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Month: May 2019

Month: May 2019

Why must Indonesia’s Youth Vote?

May 22, 2019 by Nur Aisyah Maullidah, Girl Ambassador for Peace – Jakarta
 
In Indonesia, seventeen percent of children live with nutritional problems, while approximately thirty-one thousand high school teens drop out of school every year because of economic barriers. Furthermore, over one hundred thousand children are child laborers. As a result, poverty, economic inequality, barriers to education, energy distribution, and environmental degradation significantly impact the quality of life of Indonesians.
The institutional barriers that are ingrained within Indonesian society require long-term solutions that address the specific needs of different demographics within the country. Every citizen plays an integral role in re-building the country, promoting development, and changing the social norms within society. In addition, the government plays a significant role in addressing the social and structural barriers within the country. As a result, the country’s political leader, and elections, are important to Indonesians’ quality of life, in particular, for Indonesian youth. The President’s platform and priorities impact a wide range of government institutions and services. Therefore, everything from educational opportunities to health care are impacted by the elections of the central government.
In 2019, approximately 5 million new voters received voting rights for the April 17, 2019 election. The new voter base contributed to 35-40% of the total number of eligible voters. The new voters are primarily younger citizens, and elections give young people the opportunity to make a significant change with their votes. Information on legislative and presidential candidates will help voters make informed decisions. Sharing information across many platforms, including online news platforms, social media, television and newspapers, will support new voters determine how to exercise their voting rights. It is important that all information is accurate and from trusted sources. Relevant institutions, namely the KPU (General Election Commission) have helped to facilitate the process of voter participation by helping to inform voters of the different mechanisms of the election. As a result, individuals are given the information necessary to participate in the election process, thus decreasing barriers to voting. The informational campaigns attempt to decrease ignorance amongst voters, as it is important that young people are educated when deciding the future leaders of their country.
Building leadership skills can start through simple things, such as being able to make informed decisions when casting your vote. Choosing a leader is a right possessed by young people, and it has the potential to sharpen their own leadership skills. Leaders are role models; as a result, they impact the leadership development of the young people within the country. If young people don’t vote, then how will they become leaders in the future? As engaged citizens, young people must use their right to vote wisely for a better future for their country.
 
Read the full blog on the recent activities in Indonesia: https://gnwp.org/indonesia-ga4p-empower/

Indonesia’s Girl Ambassadors for Peace empower their communities as they empower themselves

Indonesia’s Girl Ambassadors for Peace empower their communities as they empower themselves

May 1, 2019 by Mallika Iyer
 
“We want our cities to be known for their natural beauty, prosperity and peacefulness — not for the recruitment of violent extremists,” was the resounding message from the members of the Girl Ambassadors for Peace (GA4P) in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and Lamongan, East Java, Indonesia. Between April 7 th and 11 th , the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) in partnership with the Asian Muslim Action Network – Indonesia, with  the support of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment conducted “refresher training” on the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and the supporting Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) resolutions, UNSCR 2250 and 2419 on Youth, Peace, and Security. The training aimed to increase the knowledge of young women on the necessity for women’s participation in preventing conflict, peacebuilding and preventing violent extremism. It also included lessons on women’s economic empowerment, focusing on the entrepreneurial projects the GA4P will undertake.
 
Launched in November 2017 with a training on leadership, peacebuilding, economic empowerment, media, social media, and theater, the Girl Ambassadors for Peace Program in Indonesia is now a network of 80 young women leaders who contribute to a strong youth movement for long-lasting peace, equality, and sustainable development. These young women have become significant actors and agents of change in Poso and Lamongan, areas which have been described, during focus group discussions facilitated by GNWP, as hotbeds of radicalization. Participants in these focus group discussions emphasized economic exclusion through the lack of livelihood sources is one of the reasons why young people join extremist groups. In response to this threat, the GA4P members have started their own socio-economic enterprises to support themselves, augment their family incomes, and help their local communities. The GA4P members produce and sell online 3D handicraft greetings and bouquets made of hijab, skin care products, banana fritters, and shaved ice. In addition, they are helping a group of farmers promote and sell their organic produce online. During the refresher training, GNWP invited a local entrepreneur to speak about her business and train the GA4P members in producing, promoting, and marketing hijab accessories. By collaborating with local businesses, the GA4P members are not only economically empowering themselves, they are also contributing to the economic development in their communities, which is an important driver of peace and stability.
 
Young Peacebuilders
 
As active members of their communities, the Girl Ambassadors for Peace have been advocating for greater representation of young women in peacebuilding and political-decision making in national, regional, and local arenas. On the national level, these young women have shared their valuable perspectives in meetings in Jakarta with representatives of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, the National Agency for Combating Terrorism, UNDP, and UN Women. “I have the knowledge and confidence to lead myself and others. I’ve learned that women can do everything,” explained Ilmiyah, a Girl Ambassador for Peace from Lamongan. In their local communities, the young women have held meetings district-level leaders (such as Regent and Vice-Regent of Poso and Lamongan).
 
The GA4P’s advocacy efforts extends to visiting local schools to raise awareness of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Following the bombing attacks in Surabaya, East Java in May 2018, they wrote blogs and posted messages on social media expressing the zero-tolerance policy for violence in Islam.
 
Youth as humanitarian actors
 
The GA4P members in Poso were some of the first responders during the earthquake that devastated Central Sulawesi in September 2018. They raised funds by selling dumplings and clothes and from the earnings, they bought and distributed relief goods to affected families.
                                                            
Youth must exercise their right to vote
 
Prior to the recent national elections, GA4P members held discussions on the importance of youth participation in elections, as young Indonesians make up 50 per cent of the eligible 191 million voters.
 
The Girl Ambassadors for Peace in Poso and Lamongan plan to continue and expand their work to include intergenerational community dialogues on early and forced marriage, another highly prevalent challenge to the achievement of gender equality.