MAMPU Partners in NTB Call for the Fulfilment of Women’s and Children’s Rights

24 April 2020
Author: Amron Hamdi

The Advance NTB Forum held a public discussion entitled ‘From NTB for Indonesia: Support the Fulfillment Women’s and Children’s Rights’ on 23 January 2020. The discussion, which took place in the city of Mataram, Lombok aimed to facilitate a dialogue about the protection of women, children and vulnerable groups in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province and to encourage sustainable development based on principles of gender equality and social inclusion. The forum was also designed to strengthen civil society networks to ensure the fulfillment of women’s and children’s rights in NTB.

The Advance NTB Forum consists of five MAMPU Partner organisations that focus on community development initiatives targeting women and children, namely: the Panca Karsa Association (PPK), the Eastern Indonesia Knowledge Exchange Foundation (BaKTI), The Partner Development Institution (LPSDM), the Program for the Empowerment of Women Heads of Households (PEKKA) and the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI).

“The Advance NTB Forum realises that NTB Province still faces development challenges, especially related to the interests of women and children. This event is to build mutual awareness to work together to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of women and children in NTB.” said Zahratun, the chairperson of the event.

The various development challenges in the province include NTB’s provincial Human Development Index (HDI) in 2018 of 67.30, which was well below the national HDI of 71.39 (BPS, 2018); in 2016, 1,679 cases of violence against women and children were recorded in the province (P2TP2A NTB, 2017), this figure increased to 1,821 cases in 2017 and in 2018, 1,475 of such cases were recorded. 70% of the cases recorded involved perpetrators that had family ties to their victims.

Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth were also major issues. In North Lombok District, 783 women and girls aged between 10-19 years old became pregnant and 520 women aged 10-19 gave birth. Meanwhile, in East Lombok, 2,809 women under the age of 20 gave birth (North Lombok Health Office, 2019). The available data also suggests that child marriage leads to high risks of domestic violence and trafficking.

NTB is the region from which the fourth-highest number of Indonesian migrant workers originate after East Java, Central Java, and West Java. In 2019, 134,320 migrant workers, of whom 70% were women, came from NTB (BNP2TKI, 2019). Evidence shows that migrant workers from NTB often experience violence. From 2016-2019, MAMPU Partner PKK assisted 490 migrant workers who experienced various cases of violence including human trafficking and sexual violence.

The Advance NTB Forum featured six speakers, namely the Head of the NTB Office of Women’s Empowerment, Child Protection, Population Control and Family Planning (DP3AP2KB) Andi Pramaria; the Secretary of the North Lombok Social Affairs Agency Faturrohman; the Executive Director of the Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI) NTB Ahmad Hidayat; local religious leader Subeki Sasaki; and the FPL National Secretariat Chair Veni Siregar.

The speakers talked about the policies and initiatives they had implemented to ensure the protection of women and children.

The public discussion produced six findings and recommendations:

  1. Efforts to fulfill the rights of women and children require collaboration, synergy and commitment from all parties. Efforts and innovations for the protection of women and children have been implemented in the districts of North Lombok, East Lombok, Central Lombok and West Lombok and should be replicated elsewhere.
  2. Law functions as a means of social control, so it is important for everybody to pay attention to the scope, material and content of the law. People should constructively criticise and actively participate in overseeing the formulation of formal law instruments to avoid discrimination and gender bias.
  3. At its essence, religion fairly regulates the roles of women and men, even placing women as equals in decision-making arrangements. Therefore, it is important to re-interpret various religious texts that have been interpreted in gender-biased ways.
  4. There is a sexual violence emergency in NTB. There can be no more violence allowed to occur.
  5. There is a need for the creation of comprehensive regulations that prevent violence and regulations that provide legal assistance and recovery for victims of violence.
  6. It is necessary to promote character education at all levels of education in NTB so that elements of society will not be easily provoked by a range of issues that lead to the spread of hatred and radicalism.

The activity was attended by 100 participants who represented all elements of the NTB community. It is expected that after the forum, all parties will collaborate to develop NTB and work towards the fulfillment of women’s and children’s rights.