Women at the Indonesian Peace Table: Enhancing the Contributions of Women to Conflict Resolution

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
South Eastern Asia

In all areas of a peace process — cessation of hostilities, sustainability and credibility of peace on the ground, security and violence reduction dimensions, power-sharing, justice and truth-seeking processes, redressing the impacts of violent conflict — the participation of women is vital for ensuring that any agreements reached include the views of half of the population. Yet to date there has not been a peace process where gender parity, or anything approximating it, has occurred.

In Indonesia, only a handful of women have been involved in formal peace processes in recent history. During the final round of peace talks on Aceh (the Helsinki process and agreement) one woman — Shadia Marhaban — was involved, as a member of a support group to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). In the peace process in Poso (Malino I) aimed at drawing down the violence, there were two female pastors from the Christian community who participated in the process — Nelly Alamako and Lis Sigilipu — and a Muslim woman — Ruwaida Untingo. In the Malino II process in Maluku, a female pastor — Margaretta Hendrik — and two Catholic women — Sister Brigitta Renyaan and Etty Dumatubun — were chosen as representatives of the Christian community. There was no female Muslim representative in the Malino II process.

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Women at the Indonesian Peace Table