Roundtable discussion on “Women at the Indonesian peace table: Enhancing the participation of women in conflict resolution” was held from 24-25 March 2010 in Hotel Sultan, Jakarta. The event was participated by various representatives of governmental and non-governmental agencies including delegates from organizations in regions such as the Aceh, Poso, Ambon, the Papua and Kalimantan. This two-day event had addressed the frequent overlooked of women’s role at Indonesian peace table especially in the conflict resolution.
This event organized by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre) is a collaborative effort with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the State Ministry for Women Empowerment and Child Protection. At the first session, Prof. Dr. Syamsuddin Haris-Head of Centre for Political Studies LIPI spoke that this discussion is one of method/manner to discuss various issues related with women and conflict. As one of the existing research centers under the Deputy IPSK, center for political studies conducted research on various topics not only political issues but also issues about conflicts both at national and local levels, as well as about the process of democratization. This event becomes an important discussion to be done as one way to encompass a variety of information and experience about the role of women at the peace table.
In a keynote speech, Linda Gumelar, The Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection, spoke on mainstreaming of gender and the role of women due to its mandatory status as part of the legislation/law. Unfortunately due to lack of socialization, she asserted that only few is adopted in different state policies. Minister also added that the State Ministry for Women Empowerment and Child Protection has been trying to coordinate with different levels of government both in the central and local governments on gender mainstreaming. She appreciated all the participants especially those who come from different in joining the two-day round table and shared hope that this event will be produce a tool as the basis for policy formulation on women’s role in peace process/ conflict resolution.
Guided by Michael Vatikiotis, the Director of Centre of Humanitarian Dialogue based in Singapore, the first session discussed about how the quality of stability and security in Indonesia if the women involved in the process of the conflict resolution because Indonesia is one country that experienced different kinds of conflict such as separatism conflict, communal conflict, ethnic conflict. Most of the participant agreed that contribution of women in conflict resolution process especially at the grassroots level abundant, although many parties do not recognize the ability of women as peace facilitator. One of important thing in this process is to know type of stages of the conflict and its causes in order to identify the role of women.
The next session participants watched a Jurnal Perempuan’s documentary movie hosted by Shadia Marhaban. This movie tells about conflict in Aceh, Papua and Poso. Through this film, participants are expected to have a picture of the conflict in the three region-Aceh, Papua, Poso and how the position of women in conflict. Base on the movie, we can conclude that the problem of conflict in Indonesia has different characteristics so there is a different stages of women participation in conflict resolution. This is related to the distinction of local customs and religion. This being said the government must create a different policy about the way of conflict resolution. In addition, it is necessary to find the root problem of why the conflict occurred because so far there is a tendency to only look at formal conflict the resolution. When a formal peace has occurred, they tend to ignore the root of the conflict. Precisely for this reason that conflict will reemerge because the root cause remained unsolved.
In the second day of the round table, Adriana Elisabeth conduct this session on draft recommendation “Women at the Indonesian peace table: Enhancing the participation of women in conflict resolution”. Several conclusions as resulted among others first, at the background, draft recommendation must identify kind of conflict and women’s role at every step of process of conflict resolution. Second, women had tries to get access to influence decision-making process. Third, problems of representation must be the norm to ensure there is a standard role for women participation. (Septi Satriani)