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Indigenous Women’s Involvement in Voicing Their Aspirations at the 2024 Women’s National Conference

JAKARTA – National Conference on Women is a collaboration between the government and civil society organizations that are members of the INKLUSI collective action. The collaboration is carried out with Bappenas and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (KemenPPPA) and has processed proposals from 477 villages 163 districts / cities and 35 provinces. This Women’s National Conference contributed to strengthening the proposals in the RPJPMN, especially in the preparation of the 14th Golden Indonesia document on the perspective of gender equality and inclusive society.

In 2024, on March 26-27 to be precise, the second online National Conference will specifically provide proposals from the aspirations of women, people with disabilities, children, and marginalized groups in the process of preparing the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the Strategic Plan of related Ministries / Institutions (Renstra), the Regional Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPD), and the Regional Medium-Term Plan (RPJMD). There are 9 (nine) issues or agendas that will be compiled in the form of policy briefs based on data, analysis and recommendations that accommodate aspirations from the village, district and provincial levels, including women’s economy, protection of women and children from violence, women and the environment, and others.

The event was opened by Titi Eko Rahayu, Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection. In her keynote speech, she said that every development sector must prioritize the principles of equality, justice, and inclusiveness.

“Thus, human resource development is the main key in achieving progress in all fields. The development must be equitable, fair, and can cover all circles of society and can accommodate the voices of vulnerable groups such as children, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, marginalized groups, and all levels of society to the grassroots,” explained Titi.

KEMITRAAN together with Estungkara program partners participated in organizing the National Conference on Women which was held online. Partners from each region accommodate indigenous women’s communities to gather and participate together in organizing the National Conference on Women. Rosaria Leni, a representative of Mentawai indigenous women from Muntei Village, conveyed her proposal to encourage the economic progress of indigenous women in her area. She proposed the need for training and coaching in the management of crops in the Mentawai Islands so that they can become a source of income and improve the household economy.

Similarly, Hermina Mawa, an indigenous woman from Rendu Butowe in the women and environment discussion room. She also suggested that the government pay more attention to the process of relocating residents affected by evictions due to the construction of the Lambo Reservoir, especially related to the compensation received by residents. The losses that have been seen so far are always limited to material losses. However, for indigenous women, non-material losses such as social and cultural impacts are often ignored in land compensation. In addition, the security aspect for residents who have to move and adjust in the new area is less considered.

The National Conference on Women is one of the strategic forums to address the crucial issue of meaningful participation for women, people with disabilities, children, and other vulnerable and marginalized groups in Indonesia. The lack of meaningful participation from these groups can be seen from three aspects: first, quantitatively showing a small number. The second is reflected in the lack of proposals that represent their interests. The third is their weak bargaining position in influencing decision-making.

Various strategies and initiatives have been developed and have successfully addressed gender issues but still leave many issues unaddressed. One of the main causes is that patriarchal culture is still institutionalized in perspectives, procedures for daily life, in policies in various lines of life and sectors of socio-cultural, economic and political development.

The National Conference on Women is expected to directly oversee proposals from villages to be discussed and incorporated by development planners at the national level. And through the National Conference of Women, the aspirations and needs of women, including indigenous women, are increasingly heard and accommodated so that the development goal of “no one left behind” does not only become jargon. But it can be realized in order to encourage women to be more independent and empowered.