Global Fund for Women

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Indonesia

indonesia_thumbJanuary 2008

Dechen Tsering, Global Fund’s Program Officer for Asia and Oceania visited grantees in Indonesia. One of the trip’s objectives was also to assess the Aceh Women’s Trust Fund, a Global Fund grantee established in response to the devastation experienced by local women in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami and additionally facing military strife.


In January this year, Dechen Tsering, Global Fund’s Program Officer for Asia and Oceania visited grantees in Indonesia in three cities and several towns. One of the trip’s objectives was also to assess the Aceh Women’s Trust Fund, a Global Fund grantee established in response to the devastation experienced by local women in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami and additionally facing military strife.

For several years now, the Republic of Indonesia has been working to improve the status of its women. In Indonesia, as in other countries, Global Fund supports organizations that work to alleviate and/or improve these challenges by lobbying for policy reforms raising awareness about various women’s rights, providing support services for sex, domestic, and trafficked workers, and survivors of violence.

Some of these organizations also help small business owners, provide legal support, and inform women about existing laws and their impact. Key and emerging issues in Indonesia are economic empowerment, prevention of gender-based violence, gender-sensitive interpretation of Islam and reforming the Sharia law.

To date, Global Fund has supported 63 organizations in Indonesia to the tune of $1.4 million.

 

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FACTS:

Comprising over 17,000 islands, the archipelagic state is home to more than 230 million people, 300 languages, and a Muslim majority.

Although it is not considered to be an official Islamic state, some Islamic laws and fundamentalist practices have regressed the status of women in the country and in some parts of Indonesia, such as Aceh, further repressed the rights of women.

The Tsunami of 2004, the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, terrorism, and other politico-economic instabilities have profoundly impacted the lives of Indonesian women and their communities.

85 percent of the population live on less than $1 a day.

Highlights of two of the Indonesian groups that Dechen Tsering visited:

Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Center: Based in Yogyakarta, this group supports women survivors of abuse and engages in advocacy on behalf of women survivors in violence. In the aftermath of the Tsunami that shook the country, the group has produced a documentary film to capture the experiences of rural women in Yogyakarta. Rifka Annisa has also co-organized a workshop for media activists on shaping gender and feminist perspectives in the media and to encourage media advocacy. The group has received $70,000 in grant support from the Global Fund.

Komnas Perempuan, the National Commission on Violence Against Women, was established in 1988 in Jakarta, as a response to the sexual violence endured by ethnic Chinese women during riots earlier that year. The group’s long term goal is to eliminate all forms of violence against women in Indonesia. The organization relies on policy advocacy, awareness-raising, strengthening networks of women rights advocates, and Tsunami relief to achieve this objective. Another major project of the organization has been to collect the survival stories of abused women in Bali, Java, and Kalimantan as testimonials. The Global Fund has supported Komnas Perempuan to the tune of $23,000 to date.

 

Written By Eryn Mathewson and Preeti Shekar