Published: 09/05/2006

Gender Budgeting Program is Women Research Institute (WRI) action program that is based on the preliminary research results conducted in 2001 – 2002. The research reveals that the budgeting system in Indonesia is still neutral or even more gender-blind. It is still assumed that public budgeting has already addressed both men and women. Although budget allocation is meant for all citizen, it does not mean that everybody, including women, will equally benefit from it. If there is any budget allocation for women, it is always related to the stereotyped roles of women.


Based on this notion, WRI is urged to contribute to the budget application that is gender budgeting and to carry out several programs such as:


1. Workshop on Socialization of Gender Budgeting and Planning for the Multi-stakeholder in 8 areas.


This activity supports multi-stakeholders from 8 regencies/municipalities, particularly those who have attended Gender Budgeting training, to socialize to the public gender perspective and method for budget analysis that uses gender perspective. It is expected that subsequent to their participation in this workshop, these supported multi stakeholders will conduct their own socialization endeavours.


In general, the process of the socialization on Gender Budgeting for the Multi-stakeholder in 8 areas was carried out through a process of discussion attended by a limited number of people (25 people or more). In the city of Solok, Kebumen Regency, and the city of Pontianak, discussions were attended by more than 25 people.


These activities were carried out in June – July 2004 involving various parties such as the decision makers from the local parliament, local authorities, local development body, Dispenda, Women Bureau, Women Parliament members’ caucus, community leaders (tokoh adat), religious leaders, NGOs and other local organizations and media.


In the first stage, as intended, WRI can explore and identify the local problems to understand gender and gender injustice including the people involved and the mechanism of budgeting. In this stage also, WRI can identify the local partners that are willing to work together and implement gender budgeting. It is worth noting that each town or regency has unique problems in understanding gender and gender budgeting.


In the city of Banda Aceh, for example, adopting Syariah Law has ignored the role of gender and gender relations. The religious leaders who tend to think in a patriarchal ways of thinking proclaimed that women cannot become leaders, and besides, it is considered sinful. In addition, there is a local law No.3/2003 or Qanun No. 3/2003 stating that any act of ratification by the authority as well as by parliament members should be discussed with the religious leaders. This policy is considered to be the stumbling block of budget allocation for women empowerment or programs that are sensitive to gender. Another issue is Syariah police that intended more to monitor the way women dressed according to the Syariah law rather than to pay more attention to the needs of the community, such as the rehabilitation program for victims of war violence, education and health fund for mothers and children.


In the city of Solok, although culturally matrilineal, men (uncle or mamak) control the policy related to the heritage issues and the certification of land. There are cases where uncles sell the heritage, in this case land, without the sister/s’ knowledge or consent.


In the city of Kupang, the body that has the authority to handle women’s problems only on the level of a bureau and not operational. Since the bureau of women empowerment is under a staff member, it only gives services with a very limited budget. In addition, the officer who is supposed to handle women problems belongs to the lower rank of the civil servants hierarchical ranks and not capable of making decisions.


Gianyar regency takes culture as the policy instrument and will eventually use religion to settle issues in the society. For example, customs are proposed by praremen the majority of which are men, and women are not involved. As a result, the custom issues are to the disadvantage of women. If there is any justice to women it has something to do only with the due paid to banjar or community. Besides, if there is anyone who acts on behalf of gender, the doer will be excluded from his banjar and will be fined for his wrongdoing. As a result, they will act accordingly.


In the city of Mataram, women’s problems especially market retribution have hardly been accommodated by the local authority. Market entrepreneurs, the majority of which are woman, feel that the retribution they have to pay is quite burdening to them. They had to pay various kinds of retribution like security retribution and sanitation. There are still other retributions that they have to pay and there is always a market collector coming to collect money from them. The vision of the city of Mataram to become a developed and religious city is only shown through physical development while religious development is shown through the development of mosques that are not gender sensitive.


In Kebumen Regency, discrimination and violence against women are found especially against those who keep their money in the bank. They cannot withdraw their money without the husband’s consent. Besides, there is a tendency to see the budget from the distribution points of view. The fact showed that involvement in the decision-making is also important.


In Manado, the program of women empowerment did not reach the target. Most of the projects are carried out by the PKK and most of the projects are meant for comparative study but are not related to the improvement of women capacity and lives. The proofs of the comparative study are only photos that do not reflect the implementation of the project.


While in the city of Pontianak, the understanding of gender and responsive gender budgeting are found. But it cannot be seen in the decision-making. This triggers the budget reallocation, for example, the reallocation of budget to the program evaluation. Besides, there is hardly any women’s involvement in the legislative level.


In the second stage, the participants study the situation and condition in the first stage, and the facilitator explained the understanding of Gender and Gender Budgeting not only on the level of concept and theory, but also with supporting data taken from WRI research findings for comparison. In this second stage, the process of improving the capacity of the participants understanding about gender perspective takes place. In general, in this stage, each participant is open to ideas and starts to understand gender perspective and the importance of gender budgeting.


In the third stage that is also the final stage, WRI and the participants convene democratically and design the schedule for the training and advocacy that will be carried out by WRI. It should be in congruent with the time when the process of budgeting of regional revenue and expenditure (APBD) in each respective region takes place.


2. Multi-stakeholder Training on Budgeting in 8 cities/regencies


WRI performs the Gender Budgeting program in 8 regencies/municipalities in Indonesia. Based on the experience of this ongoing program, it appears that various stakeholders in each region have not had proficient understanding on gender perspective and moreover, on its benefits for the attempts to provide budget policy and allocation that is oriented for the marginalized groups. Almost all regencies/municipalities show that the civilian stakeholders do not aware that they have the rights to involve in budget formulation and allocation. Based on the experience from this Gender Budgeting program, for the next three years there is a need to conduct capacity building activities in gender perspective and skill for monitoring and advocacy on budget policy and allocation.


The aim of the training, in general, is to improve the capability of the representative of civil society organizations and the state in the process of budgeting that is sensitive to the poor and marginalized community including women. For the time being, the training is aimed at:

  1. Identifying problems that occur due to the implementation of non gender budgeting;
  2. Analyzing the budget implementation that is not gender perspective in research areas; and
  3. Identifying the counterparts at local administrative level to promote the implementation of regional gender budgeting.


The representation of participants in the training on gender budgeting was different from the one during the preparation for the training in 8 cities/regencies. The training activities for the member of executive and legislative bodies also changed. Those from executive and legislative bodies who were invited to come were those from Budgeting C Commission, D or E Commission, women local members of parliament if any, head of section or sub head of section of Education, Health, Women Empowerment, and Labor, Multi-stakeholder Forum or Anti-corruption NGOs, women NGOS, and PKK. Some reasons behind the changes in the representation of the participants are: (1) that the parties invited are related to the issues that WRI is intended to address; (2) that those parties have access to, are involved in the budgeting decision making; and (3) that the program should reach its objective effectively.


The process that the participant went through in order to reach the program objective includes: (1) identification of the level of understanding of concept, gender perspective, and the method of analysis; (2) using group discussion and plenary to identify and map Gender issues; (3) discussing gender budgeting; (4) examining budgeting document of each working group (DASK) through group discussion and plenary by having the case of the city of Bandung as a case study; and (5) designing performance based and gender budgeting through group discussion and plenary. To end up the training the participants designed the follow-up activities after the training.


During the group discussion and plenary, the participant got better Gender understanding and admitted their mistakes during the gender budgeting.


In every group discussion, WRI could explore deeper local issues that are unique in each area. The characteristics of issues are reflected in the follow-up plan of each area. The characteristics of these issues lead to the gender perspective reconstruction that is different from what it was before. The regency of Solok will disseminate Gender and Gender budgeting to all walks of life under the responsibility of Head of Women Empowerment Section supported by the regent of Solok regency.


In the meantime, the regency of Kebumen will form a forum that will control Gender budgeting to allocate fund so that women can participate in the development of village fully. The city of Mataram will disseminate Gender and Gender budgeting to all parties especially to legislative body who were not present during the training as well as to the third echelon that is involved in budgeting. The same case happened in Gianyar regency. It will disseminate the importance of gender perspective as widely as possible. The city of Aceh will disseminate gender perspective although Qanun No. 3/2003 will make it difficult. But the participants from the legislative body will make it possible. The city of Pontianak will also do the same thing. That is by setting up a forum like the one in Kebumen regency and Head of Social and Culture Section of the city of Pontianak will be in charge of the program just like the way Solok regency handles it.


3. Policy Advocacy


According WRI, the policy advocacy on planning and budgeting should become a program by using gender perspective and pro poor as well as supporting the marginalized groups. The program it is hoped to encourage multi stakeholders in 8 regencies/municipalities to carry out the advocacy for budget policy and allocation that uses gender perspective. This advocacy is expected to produce gender sensitive budget policy and allocation in 8 regencies/municipalities. ***