Published: 14/05/2012

Household becomes a source of discrimination and subordination against women when it comes to the issues of gender and poverty. Inequality in the resources allocation in a household indicates that men and women experience different forms of poverty. In public space, the poverty experienced by women is always related to restricted spaces for women to participate in the formal decision making. Women often consider the concept of public domain as merely a place to work or a place to trade instead of forums in communities. The involvement in public forum within communities is usually limited and related to domestic roles such as arisan (a form of social gathering usually held by women to collect money meant for saving), praying groups or religious groups and PKK (a government-supported program to educate women in family welfare introduced in the New Order era).

Other problem faced by women is the development in various sectors, which have yet to favor women. Formally, development programs are often dominated by men. The issue of the marginalization of women’s roles in decision making has often been neglected because major resources in life are always dominated by parties that are more powerful socially, economically and politically. It is made possible because women are often not getting involved in the formal decision making processes.

There are parties who already accept the fact of Indonesian women’s participation in public domain. However, the high rate of women participation in the public work, for example, does not automatically guarantee the fulfillment of female workers’ rights. The female workers often face discriminatory conducts in their working places. Their wages tend to be lower than those of male workers. Female workers do not always receive financial benefits received by male workers despite the same working type.

Most Indonesian women are still facing unfavorable situation when it comes to public service. One of the most basic issues is health service for women in Indonesia. The clear indicator in this issue is the Maternal Mortality Rate (AKI). Maternal Mortality Rate in Indonesia has yet to indicate significant reduction in the past 10 years. The latest survey shows that Maternal Mortality Rate reaches 307/100,000 (SDKI, 2003). The description above attempts to reveal several pictures of poverty situations faced by women in detail. Women Research Institute, as an organization that attempts to develop gender justice governance, expects to contribute ideas to stimulate awareness of all parties, including decision makers and policy makers. It is expected that gender justice perspective could be reflected in public policies, be it in the form of Law, Regional Regulation or Regional Budget, which could eventually contribute to the reduction of poverty faced by women in Indonesia. ***