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AGAINST DEFEAT
Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
A JOURNEY
THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
Catalogue in publishing
ISBN 978-602-8384-80-3
1. Gender 2. Impoverishment 3. Law enforcement
I TITLE...
LIES MARCOES-NATSIR & ANNE LOCKLEY
AGAINST DEFEAT
Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
A JOURNEY
April 2014
Australi...
This important and beautiful book comes out
at a time when we, as a sovereign nation
upholding the values of humanity, mus...
This book shows using words and pictures, how
complex the issue of poverty is for women. Without
an understanding of the c...
x | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
the standards of humanity.’ For this, mechanisms ...
sustainable way if the logic of their struggle can reach and be integrated
into macro policies in the fields of economy, l...
ARMINHARI
FOREWORD
The Mandate of the Constitution | viii - xi
n Kamala Chandrakirana
CONTENT | xiv - xv
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS | xvi...
CONTENT | xv
PART THREE
The Means of Survival
4 ‘Doraemon’s Pocket’: The Informal Sector | 93
n GALLERY 3: Daring to Survi...
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AIPJ 		 Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice
APIK		 Asosiasi Perempuan Indonesia untuk Keadil...
KKG		 Keadilan dan Kesetaraan Gender - Gender Justice and Equality
KKPK		 Koalisi Keadilan dan Pengungkapan Kebenaran - Co...
PSHK		 Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan - Centre for Legal & Policy Studies
PSW		 Pusat Studi Wanita - Center for Women’s S...
ARMINHARI
ARMINHARI
This book is a narrative with photographics depicting the
efforts of poor women who refuse to simply accept their
poverty....
The journey started in March 2013 on
the east coast of Samudra Pasai in Aceh.
Crossing the Sunda Strait, we traversed the
...
agriculture sector to the world of industry,
and then to some being trapped in the
informal sector or in other work with n...
tourism industry and its extraordinarily
harsh, almost limitless consequences.
In West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara
Barat ...
1
Ibu ‘Siha’, Interview, Palu, 28 September 2013.
2
Nani Zulminarni (National Coordinator,
PEKKA), personal communication ...
were aware of its objective. However, where
necessary for privacy and safety, names have
been changed. More than 100 women...
by Kamala Chandrakirana – a women’s
and human rights activist and one of the
founders of PEKKA – qualitative data must
be ...
The book consists of five parts, divided into
fifteen chapters.
Part One starts with an introduction that
explains the wha...
perseverance proves that they do have the
awareness to resist this gender injustice – in
their own ways, with their own po...
BETAPETTAWARANIE
ARMINHARI
Hayat is twenty-five years old. She married young,
to a former Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh
Merdeka - GAM) combatant f...
lives in a prosperous rice-farming region
in the interior of Aceh. Her parents used to
own enough land to live comfortably...
Hayat has not accepted her fate. Through her
acquaintance with the Aceh HIV support group,
she is now a member of the Peop...
BORISADIVARRAHMAN
A journey to explore the meaning
and experience of women’s
impoverishment
In this book, the words poor a...
how they are distributed.6
Poverty is often measured using only
economic factors – such as productivity,
access to capital...
INTRODUCTION: A Journey Against Defeat | 17
8
The Draft Law (bill) on Gender Justice and
Equality was an initiative of the...
BETAPETTAWARANIE
BETAPETTAWARANIE
Gender,
Girls and
Poor Families
PART ONE
A Lullaby
for the Children1
Sonya is only four years old, but unlike most other
toddlers, she and her younger brother are ...
Anita da Costa, an East
Timorese refugee in her hut
at the refugee complex in
Noelbaki, Kupang, NTT.
the refugees never co...
for 100,000 rupiah or more. Irene and
another neighbour help Anita. They work
all afternoon and into the night. The next
d...
Salsabila quickly changes out of her red and
white school uniform. She is still sweaty
from the walk home.
From their rock...
not just for a day or two. For splitting the
stones, they receive 2,000 rupiah per large
tub. Each day, they can split up ...
the past few years, the cacao crops have been unreliable,
so when there is no harvest, it’s not just their family
that is ...
ARMINHARI
ARMINHARI
BOYS & GIRLS BOTH WORK
Boys and girls in poor families often have to help earn
money. “For Mum,” they ...
GALLERY 1 Children, Gender Construction & Work
ARMINHARI
ARMINHARIBETAPETTAWARANIE
GIRLS HELP THEIR MOTHERS, SO DO BOYS
The work that boys do to help their parents - her...
BETAPETTAWARANIE
ARMINHARIARMINHARI
GALLERY 1 Children, Gender Construction & Work
WORK FOR GIRLS
AND THE PROCESS OF SOCIA...
32 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
violence against children: bad living
conditions...
PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 33
ARMINHARI
Girls from poor families in refugee barracks
such as in (ABOVE), ...
34 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
Mila in Court
Majid, Mila’s father, originally w...
PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 35
19
Judge D.S. Dewi, interview. Cibinong, 3 July
2013. For more, see Dewi, D...
36 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
Judge Dewi at the Cibinong District Court decidi...
PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 37
Growing-up
Unequal2
In many of the poor families we visited, daughters are
...
Women workers at the Goalpara
tea plantation, Sukabumi, West
Java picking and weighing the
crop. They work in the plantati...
ARMINHARI
“If the child is a boy, the gift to the
traditional midwife is different, and the
payment is also higher. The gi...
(shaving), and saweran (the boy being showered
with turmeric, rice, candy, and small change)
contain symbols that confirm ...
ARMINHARI
It’s great to have sons; you can go to a
selamatan and bring home berkat. We can eat
berkat for seven evenings w...
42 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
Hermin Emanuella with teacher Karmadina Bhure, a...
dusun dati, the sago forest, coconut fields,
and clove gardens – and the proceeds are
used by the family…
My daughter had ...
ARMINHARI
24
Nus Ukru (Coordinator of Baileo Maluku, a
local NGOs network), interview. Ambon, 6 July
2013..
25
Lies Marant...
if they are unmarried, or have no sons.28
A
mother, particularly if she is old and comes
from a poor family, depends great...
29
Ni Luh Darmiati (Niki), interview. Kuta Beach,
Bali, 1 June 2013.
30
Heru Utomo Yayasan Kertapraja, quoted by
Merdeka.c...
goods that can be carried on the head), while
a man receives a sepelembah (symbolised
by two baskets on a carrying pole). ...
33
Rajagukguk, ibid, p. 5.
34
Halimah (PEKKA cadre), interview. Gemel
Village, Jonggat, Lombok Tengah, 7 Juli 2013.
35
KOM...
ARMINHARI
38
Ahmadiyah is a form of Islam, often referred to pejoratively as a sect. In Indonesia, Lahore Ahmadiyah
was of...
50 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
aristocrats, because no men can afford to
pay a ...
41
Nani Zulminarni (National Coordinator,
PEKKA), interview. 9 August 2013.
PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 51...
A Journey Against Defeat: Narratives of Women's Rejection of Poverty
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A Journey Against Defeat: Narratives of Women's Rejection of Poverty
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A Journey Against Defeat: Narratives of Women's Rejection of Poverty

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Author: Lies Marcoes-Natsir and Anne Lockley
Chief photographer: Armin Hari
English translation: Edward Thornton, Abmi Handayani. Chief editor: Roem Topatimasang
Publisher: INSISTPress, Rumah Kitab & AIPJ-AusAID ISBN: 978-602-8384-80-35
Edition: I, April 2014
***
Going beyond the usual studies on poverty and gender, this research study records the powerful resilience of women in resisting impoverishment, in all its forms. Women’s resistance is long-term and traverses sectors and venues, but without the necessary support and organisation, it can be sporadic and unsystematic.

The law offers hope to women. The law needs to be encouraged to serve as a support, since it is relatively neutral and universal. For gender equality, the law needs to be constantly monitored and checked. Positive law needs to be aligned with the framework and norms of human rights –-particularly so for issues of violations of women’s rights. These cannot remain hidden away in domestic space or concealed by layers of culture.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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A Journey Against Defeat: Narratives of Women's Rejection of Poverty

  1. 1. AGAINST DEFEAT Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty A JOURNEY
  2. 2. THE NATIONAL LIBRARY Catalogue in publishing ISBN 978-602-8384-80-3 1. Gender 2. Impoverishment 3. Law enforcement I TITLE +xx, 257 pages, photo galleries, index 21 x 27 cm, hardcover © INSISTPress, Rumah Kitab & AIPJ-AusAID First printing, April 2014 Cover design: Armin Hari & Beta Pettawaranie Compugraphics: Rumah Pakem Marcoes-Natsir, Lies & Anne Lockley (2014), A Journey Against Defeat: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty. Yogyakarta: INSISTPress. n Data and text contributors: Anis Hidayah, Evelyn Suleeman, Hasriadi Ary, Imelda Bachtiar, Ishak Salim, Mayadina, Mia Siscawati, Mutti Anggitta, Nani Zulminarni, Nanda Amelia, Ninik Rahayu, Nurhady Sirimorok, Nursyida Syam, Nurul Saadah, Nurul Widyaningrum, Reza Idria, Saleh Abdullah, Syarifah Rahmatillah, Vincent Sangu. n Chief photographer: Armin Hari n Photo contributors: Beta Pettawaranie, Boris Adivarrahman, Ewin Laudjeng, M. Anshar, Saleh Abdullah, Zulfan Djawon Muhammad. n Photo repro: INSISTPress, FIRD. n Data processing: Fredian Tonny, Raisa Sugiri, Boris Adivarrahman. n Text consolidaton & proofreading: Anwar Jimpe Rahman, Ismed Natsir, Markaban Anwar. n English translation: Edward Thornton, Abmi Handayani. n Chief editor: Roem Topatimasang. n INSISTPress Jalan Raya Kaliurang Km.18 Dukuh Sempu, Sambirejo, Pakembinangun, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55582 Tel. +62 274 8594244 | Fax. +62 274 896403 email: press@insist.or.id | blog.insist.or.id/insistpress n RUMAH KITA BERSAMA Jalan Taman Amir Hamzah 8 Jakarta 10320 Tel. +62 21 3928233 n AIPJ Lantai 17 - International Financial Center (IFC) Building, Jalan Sudirman Kav.22-23 Jakarta 12920 Tel. +62 21 5710199 | www.aipj.or.id
  3. 3. LIES MARCOES-NATSIR & ANNE LOCKLEY AGAINST DEFEAT Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty A JOURNEY April 2014 Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice Photographer ARMIN HARI | Editor ROEM TOPATIMASANG
  4. 4. This important and beautiful book comes out at a time when we, as a sovereign nation upholding the values of humanity, must face a bitter and heart breaking reality. The Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (2012), made publicly available at the end of last year, found that the number of women who died during childbirth has increased, rather than decreased, since 2007. As it turns out, the rapid pace of Indonesia’s economic growth and our government’s high- profile involvement in the global effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), along with the various national programs on maternal care and poverty reduction, have not had any impact on poor women who are at the most vulnerable point in their lives: giving birth to a child. According to the Indonesian government targets regarding the MDGs, the country’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is supposed to be reduced to 102 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. In fact, in 2012, this number rose to 359, an increase from 2007 when the MMR was 228 deaths per 100,000 live births. This large number of women who lost their lives during childbirth is equivalent to the situation 19 years ago, in 1995. In this case it is not progress that we have achieved, but regression. FOREWORD The Mandate of the Constitution Kamala Chandrakirana Women’s Rights and Human Rights Activist viii | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  5. 5. This book shows using words and pictures, how complex the issue of poverty is for women. Without an understanding of the complexity and distinctiveness of women’s experiences and vulnerabilities, government efforts to overcome poverty cannot succeed in raising the dignity of the poorest and most marginalised women citizens of Indonesia. The increase in Indonesia’s MMR is evidence of such complexity and distinctiveness. Women’s experiences falling into and living in poverty are not the same as men’s. The reality of unequal power relations between men and women exists and impacts all aspects of a person’s life, from cradle to grave. Structural injustices which persist with the support of laws and regulations have their own distinct impacts on women because gender-based discrimination and violence shapes the contours of women’s day-to-day lives. It is clear that this is not merely a technical problem of accurate targeting by government programs. It is a strategic issue of women’s effective participation in all aspects and stages of national development, at each level of decision making. The Indonesian Constitution states that each citizen has the right to livelihood suitable to the standards of humanity (Article 27); the right to be free from discriminatory acts on any grounds (Article 28I); the right to a sense of security and protection from the threat of fear (Article 28G); and the right to affirmative action and special measures in order to access equal opportunities and benefits for equality and justice (Article 28H). Implementation of these legal guarantees for every individual citizen is an integral part of freeing women from poverty and impoverishment. The improvement or revocation of laws and regulations, at national and local levels, which are discriminatory and contradictory to our country’s constitutional guarantees is also an integral part of establishing the opportunity for Indonesia’s poor women to enjoy ‘a livelihood suitable for FOREWORD: The Mandate of the Constitution | ix
  6. 6. x | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty the standards of humanity.’ For this, mechanisms for the substantive review of laws and policies, by executive, legislative and judicial bodies as well as by independent quasi-state bodies such as the National Commission on Violence Against Women (KOMNAS Perempuan), need to improve their responsiveness and effectiveness for poor women. Regardless of whether or not there are adequate and effective mechanisms to ensure women’s active participation in the Government’s efforts towards people’s welfare, Indonesian women have never stayed quiet or passive in the face of injustice and poverty around them. The stories of women’s struggles in this book are merely fragments from a wealth of experiences by diverse women around the archipelago which have yet to be counted, documented or even been in the line of vision. This book is testimony to the strength and resilience of Indonesia’s poor women who speak out and take action, alone and with their peers, through organising and movement building in the effort to grow into an influential social force. Indeed, this is an expression of women’s sovereignty as citizens of the Indonesia nation and state. The higher a tree grows, the stronger the winds which reach it. The rise of women leaders - in formal political arenas as well as in communities - also brings about unavoidable opposition and resistance. Political support and legal protection for poor women who speak out, take action and build movements are the responsibility of all parties, in government and civil society, who are committed to the nation’s promise of welfare and humanity for all without exception. The struggles of poor and marginalised women to improve their lives and regain their dignity as equal citizens can only be achieved in a
  7. 7. sustainable way if the logic of their struggle can reach and be integrated into macro policies in the fields of economy, labor, land, agriculture, forest, trade, international relations, defense, etc. The locus of poor women’s struggles is not limited to the field of social welfare, as it is often assumed. My hope is that this book can become a tool to open dialogues about women’s experiences of poverty and impoverishment in Indonesia and how to deal with them in effective and sustainable ways. The exchange of views and collective effort to find solutions which are truly meaningful for poor women are a matter of urgency for the future of our nation. We have to be able to rise from the painful and shameful failure and backsliding experienced by poor women who have lost their lives while giving birth. Let us open ways, by using all the social, economic, political and legal capacities available, to engage in open and critical dialogue in a democratic process - from the small kampungs where poor women conduct their lives and struggles to the big buildings in metropolitan cities where national policy makers carry out their duty to fulfil the guarantees of the Indonesian Constitution for all citizens, men and women equally. Jakarta, 25 March 2014.
  8. 8. ARMINHARI
  9. 9. FOREWORD The Mandate of the Constitution | viii - xi n Kamala Chandrakirana CONTENT | xiv - xv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS | xvi - xix xiv | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty CONTENT PART ONE Gender, Girls and Poor Families 1 A Lullaby for the Children | 20 n GALLERY 1: Children, Gender Construction & Work | 26 - 31 2 Growing-up Unequal | 37 n GALLERY 2: Multiple Roles, Overlapping Demands | 57 - 67 FOREWORD The Journey of Compiling This Book | 1 INTRODUCTION A Journey Against Defeat | 12 PART TWO The Long Road to Opportunity 3 The Four Issues of Kartini’s Struggle | 71 GALLERY 1 GALLERY 2
  10. 10. CONTENT | xv PART THREE The Means of Survival 4 ‘Doraemon’s Pocket’: The Informal Sector | 93 n GALLERY 3: Daring to Survive | 107 - 111 5 Borrowing Money to Survive | 112 6 Poor in Their Own Granary | 123 7 Seeking Fortune in the Plantations | 132 n GALLERY 4: Women of the Plantations | 151 - 155 8 Service Rendered by Women | 156 9 Women Who Are Poor in Old Age | 168 n GALLERY 5: Being Old and Capable 178 - 183 PART FOUR Structure For and Against Equality 10 Religious Fanaticism & Impoverishment of Women | 187 11 Improving the Evidence for Policy Reform | 199 12 Fulfilling Everyone’s Rights | 205 13 Women’s Voice in Advocacy | 211 14 Insisting on the Law | 223 PART FIVE Closing and Reflections 15 For Justice, For Life | 245 BIBLIOGRAPHY | 250 INDEX | 255 THE TEAM | 259 GALLERY 3 GALLERY 4 GALLERY 5
  11. 11. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AIPJ Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice APIK Asosiasi Perempuan Indonesia untuk Keadilan - Association of Indonesian Women for Justice ASEAN Association of South East Asian Nations AusAID Australian Agency for International Development BADILAG Badan Peradilan Agama - Religious Court Agency BAPPEDA Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah - Regional Development Planning Board BAPPENAS Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional - National Development Planning Board BKKBN Badan Koordinasi Keluarga Berencana Nasional - National Coordination Board of Family Planning BOS Bantuan Operasional Sekolah - School Operational Assistance BP3AKB Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan, Perlindungan Anak & Keluarga Berencana - Agency for Women Empowerment, Children Protection and Family Planning BPS Badan Pusat Statistik - Central Agency of Statistics BSUIA Bale Syura Ureung Inong Aceh - General Assembly of Acehnese Women CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women DPR-RI Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia - the National Parliament DPRD Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah - the Provincial/District Parliament FIRD Flores Institute for Resource Development FITRA Forum Indonesia untuk Transparansi Anggaran - Indonesian Forum for Transparency of Public Expenditure GAM Gerakan Aceh Merdeka - Free Aceh Movement GAP Gender Analysis Pathway GERWANI Gerakan Wanita Indonesia - Indonesian Women’s Movement GRB Gender Responsive Budget GTZ Gesselschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit - German Agency for Technical Cooperation HTI Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia - hardcore of Islamic puritanism movement in Indonesia IAIN Institut Agama Islam Negeri - State University for Islamic Studies IALDF Indonesia Australia Legal Development Facility ICCPR International Convention on Civil & Political Rights IDEA Institute for Development and Economic Analysis IIQ Institut Ilmu al-Qur’an - Institute for Qur’anic Studies ILO International Labor Organization INSIST Indonesian Society for Social Transformation IPB Institut Pertanian Bogor - Bogor Institute of Agriculture JAMKESMAS Jaminan Kesehatan Masyarakat - Community Health Insurance JKP3 Jaringan Kerja PROLEGNAS Pro Perempuan - Network of National Legislation Program Pro Women JPIC-SVD Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation - Societas Verbi Divini (part of Catholic Archdiocese of Ende, Flores Island) xvi | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  12. 12. KKG Keadilan dan Kesetaraan Gender - Gender Justice and Equality KKPK Koalisi Keadilan dan Pengungkapan Kebenaran - Coalition for Justice and Revelation of Truth KOMNAS Komisi Nasional - National Commission KPAI Komite Perlindungan Anak Indonesia - Committee for Protection of Indonesian Children KPK Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi - Corruption Eradication Commission KRAN Koalisi Rakyat Advokasi Tambang - People’s Coalition for Advocating Mining Issues KUHP Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana - Books of Penal Code LBH Lembaga Bantuan Hukum - Legal Aid Institute LIPS Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane - Sedane Institute of Labour Information LPPSP Lembaga Pengkajian & Pengembangan Sumberdaya Pembangunan - Institute for Study and Improvement of Development Resources MDGs Millenium Development Goals MISPI Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia - True Partner of Indonesian Women MIUMI Majelis Intelektual & Ulama Muda Indonesia - Council of Young Indonesian Ulama and Intellectuals (intellectual wing of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia) MK Mahkamah Konstitusi - Constitutional Court MMR Maternal Mortality Rate MUI Majelis Ulama Indonesia - Council of Indonesian Ulama NAD Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam - other official name of Aceh Province as a special region NII Negara Islam Indonesia - Islamic State of Indonesia (an Islamic fundamentalist movement) NTB Nusa Tenggara Barat - West Nusa Tenggara Province NTT Nusa Tenggara Timur - East Nusa Tenggara Province NU Nahdhatul Ulama - largest mass-based organization of traditional (sunni) Muslims in Indonesia P2TP2A Pusat Pelayanan Terpadu untuk Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Anak - Integrated Service Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children PATTIRO Pusat Informasi dan Telaah Regional - Center for Regional Information and Analysis PAUD Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini - Early Childhood Education PERDA Peraturan Daerah - Provincial or District Regulation PEKKA Pemberdayaan Perempuan Kepala Keluarga - Empowerment of Women Heads of Family PIR Perkebunan Inti Rakyat - Smallholders Plantation Scheme PJTKI Penyedia Jasa Tenaga Kerja Indonesia - Agency for Supplying Indonesian Migrant Workers PNPM Program Nasional Pemberdayaan Masyarakat - National Program for Community Empowerment PNS Pegawai Negeri Sipil - civil servant POSYANDU Pos Pelayanan Terpadu - Integrated Service Post (for children and maternal health services at village level) PPLS Pendataan Program Perlindungan Sosial - Data for Social Protection Program PROLEGNAS Program Legislasi Nasional - National Legislation Program LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS | xvii
  13. 13. PSHK Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan - Centre for Legal & Policy Studies PSW Pusat Studi Wanita - Center for Women’s Studies PUSKAPA Pusat Kajian Perlindungan Anak - Center for Studies on Children Protection PUSKESMAS Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat - Community Health Center (at village or sub-district level) RTRW Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah - Regional Geo-spatial Plan RUU Rancangan Undang-undang - Draft of National Law SAKERNAS Survei Angkatan Kerja Nasional - National Labour Force Survey SAPDA Sentra Advokasi Perempuan Difabel dan Anak - Centre for Advocacy of Difabel Women and Children SD Sekolah Dasar - Elementary School SEMBAKO Sembilan Bahan Pokok - nine items of basic or daily needs of family (rice, meat, fishes, vegetables, spices, salt, sugar, cooking oil, and fuel) SKPD Satuan Kerja Pemerintah Daerah - Sectoral Working Unit of Provincial/District Government SMP Sekolah Menengah Pertama - Junior High School SPP Simpan Pinjam [untuk] Perempuan - Saving and Loan Scheme for Women SPKBK Sistem Pemantauan Kemiskinan Berbasis Komunitas - Community Based Poverty Monitoring System SPKS Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit - Palm Oil Farmers Union SRHR Sexual Reproductive Health Rights STKIP Sekolah Tinggi Keguruan & Ilmu Pendidikan - Educational Sciences and Teacher College SUSENAS Survei Sosial Ekonomi Nasional - National Economic and Social Survey TKI Tenaga Kerja Indonesia - Indonesian [Male] Migrant Workers TKW Tenaga Kerja Wanita - Indonesian Women Migrant Workers TNP2K Tim Nasional Percepatan Penanggulangan Kemiskinan - National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction TNS Teon, Nila, Serua - a sub-district in Seram Island, Central Maluku, relocated settlement of people from three volcanic small islands in the middle of Banda Sea since 1988 UNDP United Nations Development Program UNESCO United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization UNFPA United Nations Population Fund UNICEF United Nations Children Fund UNRISD United Nations Research Institute for Social Development UPC Urban Poor Consortium USAID United States Agency for International Development WALHI Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia - Indonesian Environmental Forum (Indonesian Friends of the Earth) WCC Women’s Crisis Centre YKP Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan - Women’s Health Foundation xviii | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  14. 14. ARMINHARI
  15. 15. ARMINHARI
  16. 16. This book is a narrative with photographics depicting the efforts of poor women who refuse to simply accept their poverty. This is a tireless struggle, though the word ‘poor’ pursues them virtually throughout their lives – from one morning to the next, from birth to old age. At first, the book was going to describe impoverishment in Aceh in the context of the conflict, the aftermath of the tsunami, and the application of the Acehnese model of Islamic law (shari’a). I worked in Aceh for many years, so I had the opportunity to listen to the voices of Acehnese women, which rose higher whenever they talked about the conflict, sexual violence, and policies that unilaterally regulate how women should behave. But in a discussion with Diani Sediawati --Director for Analysis of Laws and Regulations in the National Development Planning Agency (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional - BAPPENAS) and Co-Chair of the Board of the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ) - produced some important notes on the need to map impoverishment, gender, and justice in a more comprehensive way. The idea that we settled on was to conduct research on gender, poverty and law enforcement. And as a result, law enforcement issues in Aceh were no longer a specific study in this book. The narrative comes from our nine-month journey to eight regions of the archipelago. I, the research team, and our photographer, Armin Hari, stayed in each region, either together or separately, for several weeks to explore the issues of poverty and translate them into images and stories. FOREWORD The Journey of Compiling This Book FOREWORD: The Journey of Compiling This Book | 1
  17. 17. The journey started in March 2013 on the east coast of Samudra Pasai in Aceh. Crossing the Sunda Strait, we traversed the island of Java from Banten to Madura, then continued to the eastern part of Indonesia (see map). Throughout this journey, we observed impoverishment as a process associated with women’s loss of control over land and a variety of economic resources, as well as their loss of autonomy, which began at the start of the era of ‘development’. We noted the shift in women’s work from the 2 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty 500 km N Banda Aceh Pasai Aceh Besar Jakarta Serang Sukabumi Garut Cianjur Bandung Pontianak Bengkayang Wonosari Surabaya Denpasar Mataram Martap Pangandaran Kuningan Madiun Jember Tabanan Kubu Raya Cirebon Kampar Jambi LhoksukonTakengon Bener Meuriah INDIAN OCEAN SOUTH CHINA SEA JAVA SEA Pasa
  18. 18. agriculture sector to the world of industry, and then to some being trapped in the informal sector or in other work with no name in the big cities. They perform all kinds of odd jobs, overlapping in ways that are often difficult to define. And their economic difficulties are only the most obvious aspect of the many other problems that make them lose their right to a decent, dignified life. In the east, our journey started in Bali, with the shift in the use of land to the FOREWORD: The Journey of Compiling This Book | 3 Jeneponto Ende Noelbaki pura Makassar Palu Kulawi Kendari Muna Ambon Haruku Waipia Main sites of research Maumere Adonara Sites of additional photographs Mappi Merauke Polewali Lembata Kei Wakatobi Toraja Sinjai Palue Alor Donggala Gorontalo THE MAP OF JOURNEY PACIFIC OCEAN BANDA SEA ARAFURA SEA SULAWESI SEA Banggai Minahasa Jayapura Gowa angkayu
  19. 19. tourism industry and its extraordinarily harsh, almost limitless consequences. In West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat - NTB) and East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur - NTT), as well as the practice of underage marriage, we noted the powerful socioeconomic changes caused by the emergence of a generation of migrant workers. In Maluku, as in Lombok, Flores, Timor, Madura, and Aceh, we saw impoverishment caused by conflict and disasters. We then travelled through the interior of West and South Kalimantan. We traced impoverishment through the industrialisation of the forest and the conversion of land into vast palm oil plantations; we saw this in South and Southeast Sulawesi and in Aceh as well. For the purpose of gathering their stories, we observed women, listened to their experiences, and witnessed them facing the process of impoverishment and the ways they tried to escape this trap. We did not simply ‘interview’ them; we lived among them with empathy and patience to understand their feelings that would not otherwise be seen or heard. Although research is our world, and taking pictures that speak for themselves is the realm of our photographer, it was not easy to achieve this closeness. Changing our status from ‘outsiders’ to ‘insiders’ who were recognised and accepted required specific expertise. Our capital was our empathy and our willingness to listen and to foster a certainty that the information we were noting would not go to waste. During the journey, we were often astounded, constantly shaking our heads, unable to believe our eyes. We were amazed how women laughed at the bitterness of their lives. When they told us how their village was attacked and burned and then how they had to live as refugees, the women from a conflict zone in Waipia, Central Maluku, rolled with laughter as they told about how their menfolk turned into cry-babies when they had to flee; or they giggled as they revealed the secrets of life in the barracks, often in whispers: Eee... how could I not get pregnant? Every time the electricity went off, my husband would kick my legs and invite me to go to the public toilets with him. Sometimes there would be someone there, so we had to pretend to be washing clothes in the dark of night, but as soon as they left, we’d hurry in without locking the door! In contrast, in Palu, Central Sulawesi, the voice of sixty-seven year old Ibu Siha was still trembling as she told the story of her arrest forty-five years earlier when she was assumed to be involved with GERWANI (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia - a women’s movement affiliated with the Indonesian Communist Party). In thorough detail, as if it had just happened yesterday, she recalled the long days that made her spend half of her life without the freedom to engage in normal activities, even long after she was ‘released’. Her eyes welled up with tears as she remembered the events in the barracks, “Every day we had to find ways to avoid being dragged from the barracks and into the forest, like other women who returned 4 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  20. 20. 1 Ibu ‘Siha’, Interview, Palu, 28 September 2013. 2 Nani Zulminarni (National Coordinator, PEKKA), personal communication with the author (email), 25 June 2013. with nothing left but their names.”1 These are the kinds of stories this book hopes to tell. Stories that are born from the experiences of women who deserve to live a decent life just like other citizens of this country. *** This project was made possible thanks to the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ), whose Board approved funding support, and INSIST (Indonesian Society for Social Transformation) --a national network of NGOs and publishing house based in Yogyakarta-- which willingly served as a partner. Nani Zulminarni, National Coordinator of the organisation Empowerment of Women Heads of Households (Pemberdayaan Kepala Keluarga - PEKKA) provided a way for me to meet with Nicola Colbran, AIPJ’s director when this project was being initiated. Nani gave me input on how this book should be written: Hey sis… I’ve read hundreds of books to understand about poverty and gender, and every time I read one, I wonder about the PEKKA women in the villages: would they be able to understand it? It’s not that they’re unintelligent, but those books are too complicated to understand. I want this book to be read not only by activists and policy makers, but also by those who are affected by those policies.2 Since Nicola Colbran left AIPJ, her replacement, Craig Ewers, has been a discussion partner, and has given us the confidence that we do in fact have adequate knowledge to carry out this project. For the technical aspects, Hilda Suherman, Endang Suyatin, Junardi Nurlete and other AIPJ staff members have been partners who have always helped us graciously. In terms of substance, I have been helped tremendously by the work of Anne Lockley, an AIPJ gender consultant who previously conducted studies on gender and poverty with the National Team for Accelerating Poverty Reduction (Tim Nasional Percepatan Penanggulangan Kemiskinan - TNP2K). While the views expressed in this book are the authors’, AIPJ has committed to bringing the voices of justice seekers forward to guide programming and ensure the Partnership delivers benefits for women who are poor. On the issue of legal services for poor women and the issues handled by the district courts and religious courts, our primary resource was Mr. Wahyu Widiana, former Director General of the Religious Courts Agency (Badan Peradilan Agama - BADILAG) of Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia and now an advisor to AIPJ. We also interviewed the heads of district courts in Aceh, Bali, Cianjur, Cibinong, Garut, and Maluku to explore services which increased access for the poor, as well as the heads of administrative regions, such as regents and district heads, and the heads of civil registry offices in several locations who were engaged in joint activities with the religious court judges for integrated birth certificate services. All who contributed their stories to this book FOREWORD: The Journey of Compiling This Book | 5
  21. 21. were aware of its objective. However, where necessary for privacy and safety, names have been changed. More than 100 women and men were sources of information, at varying levels of intensity. We involved a number of local researchers, such as the PEKKA network, Aisyiyah cadres, community organisers, and local activists or university researchers. Their involvement was critical because of their broad knowledge about local conditions, traditions, social and customary institutions, local culture, and hidden conflicts that lead to impoverishment. For certain topics, we invited writers who we feel have competence in their respective fields: Reza Idria from State University of Islamic Studies (Universitas Islam Negeri - UIN) Ar-Raniry in Banda Aceh who wrote about current political situation in Aceh and its impact on poor women; Evelyn Suleeman from the University of Indonesia shared her understanding of statistical data on women heads of households; Mayadina from Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Forum Indonesia untuk Transparansi Anggaran - FITRA) on budgeting issues; Nurul Widyaningrum from Akatiga Center for Social Analysis described the situation of women in the informal sector; Mia Siscawati from the Center for Anthropology Studies at the University of Indonesia wrote on the resistance of women in the oil palm plantations; and Saleh Abdullah of INSIST on impoverishment due to issues of religious fundamentalism. Some of their articles are presented in full; others we reprocessed, with their permission, to fit into the overall flow of the narration. We also invited a number of activists to contribute articles relating their experience or knowledge about the institutions where they operate, such as Nani Zulminarni on PEKKA; Ninik Rahayu on the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komisi Nasional - KOMNAS Perempuan); Syarifah Rahmatillah of MISPI (Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia - True Partner of Indonesian Women) on the regulations on empowerment of poor women in Aceh; Nurul Saadah from the Advocacy Centre for Difable Women and Children (Sentra Advokasi Perempuan Difabel dan Anak - SAPDA) on women with disabilities; Imelda Bachtiar on violence against women policies; Vincent Sangu from the Flores Institute for Resources and Development (FIRD) on women and the environment; and Nursyida Syam from Women’s Reading Club (Klub Baca Perempuan) Lombok on the empowerment of the children of women migrant workers. In addition, a number of experts were involved from the outset to provide feedback on the raw manuscript and while we were still in the field, such as activist Myra Diarsi, Professor Saparinah Sadli, researcher Nurul Agustina, Ita Fatia Nadia from UN Women, senior Kompas journalist Maria Hartiningsih, literary activist Zubaidah Djohar, and legal researcher Bivitri Susanti. Our biggest challenge however was not in the field, but rather how the truth of women’s experiences could be voiced. Qualitative studies are often perceived as merely anecdotal, from which overall truth cannot be drawn. Therefore, as noted 6 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty ARMINHARI
  22. 22. by Kamala Chandrakirana – a women’s and human rights activist and one of the founders of PEKKA – qualitative data must be used to bring the quantitative data on women’s poverty to life.3 In other words, without providing meaning qualitatively, quantitative data are simply mute numbers. In Bogor, where I live, the work of processing and interpreting quantitative poverty data was assisted by researchers from the Human Ecology Faculty, Department of Science, Communication and Community Development of Bogor Institute of Agriculture (Institut Pertanian Bogor - IPB), especially Fredian Tonny. In the field, we were assisted by researchers with deep experience in ethnographic methods, such as Ishak Salim, Hasriadi Ary, Nanda Amelia, Nurhady Sirimorok, Mutti Anggitta and as well as several assistants, such as Billah Yuhadian, Boris Adivarrahman and Raisa Sugiri. For financial matters, we had Fransiska Weki Bheri and the administrative staff from Rumah Kita Bersama and INSIST’s Secretariate in Yogyakarta. The manuscript in Indonesian was read and critiqued by a number of experts. But Anwar Jimpe Rachman and Ismed Natsir has been our diligent editor who has patiently dealt with the many drafts and revisions. For the English version, I am greatly indebted to Edward Thornton, and Anne Lockley, who agreed to be my co-writer. Anne has served as an editor who is not just patient but also agreed to be hard-hearted in trimming down narratives that wanted to include every possible detail. She showed extraordinary patience, since the manuscript in Indonesian was not always easy to translate. The final draft of the manuscript was then reviewed again and processed into a book by Roem Topatimasang from INSIST. *** FOREWORD: The Journey of Compiling This Book | 7 3 Chandrakirana, Kamala, ‘Keynote speech, PEKKA Third National Forum.’ Grand Cempaka Hotel, Jakarta, 26 November 2013. Excerpts from the journey of compiling this book: Lies Marcoes at the initial planning workshop in Yogyakarta (LEFT); interviewing local resource persons in Aceh (CENTER); and landed in Palue Island, NTT (RIGHT).
  23. 23. The book consists of five parts, divided into fifteen chapters. Part One starts with an introduction that explains the what and why of the book, after which the reader is invited to understand the gender constructs that give rise to impoverishment. The next several chapters of Part Two follow the stages of the life cycle. In each we have inserted examples of good practices from the field. In Part Three we show the forms of gender- based discrimination in the productive years in different sectors. It continues by examining poverty in old age. Part Four portrays various efforts to break through the obstacles, such as law and justice efforts and policy change. The narrative is concluded with the reflective final notes in Part Five. Thus, we show a variety of extraordinary, persistent efforts by women who experience systematic impoverishment. For us, this 8 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  24. 24. perseverance proves that they do have the awareness to resist this gender injustice – in their own ways, with their own power, they resist defeat. This book depicts the variety of women’s efforts: falling down and getting up again, trying to find a way out, with an almost unimaginable resilience. The book shows how women reject, resist, and conquer their impoverishment. Some survive; some give up, but rarely easily. Many women are crushed by poverty, but quite a few do find escape routes, through building their capacity, organising, joining movements and networks. These efforts may be driven by instinct, a natural mechanism for survival, or by a critical awareness that creates their action – their ‘agency’. *** We hope that this book will serve as a reference for policy makers to see the extraordinary struggles of women from all corners of the country. Through this book, policy makers can see how gender inequality operates and, with the power in their hands, how they can affect change. If this can happen, the unnecessary poverty of millions of people can be overcome. Ultimately, this book needs to be understood as a ‘journey of the heart.’ The narratives tell about a country that could not possibly exist without the presence of women who refuse to be bowed down by poverty.v FOREWORD: The Journey of Compiling This Book | 9 BETAPETTAWARANIE
  25. 25. BETAPETTAWARANIE
  26. 26. ARMINHARI
  27. 27. Hayat is twenty-five years old. She married young, to a former Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka - GAM) combatant from a nearby village. In 2009, when she was pregnant with her second child, Hayat took her husband to the hospital, where he died, diagnosed with AIDS. Through Hayat, the virus has been transmitted to her children. The local people learned about the diagnosis from the health officers who dealt with her husband’s remains. Hayat and her children now live with the stigma. The older child, for example, was almost not allowed to start primary school because the school was worried that the other pupils’ parents would object to their having a classmate with HIV.4 Although she looks healthy, Hayat is frail, with tuberculosis of the lungs. She is unable to earn a living because she has to care for her children. She survives thanks to her father, who farms a small plot of land. They live in Hayat’s house – a wooden house with an earth floor – given to her by her foster mother. 4 According to information from the NAD (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam) Support Group (25 July 2013), following advocacy and lobbying by the Aceh AIDS Mitigation Committee and the NAD Support Group as well as extensive media coverage, Hayat’s older daughter has now started primary school. INTRODUCTION A Journey Against Defeat 12 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  28. 28. lives in a prosperous rice-farming region in the interior of Aceh. Her parents used to own enough land to live comfortably from farming. But year by year, the area of their farm shrank. When Hayat was very young, she was adopted by some childless relatives. She later inherited a house and some land from her late adoptive mother, who had no children of her own, but the men from that family sued in court to regain the property. Hayat had no legal power other than the testimony of neighbours that she had lovingly cared for her adoptive mother. She also missed the opportunity for schooling, because their home was in the heart of the conflict zone. Her stepmother didn’t allow her to go far from the house, or to meet her prospective husband until the day they married. She was eighteen at the time, mature enough to evaluate a prospective husband. From the marriage, she received a dowry of fifteen grams of gold jewellery, and a deadly virus. INTRODUCTION: A Journey Against Defeat | 13 After it was battered by the tsunami, peace came to Aceh, but not to Hayat’s family. Her mother mostly just sat and stared into space after her home was burned down during the conflict. Her father often flew into rages. Unlike Hayat, who only finished junior high, her younger sister Rima graduated from high school, as did their brother Nurdin. But they have to make their living by farming. Rima has to care for her mother, who has also contracted tuberculosis. Like Hayat, Rima and her mother also bear the stigma of HIV. When they go out, Rima and her mother prefer to ford the river rather than cross the village bridge; they can’t stand the suspicious stares of their neighbours. Nurdin feels rejected by the community, often slamming the door in front of Hayat. Hayat’s fate might not have been quite so bad if she had not contracted HIV, although the Acehnese conflict alone was enough to make many women like her lose access to resources and fall deeper into poverty. Hayat
  29. 29. Hayat has not accepted her fate. Through her acquaintance with the Aceh HIV support group, she is now a member of the People Living with HIV and AIDS network, and she knows the HIV specialist doctors in Aceh. Her knowledge about HIV and AIDS has given her the strength and courage to admit openly that she and her two children are living with the virus, despite the heavy stigma involved. When the school was trying to refuse admission to her daughter, Hayat resisted by explaining the process of how HIV is transmitted, giving the example of her younger sister who is still negative. She says that it’s pointless for Aceh to try to hide from reality, because the number of people living with HIV and AIDS continues to rise.5 Financially, Hayat has no alternative but carry on with what she has. When she needs money, she pawns her fruit and coconuts in turn and then redeems them after the harvest. If necessary, she sells the fruit in advance, when it is still green on the tree. She says there’s no point in crying about the situation. She has to think about her children and help them survive. Hayat’s story is a map in miniature of the problems of impoverished women. They have been conditioned in a situation without choices. 5 Yuslindarwati, activist of NAD Support Group, interview, Banda Aceh, 5 April 2013. Hayat’s story is just one of the dozens of women’s experiences documented in this book, and of the millions throughout this country. These stories are witnesses to how various institutions, values, practices and social situations work to create impoverishment through gender discrimination. Hayat’s daughter can go to school now, but she doesn’t have any friends. Iva playing by herself below the house inherited from her step-grandmother. 14 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  30. 30. BORISADIVARRAHMAN A journey to explore the meaning and experience of women’s impoverishment In this book, the words poor and poverty represent social facts that can be seen and measured by studying the phenomena, data and information that are available. INTRODUCTION: A Journey Against Defeat | 15 In contrast, impoverishment is the social and political process that creates situations leading to poverty. Poverty can happen to, and be experienced by, anyone, while impoverishment is caused by the political choices made by decision makers – their vision and policies about the economy, development, management of resources and
  31. 31. how they are distributed.6 Poverty is often measured using only economic factors – such as productivity, access to capital, business management and consumption. Such an approach ignores other factors that affect women’s ability to prosper, such as their low social status, gender bias in development, limited opportunities for employment and income, cultural factors and values, violence, and violations of the law. Therefore, to address poverty, economic empowerment alone will not suffice. Economic empowerment must be linked to social and legal empowerment that is sensitive to the imbalanced relations between men and women, to the reality of social inequality, and the differences in people’s abilities. This book deliberately uses the term impoverishment. Our exploration shows that for many women, the values, social processes, institutions and discriminatory practices that systematically marginalise them and exclude them from economic, social and political resources, are what makes them poorer. Our most striking observation from our travels across Indonesia for this project was that the impoverishment of women often occurs in parallel with the growth of the national economy. The experience of impoverishment differs for men and women, but men’s experience 16 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty 7 Razavi, Shahra (1998), ‘Gendered Poverty and Social Change: An Issues Paper,’ Discussion Paper No 94. UNRISD, p.ii. is often more recognised and acknowledged because of their status as ‘head of the household’ and ‘main breadwinner’. It is often assumed that helping poor men will automatically also help their families – their wives and children, without considering that the needs of men are not always the same as those of women, or that not all women are financially supported by men. Women experience different effects because they already experience discrimination based on their sex, gender roles or marital status, and their social class. In fact, poor women are squeezed from two sides: because they are poor, and because they are women. In the language of development, all of these problems are known by the term ‘gender injustice’. And to address these problems, experts use an analytical tool and development work tool: gender analysis. Gender analysis enables us to expose the social constructs that lie behind the impoverishment of males and females. As was expressed by Shahra Razavi more than a decade ago, we begin “...from the position that the gender analysis of poverty is not so much about whether women suffer more from poverty than men, but rather about how gender differentiates the social processes leading to poverty, and the escape routes out of destitution.”7 The term ‘gender’ has been known in Indonesia for over a quarter of a century. It must be mentioned that the term does not refer to women. Rather, it relates to women6 Thanks to Professor Soedradjad Djiwandono who explained the meanings of poverty and impoverishment epistemologically. The distinction between the two has guided me in understanding the issues of each.
  32. 32. INTRODUCTION: A Journey Against Defeat | 17 8 The Draft Law (bill) on Gender Justice and Equality was an initiative of the National Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia - DPR-RI) as an effort to increase the government’s responsibility to eliminate the gap between men and women. The bill encountered widespread rejection, including from Majelis Intelektual dan Ulama Muda Indonesia (MIUMI - the Indonesian Council of Young Intellectuals and Ulama), the intellectual wing of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) and members of some mass organisations. The bill entered the DPR- RI in August 2011 and the deliberations remain ongoing. in the context of their social relationships and power relations. For the purposes of this book, gender is defined as our – people’s – ideas about the different characteristics, roles, values and opportunities of men and women that are created by, and create, their social environment. We have recently observed an emergent rejection of anything using the name gender. For example, the draft Law on Gender Equality and Justice (Rancangan Undang- undang Keadilan & Kesetaraan Gender - RUU KKG), intended to serve as a legal basis for implementing development that is fair for women, as well as to men, remains contested.8 Opponents of the Law argue that gender justice is not just an imported ideology, but a threat to the structure of the family and disruptive to family values. They espouse the view that imbalanced gender relations are normal, that inequality is the law of harmony – some are weak, some are strong. Further, they fear the challenge to the sources of values perpetuating inequality in religion and culture, and insist that male dominance is a law of nature, or the will of God.9 Within this context, we designed our research to focus on women’s experiences and knowledge; to understand how prevailing views and structures look and feel from women’s perspectives. We undertook participatory research, always with a gender lens, across the life cycle of women. Our data was collected using the ‘women-speak’ approach, an approach long known in feminist research. It allows women’s voices to be heard and to serve as the main source of information. Through in-depth interviews, listening to women’s stories, and empathising with their life experiences, ‘women-speak’ aims to avoid the bias from the ‘authoritative holders of the truth’, usually men, who have always been the central sources of information. Of course, this does not mean that we have ignored men as a source of information. ‘Women-speak’ is based on a conviction that women’s own experiences are valid as truth, and so we examine other information from women’s perspectives, and not the reverse.10 v 9 Several members of the drafting team who rejected the bill came from universities such as IPB or were graduates of universities in the Middle East. Those in the parliament who reject the idea of gender equality regularly use their arguments. 10 Regarding feminist research methods, see Reinharz, Shulami (2005), Metode-Metode Feminis dalam Penelitian Sosial (Feminist Methods in Social Research). Jakarta: Women’s Research Institute.
  33. 33. BETAPETTAWARANIE BETAPETTAWARANIE
  34. 34. Gender, Girls and Poor Families PART ONE
  35. 35. A Lullaby for the Children1 Sonya is only four years old, but unlike most other toddlers, she and her younger brother are helping their mother, Irene, carry water. Irene just giggles when she’s asked about Sonya’s birth certificate. The question is unimaginable; even about food for today, she has no answer. Along with hundreds of other refugees from East Timor, Irene has been living at the refugee complex at Noelbaki Terminal, Kupang, for fourteen years.11 No one knows how much longer they’ll be there. Irene just thinks day to day about taking care of her three children while her husband does odd jobs at the terminal. Today the water pump near Irene’s house – or rather hut – isn’t working. This has happened regularly the whole time they’ve been living there. The agency that is supposed to deal with 11 From 1976 to 1999, East Timor (now the Republic of Timor Leste) was the 27th province of the Republic of Indonesia, but tension and violence continued in the region. With United Nations approval, East Timor held a referendum on 30 August 1999. A majority of East Timor’s residents voted to secede from Indonesia. Following the referendum, there was a wave of physical and sexual violence until UN peacekeeping troops arrived in September 1999. Pro-integration residents fled to Indonesian territory. Since that time, thousands of refugees – mostly women and children – have been living in barracks in Noelbaki, Naibonat, and Tupukan, Kupang. Some are now living in permanent housing, but others are still living in poor conditions in refugee camps. 20 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  36. 36. Anita da Costa, an East Timorese refugee in her hut at the refugee complex in Noelbaki, Kupang, NTT. the refugees never comes by anymore. Whenever public facilities are out of order, the refugees have to fix them themselves. Two young men have been going around trying to collect funds for the repairs, but no one can afford to contribute. In order to have money for food, several women sell vegetables in Noelbaki Market. One of them is Anita da Costa, a mother of two. Once every two days, she buys up a ready-to-pick crop of water spinach or nappa cabbage ARMINHARI PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 21
  37. 37. for 100,000 rupiah or more. Irene and another neighbour help Anita. They work all afternoon and into the night. The next day, before dawn, they take the vegetables to the market. If they sell everything, Anita earns a profit of 25,000 to 30,000 rupiah. Irene and her friend will get 5,000 to 10,000 rupiah each. That is what they live on each day. Their husbands’ income, if there is any, gets spent on cigarettes and moke – locally produced alcohol. This is why whenever the water pump breaks down, they have to wait several days until enough donations have been collected, especially if spare parts are needed. So today, Irene, with the help of Sonya and her little brother David, is carrying water from another well further away. Sonya has to make several trips, because David can only carry the empty jerry cans because he’s only two. *** Sonya – an East Timorese refugee girl at the Noelbaki refugee camp, Kupang. When the water pump is out of order, she helps her mother carry water from a source further away. 22 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  38. 38. Salsabila quickly changes out of her red and white school uniform. She is still sweaty from the walk home. From their rocky yard, her grandmother shouts at her to quickly eat and wash the dishes. Salsa lives with her grandmother in Gegutu hamlet, Sayang-Sayang village, West Lombok. Today Grandma needs more stones split than usual. Salsa is nine years old and in the third grade. Her mother is a migrant worker, and has not come home after two years working in Kuwait. Salsa’s parents divorced long ago. Her father is also a migrant worker, said to be working in Malaysia. So Salsa and her older brother are cared for by their grandmother, the stone splitter. “Just helping out, rather than playing,” Salsa’s grandmother replies when asked about her granddaughter helping to split stones. But Salsa’s hands are already calloused. Obviously, this is not playing around, and Salsabilla helping her grandmother split rock with a hammer as long as her arm. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 23
  39. 39. not just for a day or two. For splitting the stones, they receive 2,000 rupiah per large tub. Each day, they can split up to ten or twelve tubs. When there is an urgent need, as on this day, grandma has to split up to fifteen tubs of stones, with Salsa’s help. *** The stories of Sonya and Salsa are everyday stories. All around us, it’s easy to find girls like them. Stories such as these show us the different impacts that poverty has on boys and on girls, and how gender constructs start from childhood. In poor families, it is not just the adults who work. Boys and girls are given different duties and authority, and this is normal, since in every culture, children are raised in line with society’s expectations, ARMINHARI including the expectation that they will be children who are devoted to their parents. In many cultures, working to help the parents is seen not as a burden, but as much better than playing. And in fact, for children of poor families, it is difficult to distinguish play from work. *** Nabila is the oldest child of Malik and Atikah. They live in Namo village, Kulawi, in Central Sulawesi. Nabila is thirteen now, but still in the fifth grade. It’s not that she isn’t clever, but she has missed some grades. When other children her age started primary school, Nabila had to take care of her twin sisters, Aisyah and Aminah. Nabila’s brother Husein, one year younger than her, started school when he was six. But Atikah needed Nabila to help with the housework. Only with this help could Atikah go to the cacao plantation or help her husband gather rattan from the forest. Once the twins were old enough to be left alone, Nabila was able to start school. But when she started the third grade, her mother got pregnant again and Nabila had to take a break from school. Even now that her younger siblings are fairly self-reliant, Nabila continues to take over her mother’s work, so she often has to miss classes. The family is very poor. They probably wouldn’t eat if Malik and Atikah missed even just one day’s work. Every day, they go into the forest to gather rattan, firewood to sell and pandan leaves for weaving mats, or work cutting grass. Like their neighbours, they have a small plot of cacao trees, but in Indira is only four. She studies in a pre-school in Nagrak, Cisarua, Sukabumi, West Java. According to her parents, Indira has been invited to the vegetable garden to ‘play’ while watching her younger sister or helping to pick tomatoes. ARMINHARI 24 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  40. 40. the past few years, the cacao crops have been unreliable, so when there is no harvest, it’s not just their family that is affected, but the whole village. And when there’s no harvest, there’s no extra work for day labourers like Malik and Atikah. Given this situation, Nabila has to help the family so her mother can go into the forest. So it’s not surprising that she is still in primary school, while her age-mates are already in junior high. While her mother works in the plantation, Nabila has been running the house and caring for her twin sisters, Aisyah and Aminah, since they were babies. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 25
  41. 41. ARMINHARI ARMINHARI BOYS & GIRLS BOTH WORK Boys and girls in poor families often have to help earn money. “For Mum,” they say, to explain how the money is used. And for this same reason, parents in poor families often allow their children not to go to school, or force them to quit school. GALLERY 1 Children, Gender Construction & Work
  42. 42. GALLERY 1 Children, Gender Construction & Work
  43. 43. ARMINHARI ARMINHARIBETAPETTAWARANIE GIRLS HELP THEIR MOTHERS, SO DO BOYS The work that boys do to help their parents - herding livestock, gathering firewood, and carrying water - can usually also be done by girls. But washing dishes, doing laundry, and caring for children are seen as suitable only for girls.
  44. 44. BETAPETTAWARANIE ARMINHARIARMINHARI GALLERY 1 Children, Gender Construction & Work WORK FOR GIRLS AND THE PROCESS OF SOCIALISING GENDER ROLES Female responsibility for running the household is internalised through play related to housework starting in early childhood. In contrast, the role of males as breadwinners is not usually related to their play, except to build constructs of masculinity through games such as ‘playing war’.
  45. 45. 32 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty violence against children: bad living conditions, unequal power relations between the parents, a wife’s economic dependence on her husband, and the collective neglect of children from poor families. These factors also decrease the likelihood of early detection of abuse.14 Sexual violence against girls in poor families is often associated with the ‘cultural’ obligations imposed on them. They are expected to give in or to serve their parents in different ways from what is expected of boys. Being forced into marriage at an early age or even being deliberately sold into prostitution – these things only happen to girls, though boys from poor families also have to help earn a living in very harsh ways. It’s worse for girls with disabilities. The organisation Rifka Annisa in Yogyakarta notes that since 2003, court cases of sexual violence against girls with disabilities have increased from two cases in 2004, to four in 2008 and then eight in 2011.15 This is also noted by institutions that work12 The National Child Protection Commission (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia - KPAI) suggests that the lack of space in poor families’ homes contributes to incest. In many cases, incest occurs when the wife is working outside the home or as a migrant worker. Through subjection of the daughter, or by creating a feeling of guilt because her mother has left the family to work, the daughter is asked to sacrifice herself by servicing her father’s sexual needs. (Badriyah Fayumi, KPAI, interview. Jakarta, 17 June 2013). 13 Lies Marantika, Yayasan Humanum, interview. Ambon, 12 July 2013. 14 Pusat Studi Wanita Universitas Indonesia (2013), ‘Kekerasan Seksual di Lembaga Pendidikan di Wilayah Depok’ (Sexual Violence in Educational Institutions in the Depok Area). Jakarta: PSW UI. Field report document. 15 Data from Rifka Annisa 2011, Director of Rifka Annisa, interview, Yogyakarta, 12 September 2013. BETAPETTAWARANIEARMINHARI The practices of exploitation and discrimination may start here. Though they all experience poverty, from an early age girls typically bear greater burdens than their brothers. And in the most extreme cases such as incest, girls replace their mothers in fulfilling the sexual needs of their fathers.12 Since the conflict, we’ve opened this Safe House here (Ambon). Many wives have been victims of violence by their husbands who have lost their jobs. Girls are victims of sexual violence by their fathers or stepfathers. Often the mother knows about it, but in a refugee camp situation she is powerless to do anything about it; the burden of making a living is too great to bear alone. The daughter is often asked to keep quiet, or even threatened by her mother not to speak up. And the girl obeys, because she has no one else in the refugee camp but her mother. This kind of situation makes the assistance process at the Safe House very difficult. The daughter and the mother may ‘conspire’ to cover up the cruelty of the father or stepfather, even when the child is showing clear signs of mental distress.13 Although this phenomenon occurs in all social strata, in poor families the conditions are more conducive to sexual
  46. 46. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 33 ARMINHARI Girls from poor families in refugee barracks such as in (ABOVE), or in dense slums such as in (BELOW) are most vulnerable to violence and sexual crimes, even by those closest to them (family and relatives). 16 Yayasan SAPDA has handled several cases of students at special needs schools who have experienced sexual violence by teachers or dormitory caretakers. SAPDA has compiled a guide for handling such cases. (Nurul Saadah of SAPDA, interview, 9 April 2013). 17 Yeni Rosa Damayanti, interview, 18 February 2013. Ms. Damayanti has handled case of sexual violence involving girls with mental illness who were kept in restraints. specifically with people with disabilities, such as SAPDA,16 and most violence never gets reported to courts. One of the most difficult issues in preventing violence against children with disabilities is the lack of awareness of the law. For this reason, reports of such violence are often ignored, even by the children’s own families. In some cases, the children are blamed, or their families for failing to protect them. And in some cases, girls with mental illness are seen as sexually deviant, so when they experience sexual violence, the act is not considered a crime and the perpetrator is not investigated.17
  47. 47. 34 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty Mila in Court Majid, Mila’s father, originally worked in a sawmill. After his land was expropriated for the expansion of oil palm plantations in East Aceh, the sawmill shut down and Majid was unemployed. He might have worked in the oil palm plantation, but the plantation wanted new, sturdier workers. Majid, a man of frail build, accepted his fate. Then there was another unexpected tragedy: Mila’s mother Marliyah was paralysed on one side after the birth of her youngest ZULFAND.MUHAMMAD child. She had suffered from anaemia and malnutrition during her pregnancy. Rather than dealing with the problem, Mila’s father just took off and is now driving a becak in Medan. Marliyah was left alone with her children: two boys and one girl. Since she was partly paralysed, Marliyah could only work for her mother or her sister, earning just one serving of food. To reduce the burden, she put Mila in the care of her older sister. But because the sister also had several dependents, she then passed Mila on to a childless couple who she thought would be suitable as Mila’s foster parents. Marliyah wanted her children to be able to go to school and have enough to eat. They only wanted Mila, because boys could not be relied on to take care of the house. Mila was only six at the time. As was revealed in the court hearings, Mila started to experience sexual violence when she was just seven years old. The acts were only disclosed in late 2012, shortly after Mila had her first menstrual period. When the trial took place, Mila was twelve. Before five men in black robes - the panel of judges, the defence attorney and the prosecutor – Mila told in the local language about what she had seen, heard and felt from the indecent treatment by her stepfather.v The poverty experienced by children is often ‘solved’ in simple, ad hoc ways such as placing them with relatives, neighbours or other families. While many of these do provide suitable care and education, as if for their own children, such arrangements are also often used as a form of concealed slavery. Foster children are treated as unpaid servants and not given an education. The case of Mila in Aceh illustrates this problem.
  48. 48. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 35 19 Judge D.S. Dewi, interview. Cibinong, 3 July 2013. For more, see Dewi, D.S. and Syukur F.A (2011), Mediasi Penal: Penerapan Restorative Justice di Pengadilan Anak Indonesia (Penal Mediation: Application of Restorative Justice in Children’s Courts in Indonesia). Jakarta: Indie Publishing. of the child, whether they are the accused or the victim, rather than applying retributive punishment.19 For girls who have experienced sexual violence, the priority is to protect them from repeated trauma. A sensitive approach needs to go beyond their status as children. In a society that considers sexuality an aspect of honour, these girls bear a tremendous burden. In the various localities where she has served, Judge Dewi tries to provide child-friendly court facilities such as a child- friendly courtroom, a child-friendly waiting room, a mediation room, and teleconference facilities so that the child and the accused do not have to meet in person. It is also important that if a court does not have special judges dedicated to children’s cases, regular judges are instructed to avoid using any language, gestures or wear costumes that would intimidate children or make them feel guilty or dirty. To this end, it is most effective to appoint a panel of judges who understand the particular issues surrounding sexual violence against children. Above all, according to Judge Dewi, it is also essential to approach the child’s parents so that they do not make his or her mental state even worse through actions intended to smooth over the situation. For example, 18 In the records of cases involving children in the Cibinong Court in 2013, there were nine cases with children as perpetrators and 31 with children as victims, 28 of which were cases of sexual violence against girls, with adult men as perpetrators in 25 cases, and boys as perpetrators against girls in three cases. Sexual violence and exploitation are just a few examples of how girls are more vulnerable than boys in poverty. This situation can only be understood with appropriate analytical tools that expose inequality between males and females, boys and girls, and the vulnerability that this causes. And it is not impossible to do this. A number of legal institutions have undertaken such efforts. Judge D.S. Dewi - Deputy Presiding Judge of the Cibinong District Court, West Java - has long been concerned with children’s issues. She described the efforts by legal institutions to be more sensitive toward children facing the law. She notes that in several locations where she has worked – Bale Endah in Bandung, Stabat in North Sumatra – the numbers of boys and girls facing legal cases has been rising. Apart from theft and physical violence, the most prominent cases are sexual violence, whether perpetrated by adults or child-to-child.18 Judge Dewi, and leading legal figures such as Supreme Court Justice Bismar Siregar, Supreme Court Justice Mariani and other pioneers in children’s courts, consider that in cases involving children it is far more appropriate to apply an approach of restorative justice that improves the situation
  49. 49. 36 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty Judge Dewi at the Cibinong District Court deciding a case granting a child’s birth certificate, before the issuance of Supreme Court Circular 6/2013 on determination of status of children for birth certificates, which no longer requires a court decision. ARMINHARI she rejects efforts by families to urge the (adult) perpetrator of sexual violence to marry the child as an out- of-court settlement. Such a solution, she says, is only concerned with the interests of the adults, and ignores the suffering of the child. For girls with special needs, Judge Dewi places the obligation on the state to provide experts who understand the issues without prejudice, and avoid depriving the child of their fundamental human rights, because of their disability. With a legal system sensitive to the needs of boy and girl children and law enforcers who are also sensitive to gender issues, a degree of justice for girls like Mila can be achieved. But law enforcement does not exist in a vacuum. In a society that still prioritises boys, achieving a social system that is fair toward girls is an equally important struggle. Through this struggle, the fate of girls like Sonya, Salsa and Nabila can changed. If only Indonesia had more leaders like Judge Dewi, more sensitive toward gender injustice in development, children and women would be protected in court and society, they would be protected from unnecessary impoverishment.v ARMINHARI
  50. 50. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 37 Growing-up Unequal2 In many of the poor families we visited, daughters are considered important, but sons are where the family pins its hope. Differential treatment of boys and girls is inherent in various elements of culture: fables, legends, folktales, social practices, inheritance traditions, and in the market and politics. Ibu Lilis, a Sundanese woman who works as a tea processing forewoman at the Goalpara plantation in Sukabumi, West Java, explained it symbolically: “Lalaki mah panjang lengkahna pikeun jaga nulung ka indung” (Males have longer steps to help their mothers). Girls, she feels, have ‘short steps’, tied down by their children, their families, their households, or their home villages. Yet neither of Ibu Lilis’s sons is actually able to help her; both are far away. Wahyu is working as a primary school teacher in Jambi, and her youngest child, Acep, drives a minibus in another city. Even now that she is retired and worn by age, only her eldest daughter, Enik is there to help. Before Lilis retired, Enik worked as a housewife, but she was very busy with two children to take care of. Enik also helps Lilis run her household, cooks for her father, gathers firewood, and takes care of her nephew, Wahyu’s son, who stays with Lilis. Every day Enik takes Wahyu’s son to and from kindergarten.
  51. 51. Women workers at the Goalpara tea plantation, Sukabumi, West Java picking and weighing the crop. They work in the plantation all day, going home as evening approaches. When the tea plants are producing buds and the tea processing runs into the night, Enik takes over all of Lilis’s household duties, with no help from her two brothers. Just as in well-off families, in poor families the perceptions about children are not always static. The idea of the superiority of boys is often normative, but this normative assumption can become reality when it is established in tradition, practiced through religious and other beliefs, and moves into ideals. Mak Itoh, an itinerant food vendor in Cukulur, Serang, Banten,20 explains: 38 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty
  52. 52. ARMINHARI “If the child is a boy, the gift to the traditional midwife is different, and the payment is also higher. The gift to the midwife is complete, with chicken or at least eggs, not just tofu, tempe (soybean cake), srundeng (fried grated coconut pulp) and steamed vegetables. If it’s a boy, the midwife says the massage has to be harder, and assisting the birth takes more energy.” Such higher ‘value’ for boys applies not just in traditional medical practices, but also in health care. In the negeri (village) of Waru, Teon Nila Serua sub-district, Central Maluku, for example, the fee for giving birth to a boy is 200,000 to 300,000 rupiah higher than for a girl. The midwife justifies this by saying that more medicine is needed to induce the birth of a boy, though she also admits there is no link between the difficulty 20 Since Multatuli published Max Havelaar in 1860, poverty has continued to haunt the people of Banten. Most of the population of 10.6 million (5.4 million males and 5.9 million females) live below the poverty line. Central Agency of Statistics (Badan Pusat Statistik - BPS) data indicate that the poor population of Banten in March 2013 was 656,243 – an increase of 7,989 from the previous quarter. One obvious clearest poverty indicator is the high Maternal Mortality Rate – the highest on the island of Java. Becoming a migrant worker is the likeliest work option for women from Banten, due to their low educational level. The shift in land use from agriculture to industry has eliminated job opportunities for uneducated farmers and farm workers. Factories also employ many women, at the lowest wages. In gender terms, this situation has caused a deterioration of the socioeconomic conditions of women, in a province led by a female governor, Ratu Atut Chosiah – who, at the time this book was written, was under investigation by the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi - KPK) for cases of suspected corruption and abuse of authority. 21 From a focus group discussion with women organised by Yayasan Pasuri - a local based NGO member of Baileo Maluku Network - in Waru Village, TNS Subdistrict, Central Maluku, 9 July 2013. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 39 of the delivery and the sex of the baby.21 The most logical reason for this favouring of boys, is that they are expected to later become the protectors of their families, or to provide a livelihood and keep the family from falling further into poverty. Changing labour patterns and less certainty of male employment has not automatically altered this prioritisation of sons. The rituals and traditions ensuring the superiority of sons are maintained. In Sundanese and Javanese Muslim traditions, sons receive special treatment starting with the kekahan or thanksgiving ceremony for their birth - two goats are slaughtered for a boy, just one for a girl. A boy undergoes a gusaran ritual before being circumcised. The stages in this ritual, such as ibak (bathing), dangdos (dressing), diparas Mak Itoh in her kitchen. ARMINHARI
  53. 53. (shaving), and saweran (the boy being showered with turmeric, rice, candy, and small change) contain symbols that confirm the masculinity of boys. In some areas of West Java, the gusaran is also performed for daughters, with the stages of the ritual confirming the femininity of girls. In poor families, the birth of a son is considered a blessing only for a reason that would seem very simple to most people: bringing home the cooked food parcels known as ‘berkat’ from a selamatan – the congratulatory ceremony only done for boys: 40 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty Gusaran ritual in a vegetable growing region of Lembang, Bandung, led by a female paraji (midwife). Even in a simple ceremony, gender constructions on how a boy should behave are perpetuated. During the ritual, the paraji conveys advice through a song in Sundanese that stresses how the boy must later become a noble hero.
  54. 54. ARMINHARI It’s great to have sons; you can go to a selamatan and bring home berkat. We can eat berkat for seven evenings when a neighbour has a selamatan. And here, people have selamatan almost every day, especially in the months of Rejeb, Mulud, and Haji. I couldn’t get any berkat because all my children are girls. I’m a widow and don’t have any sons- in-law yet. Here, women aren’t invited to the selamatan. So it’s just too bad for us women: we don’t get a share of the berkat.22 Every mother in a poor family relies on the help and shared responsibility of her daughters, particularly in difficult times. In some of the regions we visited, we saw a clear shift in the value of daughters in poor families. Many parents now recognise the opening of work opportunities for daughters. However elements in the community such as tradition, religion, even governmental regulations, reinforce the preference for sons. After the Volcano: Children on Palue Island In certain regions, such as Palue island, Sikka Regency, Flores, girls are considered less important than boys. Surprisingly, this view was expressed by people on an island where most of the 22 Katipah (odd-jobs worker), interview. Samparwadi, Serang, 5 April 2013. Rejeb, Mulud, and Haji are months of the Islamic (Hijriyah) calendar considered important for conducting religious rituals. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 41 residents are women. The island could well be described as an ‘island of angels’ – an island of women with lips stained red from chewing betel. These women are diligent, hard workers. They laugh out loud when they say that their men are lazy – all they do is drink moke (a local alcoholic beverage distilled from sugar palm). Many of the men from the island go and seek work elsewhere. The fishermen living along the coast go to sea for months at a time, seeking fish as far away as Manggarai or even Papua, and return with the western monsoon. Men from the mountains go to work in Malaysia, passing through Batam or Nunukan in East Kalimantan. They don’t like to be called ‘migrant workers,’ because they never use the services of labour supply agencies to work abroad. They work in sawmills and oil palm plantations. Some women accompany their husbands who work abroad, but they don’t undertake paid work themselves. Instead, they care for their husbands, or operate kitchens for single male workers. The women who stay in the villages work as farmers and weavers. Natural disasters such as the eruption of Rokatenda volcano on Palue island have a negative impact on children, equally bad for both boys and girls. When they are living in refuges, girls become helpers for their mothers in starting a new life. Children have to adapt to new environments, new friends, and new schools.
  55. 55. 42 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty Hermin Emanuella with teacher Karmadina Bhure, and pupils of Elementary School (Sekolah Dasar - SD) Awamaleh Nitunglea who are studying at SD Inpres Sinde Kabor, Maumere, Sikka Regency (INSERT). In Nitunglea village on the island of Palue, Hermin used to live with her mother, Maria Rakka Lebih. Her father, Emanuel Woro, was working in Malaysia. When Mount Rokatenda erupted, Hermin, her mother and her grandmother fled to Maumere. Back in the village, Hermin studied in the first grade. According to Hermin’s teacher Karmadina Bhure, who was also her teacher in the village, they had been studying for three months when the disaster interrupted the learning process at the two primary schools in the path of the volcanic mudflow. Karmadina was the first civil servant who fled to Maumere; she was placed at a primary school, Inpres Sinde Kabor, to which Hermin and twenty of her classmates have also now been sent. But Hermin refuses to go to school, saying she’s no good at the national language. As Karmadina tells it, Hermin said, “I’m scared to go to school – the boys there will hit me, because I can’t speak Indonesian.”
  56. 56. dusun dati, the sago forest, coconut fields, and clove gardens – and the proceeds are used by the family… My daughter had not finished university when she got married. Her husband took her away to Jakarta. I told her husband that my obligation was not finished, so I brought her back to Ambon, and I paid for her studies. I took care of her children until she graduated and was working. Daughters need a good education so they can be self-sufficient. Sons have been given more advantages by the social environment, by tradition.23 As a result of the conflict, both boys and girls missed the opportunity for schooling. But the conflict placed girls in a very difficult situation. Men’s jobs had been destroyed by the conflict; they were drawn into the field of battle and abandoned their families. Women had to meet the family’s day-to-day needs. In the refuges, girls fell into a trap of domestic work even more The Ambon Conflict: Girls Still Out of School On the island of Haruku, Central Maluku, as in the islands of Maluku generally, boys and girls are of relatively equal status. Many in the independence movement from Maluku were highly educated, and since colonial times people such as Kristina Marta Tiahahu have promoted education for girls. However, in local inheritance traditions, sons receive special treatment. Therefore girls are often encouraged to pursue more advanced education. Eli Kissya, a Kewang (ranger or forest caretaker), environmental figure, and laurate of the 1986 Kalpataru National Award, explains the reasons: Since 1823, the traditional lands have been registered and recorded. There are two types of land: dusun pusaka, which is inherited land for both sons and daughters, and dusun dati, inherited land specifically for sons. Girls are given a higher education so that they can protect their brothers, while the brothers have to manage the traditional land – the ARMINHARI PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 43 23 Eli Kissya, interview, Haruku island, 11 July 2013. Eli Kissya leading a traditional meeting of Kewang Haruku for the annual Buka Sasi Lompa ritual at midnight on 23 November 2013. Two of the five women permanent members of the Haruku Customary Council took part in the decision, though it was the middle of the night.
  57. 57. ARMINHARI 24 Nus Ukru (Coordinator of Baileo Maluku, a local NGOs network), interview. Ambon, 6 July 2013.. 25 Lies Marantika, Yayasan Humanum, interview. Ambon, 7 July 2013. 44 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty 26 Ibu Helena, interview. Ambon, 26 October 2013. A girl in a refuge camp - Vitas Barito Warehouse, Passo Village, Baguala Bay, Ambon Town. After more than ten years of conflict in 1999-2002, they are still there... for good masseuses. My mother encouraged me to work doing massage in a hotel because they were understaffed. Eventually, I learned how to do it and became sought after. I’ve continued working as a masseuse to pay the children’s school fees, buy food, buy water, and pay the house rent. Our oldest is working now, but our daughter quit school in junior high. Now she stays at home and takes care of my elderly mother. My husband is still looking for work; since the conflict in the city of Ambon ended, more and more people have been coming in from outside the area. They’re all young, and my husband is old now.26 burdensome than when they were at home because of the lack of infrastructure or supplementary labour from the nuclear family. This burden was even greater if the family included elders, small children, or people with special needs.24 For both boys and girls who have lost their mothers, education may simply be abandoned.25 Where fathers did not immediately find new work, the mothers had to continue supporting the family. During the conflict, for many women this work was just filling in while their husbands were away in the ‘field’. Now, many women have to work permanently as their husbands are still unemployed, because the war has ended. In this situation, many girls pick up the household duties for their mothers, as was the experience of Ibu Helena and her daughter: During the conflict, my husband was forced out of his job. He had worked in a seafood processing company. I had no job because I’m just a housewife. We have two children, a boy and a girl. School fees were higher, they had to change public transport several times, and we had to buy drinking water. At that time, water was ridiculously expensive. A tank transported from Negeri Halong to our village in Galala could be two or three times as much as it is now. Currently, it’s 159,000 rupiah a tank. During the conflict, there were a lot of troops visiting from Jakarta, and they were looking
  58. 58. if they are unmarried, or have no sons.28 A mother, particularly if she is old and comes from a poor family, depends greatly on her sons. Traditionally, the relationship between a mother and her daughters is looser than that with the neighbours. Upon marriage, a daughter will leave her mother and join her new husband’s family. Therefore, the relationship that has to be created and fostered is the one between a mother-in-law and her daughters-in-law – a relationship that is always quite complex. The position of women, whether as daughters or daughters- in-law, is equally difficult because they lose so many aspects of their independence. Ni Luh Darmiati, usually called Niki, at thirty-five is the youngest child of sixty-four year old Meme Dami, one of the hundreds of masseuses on Kuta Beach. Niki also works on the beach, giving manicures and pedicures. She has three older brothers. Meme Dami’s house is in Blok Plaza, just a few hundred meters from the beach. When she married, Niki moved to her in- laws’ house in Karangasem. But since it was too far to travel, Niki moved back to Kuta so she could continue working. She rents a room attached to her mother’s house because after marriage, she is no longer entitled to live with her parents. Every morning Niki and her mother go out together to earn their living at Kuta Beach; as evening approaches, they both return to the same house, but with 27 The population of Bali is around two million, of whom roughly five percent are newcomers from outside Bali. Most indigenous Balinese work in the tourism which as a deviation from the traditional agriculture base has given rise to a range of problems. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 45 Daughters in Bali and Lombok: No Inheritance, No Priority Whether rich or poor, for families in Bali, the presence of a son is what the family hopes for.27 It’s no wonder that a mother will not want to practice birth control, even if she has four daughters, until she has a son. In April 2013, local newspapers reported that a man had killed himself because his fourth child turned out to be a girl. In Balinese tradition, sons are purusa, inheritors, and the family and the clan descend strictly through the male line, as does the home. If there is no son, a family is considered not to have descendants, and there is no one to represent it in meetings of the banjar (customary unit of settlement at village level) or the traditional ceremonies that lie at the very heart of Balinese life. Having sons is so important that in Tabanan regency there is a traditional mechanism to address the problem of a shortage of sons through adoption of a man from outside the family as a sentana. This means that a man joins his wife’s family, and she is designated by her father’s family as the purusa. Of course, in Balinese tradition, girls also have some value. Once they are grown up, they will be called pradana. But women are not seen as having full pradana status 28 For more, see Mantra, Gayatri (2011), ‘Kekerasan Ideologi Patriarki pada Perempuan Bali (Violence of the Patriarchal Ideology against Balinese Women), Bali Sruti, the Voice of Women in Bali, 5 June 2011.
  59. 59. 29 Ni Luh Darmiati (Niki), interview. Kuta Beach, Bali, 1 June 2013. 30 Heru Utomo Yayasan Kertapraja, quoted by Merdeka.com, 21 October 2013. ARMINHARI The lives of agrarian communities in Bali in a mural at the Aston International Hotel, Kuta, Denpasar, Bali. Women’s work is celebrated in art works for the tourism industry, but in daily life they work extremely hard for very little reward. 46 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty different status because Niki is a boarder.29 The tourism industry has changed the face of Bali into a twenty-four hour entertainment venue. The saddest excess of the tourism industry is the emergence of sex workers, including many who are underage. They come from regions of East Java, giving rise to the expression ‘Bali with a Banyuwangi flavour’. Yayasan Kertapraja, a foundation working in the area of HIV, has recorded many cases of trafficking and prostitution of children brought from East Java, Kalimantan, West Java, and the poorer regions of North Bali. Both girls and boys are vulnerable to being forced into prostitution. They are all at risk of infection with communicable diseases, and for girls the additional risk of an unwanted pregnancy.30 Lombok also has a culture in which preference is given to sons. Most people in Lombok are from the Sasak ethnic group, and are Muslims of either mainstream or local varieties. The centre of religious authority lies with the Tuan Guru, who has status similar to a Kyai in Java. There are also a number of local traditional ethnic groups such as the Sasak Bayan in Lombok Utara and the Sasak Kopang in Narmada and Lingsar, who follow ‘Islam Watu Telu’ and have a very strong agrarian culture centred on males. In most agrarian cultures, girls and boys tend not to have equal status. As in Balinese tradition, in the native Sasak culture, the family home is passed on to the son. The assumption is that every married woman will follow her husband. In reality, Sasak women are hard workers who have to be able to support themselves and their children without depending on their husbands. Many men leave to seek work elsewhere, or have lost their main livelihood as farmers because the land has been sold to go on the hajj to Mecca or to
  60. 60. goods that can be carried on the head), while a man receives a sepelembah (symbolised by two baskets on a carrying pole). In the Sasak language, this division of inheritance is referred to as ‘sepelembah sepersonan,’ or one part compared with two parts.32 This is no different from the Javanese or Sundanese custom of dividing the inheritance into sepikul (two parts) for males and PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 47 seek work elsewhere. PEKKA’s Community Based Poverty Monitoring System (Sistem Pemantauan Kemiskinan Berbasis Masyarakat - SPKBK)31 found that villages in Lombok had higher than average rates of female-family heads. In one village visited it was almost 30 percent. There is another Sasak tradition that adapts the teachings of Islam with regard to inheritance, whereby a woman receives a sepersonan (symbolised by a basket of 32 Rajagukguk, Erman (2007), ‘Pluralisme Hukum Waris: Studi Kasus Hak Waris di Pulau Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat’ (Pluralism of Inheritance Law: Case Study of Inheritance Rights in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara), available at http:// www.ermanhukum.com/Makalah%20ER%20pdf/ Pluralisme%20Hukum%20Waris%20Lombok.pdf 31 The Community-Based Poverty Monitoring System (SPKBK) is a census survey, developed and implemented in partnership with the SMERU research institute in 2012. See also Chapter 5.
  61. 61. 33 Rajagukguk, ibid, p. 5. 34 Halimah (PEKKA cadre), interview. Gemel Village, Jonggat, Lombok Tengah, 7 Juli 2013. 35 KOMNAS Perempuan (2008), ‘Laporan Pemantauan: Perempuan dan Anak Ahmadiyah, Korban Diskriminasi Berlapis.’ (Human Rights Monitoring Report: Women and Children of Ahmadiyah, Victims of Multilayers Dicsrimination). Jakarta: KOMNAS Perempuan. 36 Saparinah Sadli, interview. 15 September 2013. 37 Basyiruddin Aziz (a candidate Ahmadiyah muballigh from Garut, West Java, assisting Ahmadiyah residents in the refugee camp), interview. Mataram, Lombok, 9 July 2013. 48 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty Nisa & Bapu Acun: Forced into Poverty Her name is Nisa, twenty-one years old. She suffers from paralysis and intellectual impairment. Seven years ago, before her family was evicted from its village in East Lombok and then from Central Lombok, Nisa could still walk. She was able to eat and go out of the house by herself. But since the attacks on the Ahmadiyah community have usually had quite high educational aspirations for their daughters, more so than those of their neighbours. However, after the conflict in Lombok, the Ahmadiyah’s access to education for their daughters was impeded. Since they were expelled from their home villages and began living in refugee camps seven years ago, many parents can only prioritise schooling for their sons. In this worrisome situation, they need muballigh (male preachers) who can reinforce their resolve. They pool their funds to send their sons to study in other cities. Meanwhile, their daughters are forced to leave school and their parents try to find husbands for them from among Ahmadiyah in other cities.36,37 segendongan (one part) for females. However, there are still many who follow the same custom as in Bali, whereby daughters receive no inheritance at all. After marriage a woman is deemed to have left and joined her husband’s family. In lieu of an inheritance, rich parents may provide their daughter with a gift to establish the household, in the form of a set of gold jewellery, as complete as possible.33 Unfortunately, women do not have full control over this property they bring into the marriage: True, the jewellery from the parents belongs to the woman, but after she is married it is as if it’s the wife’s part of the common property. When money is needed for childbirth or school fees, what woman would be willing to hold on to her jewellery if her husband can’t afford to pay? Or say the husband wants to go work in Malaysia but lacks the capital to go, so he borrows his wife’s jewellery, promising to pay it back later – and then he never comes back. So the jewellery gets used up not for her own needs, but for the family.34 Poverty always interferes with children’s access to education, particularly in times of conflict. A study by KOMNAS Perempuan35 on the impact of violence on religious minority groups notes the poor access to education for girls who are conflict victims. Followers of the Ahmadiyah branch of Islam ARMINHARI
  62. 62. ARMINHARI 38 Ahmadiyah is a form of Islam, often referred to pejoratively as a sect. In Indonesia, Lahore Ahmadiyah was officially established as a legal entity in 1930, and Qadiyan Ahmadiyah was established in 1959. Thirty-two Ahmadiyah households, comprising 117 persons, have been staying at Asrama Transito, Mataram since 4 February 2006. At the former Praya Mataram public hospital there are another nine families, mostly women and children. Since that time, the Ahmadiyah have been refugees within their own country. The central government, represented by the Minister of Religious Affairs, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Attorney General, signed a Joint Decree (Surat Keputusan Bersama -SKB) No. 3/2008 on ‘Warning and Order to Followers, Members and/or Officials of Jemaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia.’ The warning contained in the decree served as a source of legitimisation for the public to conduct attacks against, and to discriminate and intimidate Ahmadiyah followers. In certain regions where Ahmadiyah followers live, such as Banten, Bekasi, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Lombok and Sumbawa, the consequence of their expulsion has been their sudden total impoverishment. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 49 in Lombok,38 Nisa’s family has had to flee from place to place. Since that time, Nisa’s abilities have steadily declined. There are no adequate facilities to assist her to move around; they do not have a wheelchair. Every day Nisa just lies on a couch by the window, watching the clouds pass by. She cries when she hears thunder or is hungry or in pain. She also cries if her mother doesn’t say goodbye before going out to sell things all day long. Nisa’s older sisters, Nurul and Faizah, take turns caring for her – carrying her to the bathroom or feeding her. Yet Nurul herself has just had a baby. Apart from Nisa, their grandmother (Bapu) Acun (below right) is also in the room which is partitioned off with a brown sheet. Acun is half blind and very frail. She can still eat by herself, but needs her grandchildren’s help to go to the bathroom. She realises she is a burden on them, so she prefers to mostly stay in her tiny room with a sheet for a wall.v
  63. 63. 50 | A JOURNEY AGAINST DEFEAT: Narratives of Women’s Rejection of Poverty aristocrats, because no men can afford to pay a suitable belis for them.39 Although they are of noble status, they can be trapped in poverty by the many expensive traditional ceremonies. If an aristocratic family falls into poverty, the first ones to be affected by the disaster are the daughters: they become poor, they cannot marry because their belis is so extraordinarily high, and, as men have the important position in the family and control any property such as houses and land, the women are left without an inheritance as well. The costly belis tradition has encouraged the practice of raising a family without officially marrying.40 Paying the belis is the first stage in the process of a traditionally recognised marriage. After the traditional wedding, couples should have a consecration ceremony in church, and then register the marriage with the civil registry. If they skip the traditional wedding, then automatically the next stages – the church wedding and civil registry – are also neglected. In other cases, people only do the traditional ceremony, but do not register the marriage. Without a marriage certificate from the state, couples cannot arrange birth certificates for their children. Daughters in NTT: Preserving Customs, Incurring Debts In the Ende and Sikka cultures, as is common throughout NTT, the value of a daughter is related to the traditional dowry, or belis. The belis can be quite high – tens or even hundreds of millions of rupiah. The belis provided by the groom’s family includes ivory, antique gold, horses, cattle or buffalo, coconuts and bananas, all in substantial quantities. From the bride’s side, the gifts given in response can be quite expensive as well. As well as horses and cattle, they have to provide enough traditional woven cloth (ikat) for all the male members of the groom’s family. In the understanding of the traditional cultures in NTT, the purpose of this practice is to provide ‘worth’ for the daughter and her extended family. Among the local aristocrats, belis also functions to maintain their social status. But for the poor, belis traps them in debt to loan sharks or credit banks, at very high interest. The practice of borrowing money is widely recognised as one of the roots of impoverishment everywhere, and Eastern Indonesia is no exception. But it seems that neither the church nor cultural experts have found a way to deal with the custom of belis. Many women never get married, because no prospective husband can afford to pay the belis. Such women are somewhat insultingly called du’a deri gete (literally, ‘big women sitting’, that is, old maids). Many of the du’a deri gete are from the ranks of the 39 Maya Say (labour activist), interview, Maumere, 28 May 2013. 40 This statement was issued by district court and religious court judges in a focus group discussion on legal identity held by University of Indonesia Centre for Child Protection Studies (Pusat Kajian Perlindungan Anak Universitas Indonesia - PUSKAPA UI) and the Supreme Court, conducted in Kupang, 14 May 2013.
  64. 64. 41 Nani Zulminarni (National Coordinator, PEKKA), interview. 9 August 2013. PART ONE: Gender, Girls and Poor Families | 51 According to PEKKA research, on Adonara island, Larantuka, NTT, seventy-two percent of village residents lack at least one of the important legal identity documents such as a marriage certificate or a birth certificate.41 Faced with a similar situation in Bali, Tabanan Regency government agencies worked together to implement mass issuance of more than 2000 birth certificates through one-stop, mobile services. To celebrate the 519th anniversary of the City of Tabanan in November 2012, the Tabanan Regency Government set a target of serving 2,000 citizens to obtain birth certificates – an undertaking for which it has received an award from the Indonesian Museum of Records. Mobilised by the Bupati (Regent) of Tabanan, Ni Putu Eka Wiryastuti, this activity was made possible through the full support of other elements of government: the District Court, the Civil Registry Office, and the district and village administrations. From our conversation with the Presiding Judge of the Tabanan District Court, I Dewa Putu Yusmai Hardika, the Head of the Tabanan Regency Civil Registry Office, Nyoman Gede Gunawan, and the Regent, in July 2013, we noted this action as an extraordinary effort to fulfil residents’ rights. BEST PRACTICE Issuance of birth certificates through mobile and free-of-charge sessions Ni Putu Eka - the first woman regent in Bali - said that her program for mass confirmation of birth certificates was not just meant to fulfil a campaign promise. She realised that many people in Bali, particularly the economically disadvantaged, did not have a birth certificate, and that birth certificates are essential documents for fulfilling a number of rights, starting with the right to a legal identity. She expressed great appreciation to the Tabanan District Court and the Civil RegistryNi Putu Eka Wiryastuti, the Regent of Tabanan, Bali. ARMINHARI

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