‘Aisyiyah Held Cadre Jamboree, Strengthening Women’s Roles for Social Change

2 November 2020
Author: Amron Hamdi

“’Aisyiyah cadres play important roles in educating the community, particularly vulnerable groups, about the issue of reproductive health and nutrition during pandemic, strengthening the roles of religious leader and community leader, and suggesting policy recommendations to local governments and national government.” Kate Shanahan, MAMPU Program Team Leader, explained during ‘Aisyiyah National Cadre Jamboree on Thursday (16/7).

The Jamboree was organized by the Executive Board of ‘Aisyiyah in partnership with MAMPU Program, taking as its theme “The Leadership in Community as An Agent of Change: Learning from Women’s Experiences”. Attended by 500 cadres from 15 districts/cities and 6 provinces online, ‘Aisyiyah Cadre Jamboree was aimed at facilitating women cadres to share experiences and best practices to strengthen further empowerment strategies and advocacy regarding reproductive health and women’s
nutrition issues.

MAMPU Team Leader, Kate Shanahan, as one of the keynote speakers said, “’Aisyiyah’s roles as MAMPU Partner at the grassroots level is critical to ensure positive behavioral change takes place in society. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has brought about serious social, health, and economic impacts around the world, including Indonesia. Social and economic gap between men and women as well as other vulnerable groups will become wider due to this pandemic. MAMPU Partners strengthens women groups organizing in villages, builds community resilience, and engages multi-stakeholders in tackling COVID-19.”

Tri Hastuti Nur, the Secretary of Executive Board of ‘Aisyiyah, and Coordinator of ‘Aisyiyah MAMPU Program, informed that ‘Aisyiyah through its cadres has had vast experiences in developing policies that include gender perspective as well as consider women’s interests including during the pandemic.

“Some of the organization’s good experiences in creating village regulations and tackling child marriage became very important. We also care about reproductive health issues which until now, unfortunately are still overlooked by many. ‘Aisyiyah contributes to bring the issues of reproductive health and stunting into attention.”

Siti Noordjannah Djohantini, Chair of ‘Aisyiyah Executive Board who was also present in the event conveyed her appreciation for the hard work of the organization’s leadership and cadres who had been working directly at the grassroots level. “’Aisyiyah women cadres have unwavering spirit to communicate, engage, and make efforts to make sure that all women obtain their rights and learn essential knowledge. The cadres’ success is not only in inviting other women, but also in disseminating knowledge to men which will eventually lead to change.”

Women’s power is the root of ‘Aisyiyah’s power. As we know, since its establishment, ‘Aisyiyah has always been run by women’s power. This also manifested during its partnership with MAMPU Program, which was focused on increasing women’s access to government’s services and protection by building capacity and strengthening women’s voice and influence. The efforts were aimed at building adequate advocacy capacity vertically with policy makers, as well as horizontally with general public, just like what has been applied by ‘Aisyiyah and its cadres.