Thursday, 14 April 2016

Can SMS really transform women's inclusion in governance processes?

14th April 2016     
Teachers at Tunjungtirto Village, Indonesia
For many of us, standing up, raising our voice and expressing our opinion is something we take for granted. But this is not a given around the world. 

In Indonesia's rural areas, women are not taking part in village planning meetings - meaning that for half the population, opportunities to influence what their local government does, and what money it spends, are simply not there.

In Tunjungtirto Village, "Suara Kita"(Our Voice) has created an SMS-based platform where women can freely - and anonymously - express their concerns.

Suara Kita project staff collect all the SMSs from women in Tunjungtirto Village, and take their issues to the local government meetings. The team aim to make sure that, even if women are not confident enough to speak up for themselves, someone is making their voices heard.

“Women’s voices are still largely absent from annual planning meetings at the village level… how inclusive can village planning be if women aren’t included in key meetings to share their concerns and opinions?”- Mardiko Saputro

Over 300 women have signed up for the service, and the team are working to build their confidence to make sure that one day, the women of Tunjungtirto Village are able to stand up, represent themselves, and take their place in local government.

Read more about this story here >

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