DTE and Sawit Watch to launch gender justice newsletter on KBR 68H radio

Theme: Fair Enough? Women, men, communities and ecological justice in Indonesia

Language: Indonesian

When: Thursday 30th October, 2014, 9-10 am WIB (2-3am GMT)

Where: KBR 68H, Jakarta

Live streaming: http://portalkbr.com/network.html

Speakers: from Down to Earth, Sawit Watch, SAINS, Solidaritas Perempuan.

Moderator: KBR 68H

Women and men interact with the environment and manage natural resources differently. Women in rural Indonesia are often positioned as food providers by their traditional gender roles, as well as being mostly responsible for caring for the children and maintaining the household. Men are often perceived or described as the main job-holder (where jobs are available) and commonly are more likely to play a leading role in decision-making over natural resources. The highly variable, often fluid and continually evolving divisions in roles and responsibilities between men and women are not in themselves unjust. But when women are restricted by men, or subordinated to men in their access to and control over resources, and in their decision-making, then gender injustice becomes a problem.

When communities’ lands and resources are taken over for commercial production, women’s voices are often excluded from the decision-making. This means that the importance of women’s roles and resources to the sustainability of the life of their community is downplayed or even ignored altogether. And, as a result, women may well end up worse off than men. When the investors – in oil palm plantations, mining etc – arrive, women in their food provider roles often feel the loss of resources more directly than men. These losses are compounded by new negative impacts: pollution of water used for cooking, washing and drinking, for example; pollution of remaining farmland; and threats to health from air pollution.

There may also be worse consequences for women than men when companies recruiting workers for the incoming investment further complicate and overlay the existing gender division of labour.

This 99-100th edition of the DTE newsletter hopes to add to the momentum for tackling gender injustice. Focusing on rights to land and natural resources, we bring together accounts by Indonesian activists working with rural and indigenous communities, as well as contributions from international writers and DTE. These writings detail the deep injustices faced by women in their gender roles, as well as how gender injustice is being tackled.

We are deeply grateful to our contributors for sharing their words, time and efforts and to Sawit Watch for giving us the opportunity to launch the newsletter on Radio 68H. We hope readers and listeners feel inspired to support the campaign for gender justice!