economic slowdown, and India's battle against tobacco companies.

Achmad Ibraham/AP/File
Indonesian President Joko Widodo gestures to the crowd during a street parade following his inauguration in Jakarta, Indonesia on Oct. 20.

The Jakarta Post / JakartaIndonesia
The new president has the full trust of the people

“Millions of Indonesians in Jakarta and across the country held a merry festival to welcome their new President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.... They know very well that the pair will not be able to fix the country’s problems instantly, but they strongly believe in one thing: Jokowi is a man they can trust to lead them over the next five years...,” states an editorial. Mr. Widodo was inaugurated on Oct. 20. “As long as he does not betray his people, as the elite has often done, Indonesians throughout the archipelago will not allow Jokowi’s political opponents to disrupt his administration.”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland
Give women real choices in reproductive freedom

Apple and Facebook have decided to pay female employees to freeze their eggs in order to postpone motherhood to a time of their choosing...,” states an editorial. “The most fertile years for women coincide with those that are crucial to career advancement and for some, egg freezing offers a welcome chance to focus on professional development during their twenties and thirties while keeping open the option of having children later.... [But there] is a legitimate fear that, if egg freezing becomes commonplace, women will feel stigmatised if they don’t postpone childbirth for the sake of their careers. Women need real choice – to use new reproductive technologies if they want to but also to have generous maternity leave, more flexible working arrangements and affordable childcare. And to feel confident their employer will support their choices about having children.”

El Universal / Mexico City
Education no longer ensures a successful future in Latin America

“A great contradiction afflicts the world: Today, young people are more prepared in the professional fields but, in a huge difference from past times, that does not guarantee a professional future for them. Not even the certainty of a well paid job...,” states an editorial. “[A study found] that 7.2% of those with university level studies in Latin America and between 25 to 34 years of age have no job.... Young people are staying longer at their parents house due to their incapacity to get their own homes, they also lack a job and face growing debts.... How to change things? It is not only a question of political will; it is necessary to create opportunities, like those opened with recent economic reforms, but also to guarantee a fair deal to workers, a leveled field for competitors and a better quality in social care.” 

China Daily / Beijing
Economic slowdown is just a temporary step

“The latest government statistics were not ambiguous about the economy’s performance in the third quarter. The nation’s [gross domestic product] growth slowed to its lowest rate in six years.... It is part of a process of trade-offs, with their inevitable pains, that the economy must go through to shed outdated, less-productive capacity and make room for new and more creative business initiatives...,” states an editorial. “This sort of transition ... begins to make genuine progress only when the necessary price is paid – and that is happening now.”

The Hindu / Mumbai
Government aims to curb tobacco use

“A few months after steeply increasing taxes on tobacco products, the government has come up with another much-needed measure to contain tobacco consumption.... Beginning April 1, 2015, all tobacco products will carry a pictorial warning and text message [on the package]...,” states an editorial. “Tobacco companies are well aware of the power the pictorial warning wields and how much it could affect their bottom line.... How well the government resists such pressure will show how determined it is to win the war against tobacco. Since one million people in India die each year because of tobacco use, the government should not sacrifice proven and obvious health benefits at the altar of commercial advantage.”

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