Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Indonesia: PRESS RELEASE: Women Leaders National Jamboree--230 Women Leaders Building the New Indonesian Economy and Peace

Published Date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jakarta, 6 November 2015

As many as 230 women leaders from various parts of Indonesia will be attending the Women Leader National Jamboree to be held in Depok, West Java. The women leaders involved in this Jamboree consisted of women leaders from a number of regions in Indonesia. These are leaders who represent women farmers, home-based workers, female domestic workers, porters, and those who live in Islamic boarding schools. They come from various parts of Indonesia including Aceh, North Sumatra, Palembang, North Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Madura, South Sulawesi.

Risma Umar from Institute for Women Empowerment (IWE) has stated that women leaders who attended the meeting are those who, for [the last] four years, have been involved with the Women's Empowerment for Leadership Development and Democratization (WELDD) program which the Institute for Women Empowerment (IWE) is a partner under. These programs work together to create women leaders in various contexts and face problems in Indonesia.

The background to this event is the gender- and class-based discrimination that has created violence against women in various situational contexts. Structural violence is prevalent when women try to maintain the source of their economic life, in the form of land and decent work, and the fight for diversity. This has led to new strategies and initiatives by women leaders in response to the situation.

"Violence against women is increasing. This is firstly influenced by the increase in religious fundamentalism which has, in some regions, caused an increase in violence as people are being isolated from values of pluralism and peace. Secondly, the increase of land seizure, accompanied by evictions, lack of access and control for women farmers to agricultural land, the lack of recognition as workers and the lack of protection of decent work for informal workers, especially domestic workers, home workers and porters has not helped. Therefore, solidarity and new strategies are important necessities for women leaders," said Risma Umar.

Women leaders today have created a strategy on how to make the livelihood of women the center of attention for the state/government, to ensure the recognition, protection and fulfillment of women's rights to create a new just economy and peace without violence. Reducing structural poverty and violence against women is very difficult to achieve without leading women who will continue to fight unjust power relations to address gender-based violence that has been strengthened and legitimized by social and cultural reasoning. In fact, any structural poverty cannot be reduced without increasing women's access to and control over economic resources, to eliminate everything that restricts and marginalizes women from the public and political space.

Feminist Leadership Transformative and Sustainable (FLTS) has begun to be practiced by informal workers, women farmers and women in the community alongside daily activities, in accordance with the context for women's rights.

Dini Anitasari from IWE explains how some new FLTS practices include: (a) mapping and analyzing power relations as individuals, within the family, the village/residence and place of work, (b) analyzing the injustice of situations experienced by informal workers—the low pay, the lack of recognition as workers, and even the lack of access to education (c) taking familial action—controlling resources in the household, and not letting the needs of the family control all the income, but letting themselves control it first. Leadership starts with being their own individual agents. (d) taking action at work—talking to employers, market authorities, expressing problems in the workplace, and advocating to a group or organization or even to the government, the legislature, the media and the wider public, (e) speaking and defending oneself when arguing, organizing activists to support the struggle of informal workers, and developing the social solidarity economy practice initiatives in some communities as an effort to create a new economic system that is gender equitable and free from impoverishment and violence.

In this Jamboree, attendees will present a wide range of women's issues and developments taking place in Indonesia. They will: 1) share experiences and strategies in the fight for access and control over economic resources; 2) discuss the challenges and strategies of the women's movement in the fight for access to and control of economic resources in the context of land rights, decent work and promoting peace; 3) create context-based women's movements.

"Some local, national and international speakers involved are people who have contributed to the social movements and the women's movement such as Wardah Hafizd (Urban Poor), Azriana (Women National Committee), Poonsap (HomeNet Thailand), Lin Chew (Director of IWE), Said Dini Anitasari.

On the third day of the Women’s Jamboree, participants will engage in a dialogue with the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPA).

 Marhaini Nasution from IWE has said: “this dialogue is intended to bring together ideas to overcome problems [and] experiences, and then to help the Women's Community Initiative gain access to and control over economic resources. And afterwards, the dialogue will continue with a visit to the ministries, based on the context. For women farmers, a dialogue will be conducted with the Ministry of Agriculture. Issues regarding food sovereignty and women's access to agricultural resources will be discussed. For decent work for women, the Ministry of Labor will be lobbied for a discussion on [everything] related to a proper wage. For women living in Islamic boarding schools, the dialogue will be made to the Ministry of Interior. Here, we aim to make them see the discriminative regional regulations that adversely affect women and have generated a lot of violence and injustice in the name of religion."

This series of activities will be carried out for 3 days. IWE hopes to reach several objectives such as:

  • Bringing together women leaders into a space to share knowledge, experiences, strategies and processes and to learn mutually how to fight for economic resources, and for the protection of decent work, and peace.
  • Building solidarity by strengthening network alliances together to lead the struggle for rights over economic resources of agricultural land, decent work, and peace
  • Women expressing their demands directly to the government and to the public regarding access to and control over economic resources of land rights, the protection of decent work and peace without violence
  • Developing the practice of women’s leadership in accessing economic resources and decent work and peace process in the future.

Our Regards

Institute for Women’s Empowerment, Women Solidarity, Women Rainbow Institute, Jala PRT, Agrarian Reformation Consorsium, Fahmina, Rahima, Kalyanamitra, Tunas Mulia Union, Yasanti, MWPRI

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