Women’s School Helps Lilik Indrawati Understand Social Protection and Reproductive Health31 January 2015
Lilik Indrawati (26) stands out among the other participants at the Women’s School. This mother of one daughter speaks smartly. She was not wrong to be very persistent when making her husband and mother understand about her activities at the Women’s School—which forms part of the Gender Watch program implemented by KPS2K and facilitated by MAMPU. At first, her husband and mother were not very supportive of Lilik’s activities in the Women’s School because they considered them a waste of time. But then, Lilik has proved that the School has contributed a lot of things to her life. She continues to be active in its activities while gradually making her husband and mother understand.
The reason Lilik wants to keep participating in the Women’s School is because the materials they provide relates very closely to the problems she has encountered in her daily life. For example, on gender, through the discussions Lilik was involved in, she came to understand that men and women can share their roles when it comes to household chores.
“From these materials, I have become more aware of how wives can negotiate with their husbands, when the circumstances require that they share the tasks, if this is conducted properly and if the wife still carries out her main tasks well,” said Lilik.
Since being involved in the MAMPU Program through her participation in the Women’s School, Lilik has become more self-confident. She has experience of organising the Surat Pernyataan Miskin (a letter declaring someone’s state of poverty) when her father had acute stomach pain and had to be treated at the hospital in Gresik. Her father fully recovered and there was no charge at all for his treatment. Seeing her father’s successful treatment made Lilik’s husband and mother believed that the Women’s School had educated Lilik well and had been beneficial.
According to Lilik, the Women’s School does not only strengthens women’s leadership and awareness of their social rights, it also contributes to the issue of reproductive health. Lilik found she had the courage to visit the doctor to discuss a problem with vaginal discharge that she was suffering from.
After some routine treatment, she recovered. The women in her neighbourhood gained an understanding of the importance of taking care of their reproductive health. Many neighbours consulted her about the examination she’d had, so they felt no worries about going for their own reproductive health checks because Lilik had explained the procedure well.
The knowledge Lilik has gained from the MAMPU Program’s various seminars and trainings through the Women’s School, is always passed on by Lilik to others. For example, helping people process their insurance entitlements through JAMKESNAS, accompanying them to the local public health clinic, and sharing insights with fellow citizens regarding their social protection rights. Her job with the Community Monitoring Team, keeping a watch on the government programs that run in her village, is something she does wholeheartedly.
Lilik has become more confident because now she is always involved in meetings with village officials and other public figures pertaining to social protections. She has also become one of the editors and contributors for Koran Gema Perempuan Pedesaan, a newspaper published every two months for women living in the rural area around the Women’s School.
As for hopes for the future, Lilik wants all the women in her village to advance, at least in terms of coming to understand the social protections that they are entitled to receive. Women who do housework in her area still receive very little money for doing it, and marriages at a very early age are still very common. This also contributes to the poverty she sees. For this reason, Lilik never loses her spirit when fighting for change through the Women’s School. Lilik also hopes that the MAMPU Program will continue.
Revised version of the Most Significant Change Story written by Rumi from Gresik District in East Java Province.