2019 Election Simulation: Women Are Ready to Vote!7 April 2019
Author: Puji Maharani
The Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI – Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia), KAPAL Perempuan and Migrant CARE, and other MAMPU Partners, held a “2019 Election Simulation: Women Vote” on Sunday, 6 April 2019. This activity aimed to increase women’s knowledge about the technical side of implementing the 2019 Election and to encourage women to use their voting rights critically. In addition, election simulations are also intended to identify gaps in the access that are experienced by women with disabilities, the elderly, and first-time voters.
Located at the Bulungan Sports Center, South Jakarta, this event was attended by more than 500 women from various communities, the General Election Commission (KPU), Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), Voting Organizers Group (KPPS), Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), legislative candidates, academics, and political observers. The event began with a technical briefing about the 2019 Election from the Chairperson of the DKI Election Commission and KPPS members Betty Epsilon Idroos. The simulation involved 30 women and people from vulnerable groups (women with disabilities, the elderly, housewives, urban poor women, young women, and illiterate people). The event ended with a discussion that presented various speakers including academics, political observers and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The Chairperson of the KPU, Arief Budiman, who was present at the simulation event, admitted that it was not easy to implement the 2019 Election because of the extent of its coverage. Arief added that the 2019 election was very important for the people of Indonesia because it involved the election of all levels of the nation’s leaders. Sutriyatmi, Deputy Secretary General of the KPI Program Sector took a critical look at the 2019 Election, especially the lack of access to information for women and vulnerable groups that could potentially cause unlawful threats to them casting their votes. Meanwhile, Wahyu Susilo, Executive Director of Migrant CARE, added that it was important for the community to see candidates for the DPR-RI, DPRD and DPD (different levels of the legislature) to ensure representation of women’s issues in the legislature through this election.
Simulations identify challenges faced by groups such as women with disability, the elderly, and first-time voters, including the limited time available for elderly voters and illiterate people.
“This simulation is very helpful for us to become familiar with the 2019 Election. We hope that people with disabilities will have priority access, increased time, and lower ballot boxes so they are easily accessible,” said Yurlina from Halim, East Jakarta, a representative of women with disabilities.
Recommendations from the simulation results have been submitted to the KPU and Bawaslu, as part of the 2019 Election monitoring conducted by civil society groups and independent monitors.