Naekasa Constituent Group in East Nusa Tenggara Push for Women Participation in Village Governance23 January 2017
The Village Law provides opportunities for village women to participate in village development. However, the participation of village women can not necessarily be accommodated within the existing institutions. Only few women are involved in village government institutions and non-governmental organisations.
In the group of farmers, joint ventures, and other groups in the village, the involvement of women is very limited. Therefore, women’s aspirations are not easily accommodated in village planning and policy documents.
The efforts of the parties to encourage women’s empowerment, including in the form of groups, are one way to facilitate women in participating through village activities related to policy and planning.
The strategic step of MAMPU program is to establish a Constituent Group (KK). This group was formed as a forum to bring village women together to voice their rights, and to advocate for activities that support improving the skills of rural women to the welfare of life.
The struggle made by the Lalian Tolu Village Constituent Group (KK) in Lalian Tolu of Naekasa Village, West Tasifeto District, Belu Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, has successfully influenced the policy of Village Head and Village Consultative Body (BPD) to gather women representatives from each hamlet in Naekasa Village to discuss about women participation.
In this joint meeting, poor women and other village women conveyed their aspirations about current capabilities and potentials. But so far, there has been no support from the parties.
Almost in every hemlet discussion and village discussion, it is more dominated by men.
In other occassion, the Atambua Diocese PPSE Program Coordinator, explained that the Constituent Group in the village is indeed a place to organise women to be able to speak up and convey their rights. Women need to be involved, from village deliberations to representation to the village level.
Women should be able to provide arguments related to the proposed activities for the interests of women’s groups, so that women’s empowerment can be one of the serious concerns of the village government.
Chairman of BPD in Nakeasa Village asserted that the current government attention is not only on the physical aspects, but also strengthening human capacity. Gender issues also become one of the priority issues that require attention from the village government.
Romanus M. Kali as chairman of BPD said, “Upon returning from this meeting, it is hoped that hamlet group of women will be formed immediately, and then prepare proposals for activities that appropriate to the hamlet context, so that it can be proposed at the village meeting and guarded until the Village Development Planning Meeting. Activities that do not qualify for the regency, will be the village government’s attention through the Village Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBDes) and Village Fund Allocation (ADD)”.
Herikulana Taek added, “Therefore, women’s weaving groups and vegetable business groups can be supported with funds from APBDes or ADD.”
In the end, the women representative who attend this meeting can felt that the outcome of the meeting can really support the women in order to fight for the welfare of life in the future.
Written by: Mikhael Leuape