Gender in forestry research in Indonesia: dealing with diversity and complexities


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In the last few decades, there have been growing concerns over discrimination against women, leading to the increasing number of international agreements, funding and national legislation frameworks aimed to promote gender equity. In Indonesia, an umbrella policy was declared in 2000 through Presidential Instruction no. 9/2000 on Gender Mainstreaming. However progress and achievement are often not as expected; key government officials still show resistance on gender issues; meanwhile researchers, field facilitators and extension workers often lack conceptual knowledge and technical skills. Our research projects in Jambi, West Kalimantan, and Southeast and South Sulawesi provinces in Indonesia are aimed to promote sustainable and equitable forest management among gender and stakeholder groups across levels. Each site has different social and cultural characteristics, e.g. distribution of roles and responsibilities between men and women, knowledge on natural resources, cultural perspectives towards women, tenure and access to resources, etc.

This paper shares our experience, including constraints and lessons learned throughout the projects, and the process of methods development to respond to cultural diversity and differences across sites. Some important lessons include the usefulness of (1) changing from a problem-based approach to an asset- based one and (2) identifying the right entry points, with women's initial activities in facilitation of critical importance in avoiding men's resistance.

CIFOR Scientist Elizabeth Linda Yuliana alongside Carol Colfer and Hasantoha Adnan presented on 8 June at the panel discussion "Methods and approaches for analysing gender differences in rights of access to the usage, and management, of forests and tree products" at the 2013 IASC conference held on Mount Fuji in Japan.

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  • In progress (incomplete table), and still looking for the best position of this slide. Carol is helping with continuum of hierarchy of the social systems.
  • Gender in forestry research in Indonesia: dealing with diversity and complexities

    1. 1. 6/16/2013 1Gender in forestry research in Indonesia:dealing with diversity and complexitiesE.L. Yuliani, C.J.P. Colfer, H. Adnan
    2. 2. 6/16/2013 2Indonesia: a vast anddiverse country• Land: 1,922,570 km2 (13,466islands)• Sea: 3,257,483 km2• Population 237,641,326 in2010:– 119,630,913 male– 118,010,413 female• 1,128 ethnic groups• Rich and complex social,cultural and traditionalsystems
    3. 3. 6/16/2013 3Gender mainstreaminginstruments• Law No. 7/1984: Ratification ofConvention on the Elimination ofall Forms of Discrimination againstWomen• Presidential Instruction No. 9/2000on Gender Mainstreaming inNational Development• Forestry Ministerial Decree No.528/Menhut-II/Peg/2004 onGuidance for the implementationof gender mainstreaming inforestry development• Other ministerial decrees
    4. 4. 6/16/2013 4Began in late 1990s or early 2000However little progress atnational and regional level (lowunderstanding, high resistance,weak implementation) (ADB2006, Bappenas 2013).
    5. 5. 6/16/2013 5‘State’ of key stakeholders’knowledge and awareness on genderis relatively poorGender is incorrectly interpreted as “about women only” or assynonym of “women”
    6. 6. 6/16/2013 6Government officials attitude to theircolleagues (male) who support gendermainstreaming programs:At central governmentGender? You soundlike women!Photo illustration only.
    7. 7. 6/16/2013 7At district government levelHead of district:Photo illustration only.We apologize that onlymen could attend thisevent. Gender can’tcome as they arepicking up childrenfrom school
    8. 8. 6/16/2013 8At villageVillage head:Photo illustration only.Number of participantshould be equal, 15men and 15 gender
    9. 9. 6/16/2013 9Meetings/training/workshops• Still characterized by men’sresistance and debate on:– Women from religiousperspectives and traditionalnorms– Gender vs feminism• Ineffective to buildparticipants understanding onthe importance of gender-sensitive activities
    10. 10. 6/16/2013 10Case studies• Adaptive CollaborativeManagement of Forest in Jambi• Governance of protected areamanagement underdecentralization (DanauSentarum, West Kalimantan)• Linking agroforestry and forestryknowledge with action in Southand Southeast Sulawesi•Objectives:• To promote sustainable and equitable forest management among gender andstakeholder groups across levels, through learning and participatory approaches• To look for best mechanisms/approach/tools that can be replicated elsewhereand useful for the above objective
    11. 11. 6/16/2013 11• Multi-stakeholder processes, capacity building/learning, research(conventional and participatory)Facilitate and catalyze learning processObserve, document,and analyse theprocessParticipatory Action Research
    12. 12. 6/16/2013 12Diversity inresearch sites
    13. 13. 6/16/2013 13Baru Pelepat,Bungo District, Jambi• Ethnic groups:– Minang descendent(matrilineal)– Jambi (patrilineal)– Migrants from Java(bilateral, patrilateraltendency)• Common property:– Customary forest– Protected fish spawningarea (lubuk larangan)
    14. 14. 6/16/2013 14Danau Sentarum,West Kalimantan• Ethnic groups:– Dayak (Iban, Kantu’,Embaloh). Communal inlong-houses.– Malay. Individual homes.– Both: bilateral• Common property:– Customary forests– Fishing area– Protected lakes– Forest for wild-beehoney
    15. 15. 6/16/2013 15Bantaeng and Bulukumba,South Sulawesi• Ethnic groups:– Makassar– Bugis– Both: patrilineal• Common property:– Water– Community forest– Village forest
    16. 16. 6/16/2013 16Konawe and Kolaka,Southeast Sulawesi• Ethic groups:– Tolaki (bilateral)– Bugis (patrilineal)– Balinese (bilateral)– Java (bilateral, patrilinealtendency)– Madurese (patrilineal)• Common property:– Water– Community forest– Grand forest garden
    17. 17. 6/16/2013 17Characteristics Jambi West KalimantanSouthSulawesiSoutheastSulawesiResistance towardswomen participationin governanceprocessesHigh* Low Low-medium LowFemale literacy inIndonesian languageElder: lowYouth: mediumElder: lowYouth: mediumLow Low-mediumWomen’s strengths Enthusiasm toparticipateConfidence to speak (inlocal language)Confidence tospeak (in locallanguage)Confidence tospeak (in locallanguage)Main challenge(s) towomen participationMen’sresistance;women lack ofconfidence tospeak in public;• Dayak: not invited;• Malay: think thatwomen’s opinionwould be wellrepresented by men;• Both: language,remoteness.• Not invited• Language• After darkmeeting• Not invited• After darkmeeting* high in Indonesia is not as high as in some countries in other region e.g. Africa, Middle East, China
    18. 18. 6/16/2013 18Lessons and practical experience
    19. 19. 6/16/2013 191. Problem-based approach, linearthinking and too direct communicationCommon mistakes in village participatory meetings,e.g. JambiWomen have rights to beinvolved in meetings anddecision making. Theyshould be allowed toparticipate.• Strong reaction and resistance• Contradicting outcomesNever! From now,no women areallowed toparticipate!!!
    20. 20. 6/16/2013 202. General views:Women gain better recognitionand voice, leads to equity whenthey could generate additionalincome for the familyvsFacts:vary and in some cases have led toeconomic and physical violence:• Husband relies on wife forincome• Husband’s pride threatened sometimes manifests in violence• Husband uses wife’s money tore-marry.• “Busy wife should be ready ifhusband wants polygamy”Such negative risks are reported innews/media, and directly bycommunities in our locations, butless reported in scholarly articlesthan positive outcomes.
    21. 21. 6/16/2013 21Lack of facilitation skills3. Outsiders (facilitators,extension workers, projectstaff government):• Act as the mostknowledgeable person• Do not speak local language• Ignore the silence/fail tomotivate the silence tospeak
    22. 22. 6/16/2013 22FACTS• Objectives of learning eventsand participants expectation:‘how to’ (practical methods)for gender-sensitive researchand policies• Government and localpeople: most commonlearning style is sensing(data, details, facts,information that can beunderstood by the fivesenses) (Myers et al. 1995).• Assumption/ over-generalized views that participantsdisagree or don’t understand the importance of genderequity• Standardized agenda/ process• Ineffective for mostparticipants(‘Sensing’ learningtype)• No progress (or slow,if any) for > 20 years• Resistance, debate(religion, norms,culture)• MisunderstandTraining processes are based on assumption, generalizationand standard procedure rather than factsProcess:Basic concept,principles, theoriesand regulations/legal framework
    23. 23. 6/16/2013 23By pushing womenattending meetings, youmight have reducedchildren’s time with theirmother, and it againstchildren’s rights.Husband and wife haveagreed their respectiveroles. We should not changeor interfere.Husbands make decisions, wifetakes care of family at home.It’s God’s will and defines ourculture! If you say it’s bad, youare against God’s will!!!Too many presentation/discussion on theories  misinterpretation andargument
    24. 24. 6/16/2013 24Government and donor indicators: nominalNominal indicators e.g. #womenparticipant, #institutionsformed, #budget for genderrelated activities• Equity??• Better position and conditionsof women??
    25. 25. 6/16/2013 25• Most presenters/resource persons/facilitators: women• Focus: women only• “What do men know aboutgender?!”Misinterpreted as women’sbusiness only, led to debateGovernment/scientific/ NGO events on genderIs that what we mean? Is ‘gender’ only about women? What are thedifferences between ‘gender-sensitive’ programs with feminismmovement?
    26. 26. 6/16/2013 26What have worked and what are theimplications for forestry management
    27. 27. 6/16/2013 27• Processes should meet participants learning style. E.g. ‘sensing’: casestudies, practical examples of impact of non-gender sensitive policies.• Use various facilitation tools that stimulate five senses includingemotions (accelerated learning principles)• Human brain works better to process picture than word (Meier 2000).Learning and participatory approaches
    28. 28. 6/16/2013 28• Focus on commonalities and strengths, notdifferences and problems• Should have clear outcomes, e.g.: commongoals, collaborative planning, individualcommitment, uggestions on policy/programs• Solutions might not be directly related toproblemsUse strength-basedapproach, e.g.Appreciative Inquiry
    29. 29. 6/16/2013 29Equal representationand participation• Involve men and womenequally in gender learningevents as resource persons,facilitators andparticipants. Yet often needFGDs separately.• Facilitators: speak locallanguage to help translateand understand localculture
    30. 30. 6/16/2013 30• Gender in forestry: not only aboutwomen. It’s about dynamicinteraction between men andwomen.• Context: site and time specific approach/methods: no ‘one size fitsall’.• “Promoting gender equity shouldnot overload women. If women arefacilitated to take more roles andhave better access to decisionmaking in natural resourcesmanagement and land-useplanning, men should be facilitatedto take over some domesticactivities” (Labarani andMulyoutami, 2012).Conclusion
    31. 31. 6/16/2013 31Thank you