Understanding the pervasiveness of violence in her community in urban Jakarta in Indonesia, Sukaesih and her community women’s group began to document cases of domestic violence and child, early and forced marriage, tracking the number of women who have adequate documentation (such as birth certificates) and how many of them receive any form of social support from the government.
This information has been critical for their efforts to advocate for better access for women to government services, such as national health insurance cards or education-related subsidies.
Ning is a field coordinator for the women’s group, working with women like Sukaesih to secure women’s rights. Ning has started to discuss such issues with her family, too. “It’s not only women who need to do domestic work, men can do it too,” she tells them. Previously, her husband would ask, “Why did you join this group?”
“Now he’s supportive and contributes at home,” says Ning. “We’ve faced resistance from our chief, because it’s perceived to be unmanly to help at home, but we’re challenging these stereotypes.”
Ning and Sukaesih encourage girls to stay in school so that they can remain financially independent, knowing that poverty is one of the biggest reasons girls stay at home.
They encourage women to access government services by collecting and sharing data about the women in their community with the local government. “We’re working with the Social Security Administrator and Social Department to access the government scheme, especially national health insurance to ensure women get the right support,” says Ning. “So far, 40 women have received support through this scheme.”
The women’s group is also involved in district development planning, sharing their community-generated data on the number of women benefiting from social protection programmes at planning meetings, so that they can verify and validate their data against the data collected by the government.
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