Regional Autonomy Activities and Gender Budget Women Research Institute, June–July 2004
Teach your family to have an healthy relationship with food.
Capacity Building / Training
WRI held a multi-stakeholder training for budget monitoring at the local level. The training was held in WRI’s research areas, which are Banda Aceh Municipality (June 10, 2004), Solok-Padang Municipality (June 14, 2004), Kupang Municipality (June 15, 2004), Gianyar regency (June 17, 2004), Tasikmalaya Municipality (June 18, 2004), Mataram Municipality (June 19, 2004), Kebumen Kabupaten (June 29, 2004), Manado Municipality (July 12, 2004), and Pontianak Municipality (July 24, 2004).
The multistakeholder preparation for monitoring of training on budget carried out by WRI in 9 districts of research was meant to socialize the concepts of gender and gender budget. In broad outlines, the multistakeholder preparatory activities for gender budget training in 9 districts employed the focus group discussion method where each group consisted of 20 participants.
Discussions were held in a two-way traffic manner with the objectives:
To explore and to identify actors that have been involved in drawing up the budget in each district.
To identify the emerging problems in connection with current budget allocation.
To identify the mechanism of budget drawing up in each district.
To jointly determine a program, actors to be involved, time needed for the implementation of gender budget in each district.
This activity was carried out since June though July 2004 and allowed a multiparty involvement consisting of policy makers like the DPRD, regional government, Regional Development Plan Body (Bappeda), Regional Income Bureau, Women Affairs Bureau, DPRD Women Caucus, Customary figures, religious figures, NGOs, Social Organizations and the Media.
The process of this limited discussion was begun with the introduction of WRI as the host organization, and the participants. As the hosting organization, WRI presented its vision and mission. It was continued with the explanation of gender budget. This presentation was meant to provide the participants with the objectives of the program, why this was carried out and the benefits obtained from this activity.
In addition to this, also presented were the findings of the first stage research titled “The Analysis of Impact of Regional Autonomy on Female Public Participation in Local Politics”. This research focused on the impact of regional autonomy on female public participation in local politics, especially by scrutinizing the social realities and regional regulations (perda) issued by regional government in the research location. By so doing we analyzed the impact of regional autonomy on female public participation in the regions through legal products, especially regional regulations (perda) and decrees issued by regional governments. In this research WRI did not only look at legal products like the perda, but also paid attention to regional dominant issues as those covered by the mass media and the discourses raised by civil society as well as by regional government. This explanation becomes the background and recommendation for initiating the program of gender budget.
This discussion revealed that the sanctioning of syariah law has limited the mobility space of women. This was voiced by local customary and religious figures, both in Banda Aceh Municipality, Gianyar regency in Bali and in Solok Municipality. This has resulted in the limitation of women to be involved in the process of drawing up a budget. Similar incidents took place in other regions like Kebumen regency, Mataram municipality, Kupang municipality, Pontianak Municipality and Manado municipality. Women involvement and gender equality were restricted by local customs and culture.
It was also revealed that although regional government (the executive) and the legislative body stated that the drawn up and approved budget had been gender-just and involved people’s aspirations, other parties or agencies like the NGOs and the media argued that the budget allocation had not responded to the interests of the grassroots. Even in the budget planning process, the lowest social strata had never been involved, needless to mention the women. Even budget socialization had never been done. The process of drawing up a budget that should have been bottom up, turned out to remain top down. In the same vein, in the process of catching people’s aspirations, women were rarely or even never involved. Although the public space has been opened, the customs, the syariah law and cultures have restricted women to be involved, especially because reproduction-related tasks are very time-consuming.
The program of women empowerment in the government programs still utilizes the perspective of women in development program. That is why the program of women empowerment is labeled as the Family Welfare Education (PKK) programs such as cooking, sewing, and female reproduction-related activities.
In this first stage, WRI could dig out and identify the local problems on gender understanding and gender injustice, as well as the actors involved and budget mechanism. Also in this stage, WRI was able to identify local partners to collaborate with in implementing the gender budget.
This second session examined the situation and condition in the first session. The facilitator also explained that the concept of gender and gender-considerate budget should not only remain in discourses and theories but must be proven by supporting data based on research results conducted by WRI as a comparison. In this second session, the participants began to be open-minded and understand the gender perspectives and the importance of gender budget.
This session became the last session in which WRI and the participants did a deliberation in a democratic way to design a schedule for training and sustaining the advocacy that will be carried out by the WRI. The schedule was adjusted to the time in each respective district when the regional government draws up the regional budget.***