By: Ade Indriani Zuchri- Chairperson of SHI
The notion that politics is men’s mainstream, that politics is full of violence, that politics costs money, or that politics is cruel contributes to the low interest of women in getting involved in politics, so that the longer it takes for women to become more involved in politics.
In fact, the essence of politics is how to bring together virtue, justice, prosperity, and security through power. If women can see and understand the world of politics correctly, they will know their rights and obligations as citizens so that they can play a role and contribute in fighting for the fate of Indonesian women through various policies (regulations), both in political parties and through budgetary politics in parliament. Currently, the number of women in the DPR RI reaches 120 people, or 20.87% of the total 575 legislative seats.
The distribution of the number of women’s seats in the 2019 election based on political parties is PDIP with 26 seats, GOLKAR with 19 seats, DEMOKRAT with 10 seats, GERINDRA with 15 seats, PKB with 12 seats, NASDEM with 19 seats, PKS with 8 seats, PAN with 7 seats and PPP with 5 seats. The factors that influence the low representation of women are, first, the weak support of political parties for women, including money and other sources to finance women’s campaigns and encourage political, economic, and social credibility in the subsequent political process. Second, the lack of attention from the mass media on the potential and contribution of women which resulted in women being less popular among voters. Third, women have not been placed as priority candidates by political parties.
Based on data from Perludem (election assembly for democracy) shows that in the 2019 Legislative Election, out of 1,280 legislative candidates in 80 electoral districts, 235 female candidates who were placed in serial number one, or 18.36%. This shows that the 30% quota for women to occupy seats in parliament is still only a rhetoric. Politics is the area of assumptions, not facts.
Political parties and civil society organizations working on political issues are very aware that to increase women’s participation and representation in important positions, political education is very crucial. According to KartiniKartono (1996), political education has a goal so that the people (individuals, groups, clients, students, community members) a. able to understand the socio-political situation full of conflict; b. dare to be firm in providing constructive criticism of the steady state of society; c. its activities are directed at the process of democratizing individuals or individuals, and democratizing all social institutions and state institutions; d. able to fight for certain interests and ideologies, especially those that are correlated with the security and welfare of living together.
As a democratic country, the presence of political parties is a necessity, where their presence is expected to be a channel for people’s aspirations, a balancer of political power as well as a means of criticizing and controlling the ruling government. One of the potential supporters of democracy is the involvement of women in the political arena. It is time for strengthening political rights and political education for women to be prioritized.
Political education for women must have a clear direction towards the ability of women who have the power of awareness of the importance of women’s liberation against political marginalization of their people, so that women have a strong identity in their political activities. Women’s political education aims to free women from unequal treatment and does not aim at power or domination, as has been done so far. Although currently women politicians have started to emerge, in reality they have not had much influence in fighting for their aspirations. Women politicians are expected to provide color and balance in their work in the political world. However, due to lack of experience, political education, social and cultural factors, the number of women is still very minimal in the political arena in Indonesia. Therefore, the path that must be taken is to create women’s political awareness in increasing their political role by providing political education in accordance with the true meaning, so that in the political arena, women have a role in developing democracy and are intelligent in determining their political attitudes.
Political education is expected to be a means for the realization of people who have knowledge of political issues and understand their rights and obligations as citizens. Political education is needed not only for voters who lack or do not have an understanding of political issues but also for voters who already have knowledge of political issues. This makes the importance of political education (political education) for the people. In other words, political education has an important and strategic meaning in order to encourage citizens (voters) to have adequate political knowledge.
Political education is a very important agenda, because in carrying out the development of a nation requires conditions for political education of the people. People who are politically educated are citizens, so they can consciously participate independently, either directly or indirectly, in the development process. The presence of political parties can be seen in their role in providing political education to citizens. With political education, it is possible for the public to have an ideal political culture, namely the awareness to support the political system and at the same time be able to provide criticism and correction. In relation to political education, political parties need to pay attention to the principles of justice and gender equality aimed at increasing awareness of rights and obligations, increasing political participation and women’s initiatives, as well as increasing independence and maturity in the life of the nation and state.
In practice, political parties still tend to treat women as voice raisers and gainers in an effort to seize power and win election contests. In fact, the existence of women in political parties has the same rights and obligations, including the opportunity to win in competitions. The practice of oligarchy, patron-client, and pragmatic power interests are still clearly shown by political parties in the process and results of the 2019 general election. In this situation of unfair competition, of course, women are often excluded. As a result, the fulfillment of the prerequisite for women’s representation of 30% is still at the quantity level, not to mention talking about quality. This situation can certainly have an impact on the decline in the quality of parliament due to the declining quality of people’s representatives who are elected by collusive and nepotistic methods. According to Article 11 paragraph (1) of Law Number 2 of 2008 as amended by Law Number 2 of 2011 concerning Political Parties, political parties have a function as a means; first, political education for members and the wider community so that they become Indonesian citizens who are aware of their rights and obligations in the life of society, nation and state. Second, the creation of a conducive climate for the unity and integrity of the Indonesian nation for the welfare of the people. Third, absorber, gatherer, and channel people’s political aspirations in formulating and establishing state policies. Fourth, political participation of Indonesian citizens and, fifth, political recruitment in the process of filling political positions through democratic mechanisms by paying attention to gender equality and justice. Therefore, political parties are constitutionally responsible for strengthening and providing political education for female cadres to prepare them for the legislative elections.
Political parties can carry out political education through organizing training for trainers, a training facility for instructors or trainers who will be deployed to educate women cadres of political parties massively from now on. Political education can also be done in the form of skills training, such as public campaign training through social media, personal branding training, public speaking training, or political marketing training.
Another form of political education is holding seminars, discussions, or brainstorming for their female cadres. Moreover, during this pandemic, online arrangements such as webinars, webtalks, online discussions and so on are common and easier to implement. Thus, even in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, political parties remain productive in their efforts to empower and educate their female cadres. If the political education process goes well, political parties are able to implement a merit system in the recruitment and regeneration process for their female cadres. In the end, the process of recruiting female legislative candidates is not only about quantity, but also quality. The function of political parties as craters for the birth of qualified leaders, including women, at every level will be fulfilled.
The process of political education is expected to be a means for the realization of people who have knowledge of political issues and understand their rights and obligations as citizens. Political education is needed not only for voters who lack or do not have an understanding of political issues, but also for political party administrators to have knowledge about political issues that accommodate them. This is why the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) declared sustainable development (Sustainability Development Goals / SDGs) to replace the Millennium Development Goals / MDGs agenda and at the same time scheduled a 50:50 planetary gender equality agenda by 2030. This calls for concern from members of the central legislature, Provinces and districts/cities have strategic roles, especially in ensuring the importance of political education for the people.
In fact, in Indonesia there is still a gender gap. In the political field, it can be seen in the results of the 2014 legislative elections that women represented 17.32% of the People’s Representative Council (DPR), 25.76% of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), 16.15% of the Provincial People’s Representative Council; and 14.15% of the Regency/City Regional House of Representatives. Women in Executive 2018: 23.5% Minister, 2.94% Governor, 8.82% Deputy Governor, 11.06% Regent/Mayor, 8.89% Deputy Regent/Deputy Mayor. Women in the Judiciary and other State Institutions: 10% of Supreme Court Justices, Supreme Courts; 20% of the Corruption Eradication Commission; 0% Judicial Commission; 14% Election Commission. For women Members of the central, provincial and district/city legislatures can play an active role in overcoming the problems of women and children, such as violence against women and children, trafficking in women and children, poverty and underdevelopment. women to become leaders in various decision-making positions both in government and society. So that women have adequate political ability.
Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesia’s population in 2017 reached 261 million people, half of them are women. This half of Indonesia’s population indicates that development in Indonesia must involve women as both the subject and object of development. If development in Indonesia does not involve women in all its stages, it cannot be said that the development is successful. In fact, women are still lagging behind in various development areas that affect national productivity. The backwardness of women in various fields of development occurs evenly in all countries from various regions of the world, which prompted the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) to declare sustainable development (Sustainability Development Goals / SDGs) to replace the agenda of the Millennium Development Goals / MDGs and at the same time schedule the planet 50 :50 gender equality by 2030.
The UN work agenda on the SDGs is an effort to realize gender justice and equality in all countries in the world. Departing from the above conditions, the presence of women in the 2019 election results is very strategic in several respects. First, as a form of moral and technical support to women who are currently sitting in the legislature in order to continue to dedicate their work through political channels in parliament. Second, as a form of escort and assistance so that policy products (legislation, supervision, and budgeting) produced by women who sit in legislative institutions can always be synergistic with national and global programs and commitments in the number of realizing a planet of 50:50 gender equality by 2015. 2030. Third, as a reminder that the women who sit in the legislative body as a result of the 2019 General Election always remember and are committed to development that is just and gender-equal.
Sarekat Hijau Indonesia as a Green Political Organization which has the responsibility to strengthen the political education of women, its members see the opportunities and potential of women to be involved in politics as very important, a lot of political education is carried out by political parties and other civil society organizations, for the benefit of the progress of its members. less than the party cadres who were brought forward to the parliament, as a result, women’s participation in politics is merely an affirmation, not a need for political parties.
Sarekat Hijau Indonesia views political education for its female members as the obligation of the SarekatHija Indonesia, to strengthen, campaign and promote a more dignified politics, democracy. With this activity, it is hoped that female SHI members can be more active in exercising their political rights. Culturally in Indonesia it is very difficult to carry out individual freedom movements aimed at political expression, the impact is that women’s needs are neglected, such as socio-cultural rights, not opening up access and political space for women, access to education, obtaining quality facilities and health. , easy and fast, as well as the right to social protection and equal justice before the law.
With the support of IDC and the Asia Pacific Green Federation, Sarekat Hijau Indonesia worked together to provide political education for female members of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia.
In 2016, Sarekat Hijau Indonesia received funding from IDC to run the Institutionalization in Local Level Through Green Political School program, the activity aims to strengthen the members of the SarekatHija Indonesia (both male and female) through the Green Political School established by SHI in 6 Provinces that will produce Sarekat Hijau Indonesia politicians to be able to run Party members, such as the struggle for the representation of green politicians in Parliament, fighting for public agendas such as health, education, equality before the law, etc.
The results of the evaluation of these activities are that there is still a lack of participation of women (members of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia) in institutionalized political education, because of the patriarchal culture in Indonesia, women will be very embarrassed if education is held in one class consisting of boys and girls, so based on the evaluation from the previous activity, it is necessary to hold special education for women, during this covid 19 pandemic, it becomes momentum, because participants will be limited, so education can also be done with a combination of online and physical.
It is hoped that with women’s political education that will be carried out later, it will strengthen the ability of women to carry out their political roles well without feeling ashamed, inferior, and intimidated by the presence of male participants.
With this activity, women members of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia in particular will have a medium of expression that will provide them with guidance in building their political independenceas well as being able to contribute to the State through policy changes that are detrimental to women.
In particular, women members of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia will be prepared to be more active and systematic to enter the practical political space, especially to prepare the women members of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia to go forward in the upcoming 2024 national election.
As well as specific issues that will be discussed regarding Covid 19 against women, women who have limited political space are increasingly difficult to carry out political activities during this covid 19 pandemic, because their gender is considered as the party responsible for carrying out domestic tasks, taking care of families and family members who need them. attention during the pandemic, therefore it is necessary to discuss specifically, the strategies that will be taken to ensure that women can continue to exercise their political rights and political activities during this pandemic.
This Political Education activity will be carried out in a Hybrid manner in seven provinces which are the work areas of Sarekat Hijau Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Medan, Aceh, Central Sulawesi, West Java, South Sumatra and Central Sulawesi which will be carried out together with the Regional Leadership Council in each province.