The Democracy Room for Women in the Village is Still Threatened

Resource persons of Public Discussion “The Voice from The Village” (from the left) : Aji Panjalu (JKPP), Dede Kusmayati (Chairperson of Sauyunan Hayeuk Dayeuh), Saipudin (Mulyosari Village Head), and the moderator, John Pluto Sinulingga (Photo: Affan Firmansyah / Bina Desa)

JAKARTA, BINADESA.ORG ­- The practice of democratization in Village Law in various areas is still a polemic. In her speech, Dede Kusumayati told about underestimated democratic conditions that women still have not been actively involved in the forum for musyawarah to build the village in Sukabumi, in Public Discussion “The Voice from the Village” in Jakarta on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Dede, one of Sauyunan Hayeuk Dayeuh activists in Sukabumi, told about the democratic process in the village. Village Law, which has been established for three years, has not been fully in favor of the small community. The implementation of the Village Law program has not yet represented all levels of society, especially towards women’s groups.

She added that village forums such as Musdus (Musyawarah at sub-village level), Musdes (Musyawarah at village level), and Musrembagdes (Village Planning and Development Musyawarah) have not involved small communities yet, especially women. “From 2014-2015 we were never invited at all, then in 2016 we insisted on joining musyawarah as a women’s group. Finally, we were invited, but our voices have not been heard at all, “said the Chairperson of Sauyunan Hayeuk Dayeuh.

She said that the establishment of Sauyunan was a form of initiative of women’s role that had a common purpose. Programs established focus on food preparation to increase production, in an effort to improve the economy.

“As women, we want to be a prosperous, self-reliant, and non-marginalized society. However, to this day the village government has not supported our activities, whereas the district government has appreciated our activities, we are like ‘jumping’” added Dede.

In addition to food processing business, Sauyunan members also improve the ability of creative economy by gathering activists of creative economy. Products that have been made then marketed in these outlets. “A few weeks ago, I asked the village head to get BUMDes (Village Owned Enterprise) to incorporate the craftsmanship in it,” she added.

Due to the presence of various activities that have been done by Sauyunan, the economic condition of the community develops. While in the past the community became farm laborers earning IDR 25.000 a day, now they who are able to produce can increase their income up to IDR 75.000 a day.

Coordinator of Bina Desa, Mardiah Basuni become one of the resource persons during the second session in the Public Discussion (Photo: Affan Firmansyah/Bina Desa)

On the same occasion, Coordinator of Bina Desa, Mardiah Basuni regretted the condition, she said that the Village Development with the aim of improving the community welfare as well as the quality of human life, and poverty alleviation should be done together without regard to gender or religious group.

“The government should not discriminate against women. The government should provide incentives for women in the public sphere to accelerate the Village Development, “said Mardiah.

She added, one of the movements possible to support the community is to organize the community. Women and other vulnerable groups should form an organization initiated by the community in an effort to protect and the vulnerable groups. “An organization is capable of ensuring development benefits in all sectors are accessible to men and women and improving the quality of public service to be more equitable for both men and women” she added

Dede Kusmayati’s story about the struggle of Sauyunan to express their right to be heard by the village government was delivered in Public Discussion held by Bina Desa in Central Jakarta with theme: “Hearing Voices from the Village, Portrait of Village Democracy Practices”. ***


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