Press Release Public Seminar “Women’s Political Representation: Gender Equality and Equity Bill,” 16 January 2014
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The Women Research Institute (WRI) supports the initiative of Indonesian People’s Representative Council (DPR-RI) to include the Gender Equality and Equity Bill in the list of National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) of the 2012 Prioritised Bills. The parliament’s initiative to advance the Gender Equality and Equity Bill is one of the significant “investments” and breakthroughs for the policy reform to side with women in Indonesia. The Bill needs to be supported, because a majority of policies created during the reformation era and aimed at pushing democratisation in Indonesia did not necessarily increase the prosperity of the people, particularly women.
In the effort to support the Bill, WRI conducted a policy research to identify problems and provide policy recommendations that are politically manageable for the Bill, which is currently being discussed at the People’s Representative Council. The study of this policy is important to strengthen women’s political representation. This is because the present needs do not only support women to enter the parliament or public sphere but also arm them with the capacity to not merely be present and stand for the people. More than that, the needs enable them to influence and act for all Indonesian people, particularly in realising gender equality.
The policy research particularly focuses its attention on the fulfilment of Indonesian women’s political rights through the enhancement of quality and quantity of women’s political representation in order to influence the public policy-making.
This Policy Research identifies gender responsive policies regarding the current women’s political representation and its implementation on the lives of women in Indonesia. This Policy Research also provides an illustration about the political representation of women DPR-RI members in relation to the drafting of the gender equality and equity policy. In addition, it also identifies issues and opportunities that support the issuing of the Bill in the hope to protect and fulfil the nature of gender equality in Indonesia.
Until today, only very few researches have given comprehensive recommendations on the drafting and discussion of the Gender Equality and Equity Bill in Indonesia, particularly from the viewpoint of its impacts on women in the political and public spheres. Whereas, in strengthening women’s political representation, a joint advocacy work with extra-parliament groups, i.e. civil society organisations and political parties, is needed. As representatives of people’s aspirations, civil society organisations have an important role in bridging and supporting the roles and functions of the parliament, in order to fulfil gender equality and equity. Therefore, it is important to have the political representation of women DPR-RI members and the power of civil society organisations in issuing gender-responsive policies – in this context, the Gender Equality and Equity Bill.
Based on the findings of this policy research, WRI released a Policy Research Paper to push for the ratification of the Bill before the tenure of the DPR-RI members end in mid-2014. This policy research demonstrates the importance of the Bill. This Bill, which will be ratified to the Law on Gender Equality and Equity, is expected to push for establishing an understanding on gender equality from the family, government, to the society. The Law on Gender Equality and Equity will also reinforce the system and mechanism of gender equality at all governmental bodies through the acceleration of gender mainstreaming strategies, including the formulating and implementing of gender-responsive budget. In addition, institutions and society will refer to the Law on Gender Equality and Equity in achieving gender equality and equity at the institution level, society level, until the family level.
In order to present the findings of this policy research, today (Thursday, 16 January 2014), WRI will be holding a public seminar and launch the Policy Research Paper.