I. Participatory Leadership Training

 

Today, the demand for equality and inclusive decision-making process in any kind of leadership is inevitable. This leadership style is most favored by the public around the world. To support the society to meet this demand, WYDII offers participatory leadership training for numerous groups of women and youth. Mostly, focus on women who are in public services or interested to serve in public services, women activists, students, professionals, and women’s legislative members/candidates. The goal of this program is to provide participants with ability to recognize their strength and to employ participatory leadership. One of the primary methods of this training is to deconstruct a typical–top-down leadership by engaging participants to contribute to the whole process.

 

We believe that every individual regardless his or her gender has the ability to contribute in the society. However, as patriarchal rulers have dominated our society for generations, conveniently we tend to disregard or even worse, oppressed and perceived women as complimentary part of life, instead treating them as a full individual with full rights and demands, and opportunities in the society. This training intend to bring participants to relinquish those oppression and elevate their individuality, to enable them to fully stand-up and explore their potential and ability, to take charge and to be full member of the society.

 

The process of the training is important. During the training, participant will be guided to find their own strength and potential; and avoiding transparent dictation. The key method we used in this training is consultation, group-discussion, and group-exercise, and to bring everyone’s confident to the fore. The training process is kept as smooth as possible; and most importantly is engaging and fun.  Mostly, Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP), an NGO based in Maryland (United States) supports this program.

 

 

II. Women’s Representation in Public Sphere

One of WYDII’s missions is to bolster women’s representation in the political arena.

Indonesian women generally enjoy the right to mobility and to participate in the public sphere of non-formal sectors. When it comes to legal or formal sector, women often at loss, as their roles often only being acknowledged in social and customary norms. At the time of a political upheaval, women’s rights being subjected to political debates, put women along with other minority groups as a target. And therefore, those rights would also shatter and be compromised. For example in the early reform era in 1997, when religious fundamentalist groups were at peak, the freedom of women and minorities were at risk. Along with the democratization process, promulgation of women rights in the legal context in Indonesia is a must.

 

CEDAW Convention affects the development of legal aspect of Indonesian women. With the pressure from international communities, government bodies and NGOs were, either inspired or pressured to make progress to the life of women. Eventually, numbers of initiatives were build and have shown promising dynamic. Although, Indonesian women still have a long way to achieve meaningful equality before the law, but the path toward it is working in progress. At the same time, women should continue their efforts to increase their capabilities to take up and hail opportunities. WYDII have the position to facilitate the change. Some of our work is supported by Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP), Indonesia Women’s Coalition (KPI– East Java), Indonesia Women’s Political Caucus of Gresik (KPPI-Gresik), The Asia Foundation, Google, and Perludem

 

 

III. Expression and Arts

 

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

Pablo Picasso

 

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

­­–– Aristotle

 

These two quotes are the light of our Expression and Arts program. This program invite everyone to be bold and express it in public forum, in public parks or impromptu stages. We feel there is a great need to educate the public on the value of life through arts performing, to provide a medium for freedom of expression. Through this program we aim to engage the youth groups to achieve what Aristotle says, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Through art performing we hope to understand the ‘inward significance’ which could lead us to a hopeful society. Through arts, we could explore the chance to grow empathy, to grasp others’ pain and sorrow, to comprehend poverty without being in it, and explore numerous other psychological or emotional stages without actually being in it. Every month, WYDII invite everyone to participate in our Mimbar Ekspresi in public park of Surabaya.

 

 

IV. Vocational and Safety Training for Pesantren Students

At least, ten of million girls spend from five – six years of their teen years to early adulthood in Islamic boarding school (pesantren). Pesantren is known for offering an alternative education for underprivileged families, although there are also several pesantren, which cost more and provide better education than public school. Since mid 1990s, students whose parents can afford to pay more also register to public school and could earn high school diploma. That means, these students have better future option compare to ordinary pesantren students, either enable them to continue to higher education or be accepted to more job opportunities.

 

Most pesantren condition is close to appalling, however this school often offer better circumstances than their home circumstances. Many are stricken by poverty and to be subjected to child marriage. On the other hand, because they spend too much time being isolated in pesantren, these students have very little exposure to real life preparedness, such as job training and social skills. They tend to be awkward and feared for getting back home (society). Several pricier pesantren have provided sound job/skill training, from language skill, chemistry, homemaking, or computer skills. But most pesantren, do not even have the perspective to equip students with such knowledge and remain ignorant to the students need to return to the society and be self-empowered.

 

Therefore, it is not surprising that many of them do not want to leave pesantren and would just be happy to prolong their stay and serve in what ever function to pesantren’s holder, including to help out with the their domestic affairs. WYDII just recently introduces skill training to several pesantren in East Java Province, and have received positive response from the students and the pesantren holders. We hope that with this skill would empower those girls to participate in social and economic activities when they return to their community.  Several basic skill training that WYDII has offered is English language, cooking, sewing, and handicraft making.

 

 

V. Women and Environment

Indonesia is undergoing a new "emerging economy", while the country is also imbedded with debilitating law enforcement and rampant corruption--partly because of the autonomy policy given to sub-national government in 2000--allows sub-national government to initiate partnership with foreign countries---attracting new investors mainly from neighboring countries, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korean--are among the largest investors in the country. There are numbers of new massive transnational 'development' scheme that is clearly posing immanent treat to environmental justice and its sustainability. The environmental impact has affected directly the livelihood of the people, especially those who live near the ‘developed’ areas.

 

Since, August 2011, WYDII has developed the Women’s Environmental Sustainability Network (WESNet), a network of women who work on the issue of environmental justice and sustainability. The objective of this network are; (1) to develop and maintain forum for information sharing and collaboration among women; (2) to develop gender-based approach advocacy on environmental justice and sustainability; (3) to strengthen the ability and familiarize them with the relevant tools for advocacy; (4) to push for greater presence of women activists on environmental justice. We are hopeful that this network will cast courage and inspire others, especially the youth to prolong the sustainability of our environment.