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Empowering Locally Led Development: Sharing INKLUSI’s Role in Catalysing Gender Action for Inclusive Policies in Indonesia at the Australasian Aid Conference 2023

Harnessing transformative gender action to influence national policy in Indonesia

On 6th December 2023, the Australia-Indonesia Partnership Towards an Inclusive Society (INKLUSI), in collaboration with the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, Indonesia (KPPPA) convened a panel titled “Harnessing transformative gender action to influence national policy in Indonesia” at The Australasian Aid Conference (AAC) held at Crawford School of Public Policy in Canberra, Australia.

This panel delved into the impact of locally led development initiatives in shaping Indonesia’s national policy landscape. Specifically, it spotlighted the role of grassroots women’s organisations and community-driven approaches in influencing Indonesia’s medium and long-term development strategies through initiatives like the National Women’s Development Planning Consultation (Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional) in 2023.

The Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional provided a platform for women, Organisations for Persons with a Disability and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from diverse backgrounds across Indonesia to actively participate in the policymaking process, contributing their perspectives and sharing grassroots initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality, disability inclusion and social inclusion. This bottom-up approach empowered women and other marginalised groups who had previously been marginalised in national decision-making processes, marking a significant step towards inclusive governance.

The collaboration between BAPPENAS, KPPPA, INKLUSI partner organisations, and local women’s organisations exemplifies a concerted effort towards fostering inclusive and locally driven development in Indonesia. The objective is to ensure that development initiatives are designed to address the needs and priorities of marginalised communities, particularly women and children.

The Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional saw participation from over 5,000 individuals, including women, men, minority groups, government officials at various levels, and CSOs from across Indonesia. This inclusive gathering, both online and offline, amplified the voices of marginalised communities and addressed issues related to gender equality, disability rights, and social inclusion.

Misiyah, representing Mitra INKLUSI, underscored the importance of multistakeholder partnerships in empowering women and promoting their participation in national development planning processes. This collaborative approach, bridging the gap between CSOs and the Indonesian government, is instrumental in ensuring that the voices of marginalised communities are heard and acted upon.

“We are working together in unity with the national decision-makers, hand in hand looking for solutions with the spirit to raise the unheard voices, count the uncounted, uncover hidden stories, break taboos, and dissolve barriers between marginalised communities,” said Misiyah Chair of the Executive Board, KAPAL Perempuan.

Lenny Rosalin, representing KPPPA, emphasised the pivotal role of initiatives like the Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional in driving transformative gender equality policies in Indonesia. She highlighted the indispensable contribution of CSOs as key stakeholders in supporting the country’s development agenda.

“Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional is one of the best examples in Indonesia when governments and CSOs work together, hands in hand, in very good synergy with the assistance from the Government of Australia”, stated Lenny Rosalin, Deputy for Gender Equality, KPPPA.

Similarly, BAPPENAS highlighted the significance of the Musyawarah Perempuan Nasional in informing evidence-based development planning, particularly regarding marginalised groups. Qurrota ‘Ayun, representing BAPPENAS, emphasised that the voices of marginalised women are representative of broader societal concerns and must be integrated into development policies to ensure inclusivity.

“We believe that trust, collaboration, collective action, partnership, and mutual support between the Government and Civil Society are needed to ensure that no one is left behind in Indonesia. Let’s work together, hands in hands to achieve our common goals in creating the better world for all of us towards gender equality, disability, and social inclusion”, closed Qurrota ‘Ayun, Acting Director for Family, Women, Children, Youth and Sports, BAPPENAS.

The collaborative efforts between the government and civil society underscore a shared commitment to inclusivity, trust, and mutual support in advancing Indonesia’s development agenda. This partnership is essential for ensuring that no one is left behind, and that the rights and needs of marginalised communities, including women, are adequately addressed.

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