A bi-lingual (Bahasa Indonesia and English) website, wherein you can find more detailed an colourful reports of the development of the WELDD programme in Indonesia was launched: Goto www.perempuanmemimpin.com

Women’s Leadership for Sustainable Activism (WoLSA)

This is a much reduced version of the follow-up proposal for a second FLOW grant, that IWE together with Shirkat Gah and WLUML had submitted to the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in September 2015.

This project will be implemented rom January 2017 to December 2020, with a small grant from MOFA, administered by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta.


Goal and Objectives of WoLSA:

Women's leadership in advocacy is strengthened through economic empowerment and improved capacity to demand equal rights and accountability by duty bearers in relation to the rule of law.

  • Objective 1: A training system is successfully piloted for the development of feminist leadership that is transformative and sustainable for activists and women human rights defenders.
  • Objective 2: Women trained by the project acquire deepened situational understanding and enhanced advocacy skills.
  • Objective 3: Women at the grassroots develop new confidence through involvement in the project and dare to advocate against local laws and policies that impact negatively on women.

To achieve the three objectives above, activities will be carried out in three areas:

  • To achieve Objective 1, a curriculum of capacity building modules will be implemented, encompassing:
    i. Reflexivity: self and the collective
    ii. Facilitation approaches and methods
    iii. Advocacy from a feminist perspective: strategies, methods and practical skills
    iv. Collective economic empowerment, based on Social Solidarity Economy principles
  • To achieve Objective 2, advocacy strategies will be designed and implemented, using participatory methods
  • To achieve Objective 3, women at the grassroots will achieve increased economic empowerment through project support, so that they can act as autonomous agents of change who can advocate against adverse laws and policies.

Rationale and Context

  • Indonesia’s political context is fraught with challenges to women’s rights, human rights and the rule of law. A significant site of intersection is violence against women. The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) reported an increase of almost 10%, from 293,220 cases recorded in 2014 to 321,752 cases in 2015. While VAW/G still occurs mostly in the family, “community level acts of violence” are increasing.[1] Backed by religious extremist forces, perpetrators are committing violence against women and girls with increasing impunity, despite Indonesia’s legal obligations under CEDAW.
  • Disturbingly, Indonesia’s legal framework is also under threat. Komnas Perempuan recorded an increasing number of discriminatory bylaws pertaining to religion and morality from 365 in August 2014 to 389 in September 2015, with only some of these bylaws amended or annulled.[2] These include the Qanun Jinayat in Aceh[3], which codifies certain interpretations of the Quran and Hadiths as law applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as various local bylaws (e.g. in South Sulawesi, Yogyakarta) that control women’s mobility, dressing, sexual and reproductive health.

[1] “Violence against women is widespread: Komnas Perempuan”, 10 March 2016, Tempo.com¸ http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/03/10/055752299/Violence-Against-Women-is-Widespread-Komnas-Perempuan

[2] Komisi Nasional Anti Kekerasan terhadap Perempuan (National Commission On Violence Against Women - Komnas Perempuan), National Human Rights Institution Independent Follow-up Report, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/IDN/INT_CCPR_NGS_IDN_22689_E.pdf

[3] http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/23/qanun-jinayat-becomes-official-all-people-aceh.html


Why this project is needed

In this context, advocates for women’s human rights are facing serious challenges. This project is thus needed to develop women’s leadership in advocacy so as to overcome these challenges. For this reason, the project will pilot a training system for developing feminist leadership that is transformative and sustainable for activists and women human rights defenders. This training will enable women participants to acquire deepened situational understanding and enhanced advocacy skills, thereby improving the impact of their advocacy on laws, policies, national action plans, implementation processes and accountability systems. Apart from the national level, many local bylaws and policies affect women negatively. This project will thus build the capacity of women at the grassroots to become autonomous agents of change who can become local advocates for women’s rights and human rights.

Adoption of Social Solidarity Economy approaches will be crucial for women’s economic empowerment, as principles of solidarity and collective wellbeing through non-monetised sharing and exchanges need to be promoted not only for women’s economic empowerment but as the basis of their advocacy for the benefit of the community as a whole.


Strategic Focus

The project will build the confidence of women at the grassroots so that they can become autonomous agents of change able to advocate on laws and policies that impact on women. The project will build their knowledge of relevant laws, including Law No.18/2012 on food, Law No.19/2003 on the protection and empowerment of farmers, Law No. 7/2004 on the management of water, Law No.6 / 2014 on the village, Law No.7 / 1984 on CEDAW, and Presidential Instruction No.9 / 2000 on gender mainstreaming.

The Feminist and Transformative Leadership School System piloted by the project will include training on how set up local community projects based on the principles and practices of Social Solidarity Economy. Such training will include the management of water and agriculture for the collective well-being of all community members.

Some Indonesian laws and policies promote the inclusion of women’s human rights in decision-making about village developments. These include Law No.6 /2014 on the Village, Law No. 7/1984 about CEDAW, and Presidential Instruction No.9/2000 on Gender Mainstreaming. Although the implementation of these laws and policies is still inadequate, there are nevertheless opportunities for advocacy. Significantly, one factor is the inadequate understanding of local Government officials about how the principles of CEDAW and Gender Mainstreaming can be implemented in planning village developments in a way that is sustainable and gender-equitable. The flip side is that women with strengthened capacity in advocacy can provide the knowledge needed by these officials.



The curriculum for developing Feminist Leadership that is Transformative and Sustainable (FLTS) will include:

  1. Reflexivity: self and the collective
  2. Facilitation approaches and methods
  3. Advocacy from feminist perspectives: strategies, methods and practical skills.
  4. Collective economic empowerment, based on Social Solidarity Economy principles

These modules are designed to develop capaciities needed for sustainable activism and effective advocacy. These are capacities:

  • To practise reflexivity and empathy
  • To analyse social realities and power relations, based on principles of human rights and the rule of law
  • To develop skills for mobilising allies
  • To build solidarity in communities and collectives through economic and social engagement
  • To draw up strategies for advocacy, based on balanced and insightful analyses of issues, contexts and power relations
  • To practise sustainable activism through achieving balance between body, mind and spirit at all times

The result will be improved advocacy capacity.


Expected Outcomes

  1. Increased leadership capacity in effective advocacy of at least 200 women, who are thereby able to seek more accountability from duty bearers, as well as mobilise 1000 other women to do the same at various levels
  2. A replicable Feminist and Transformative Leadership School System is set up and piloted, focussing on capacity building for advocacy
  3. Advocacy strategies are designed, refined and strengthened for at least two laws and one policy:
    a. Gender-equitable and accountable implementation of the Village Act – UU No.6/2014
    b. Women’s participation in decision-making on development processes in the village (RPJMDES) together with the development of food security for the whole community
    c. Prioritisation of gender-equitable development in accordance with the law concerning CEDAW – UU No.7/1984 – and the Presidential Decree on Gender Mainstreaming – Presiden no. 9/2000
  4. At least 4 pilot community SSE projects set up, involving at least 100 people.