Strengthening Women’s Rights (SWR)
Making dreams and needs heard, practical inequalities understandable, and relate them to policies and decision making is at the core of all our approaches and services, from community dialogue via data management to policy analysis. With this, the project aims at reducing structural barriers for women and children at all levels. In Community Dialogues, villagers in NTB discuss the importance of the legal marriage documentation for their rights. Once a common understanding has been reached, the community designs their plan for further action. With the support of facilitators, numbers of unregistered marriages are recorded and confirmed with religious courts. By mobilizing support from the village apparatus and a series of consultation with the authorities, some of them managed to access the desired legal document.
On the national level, SWR is supporting the national women machinery to push for the rights of children born out of wedlock. This is part of the project’s effort to support the marriage law reform process. A ministerial position paper has been developed and will become a reference for further advocacy of child’s rights to the other line ministries.
- Girls and boys, men and women in the community as well as local authorities: to support rights awareness and implementation
- Line ministries at national level i.e. Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Supreme Court: to support the further development of a non-discriminative legal framework in Indonesia
Goals and challenges
Goal: The project aims at reducing structural barriers for Indonesian women through gender-responsive national and local policies and programmes as well as capacity building of the relevant stakeholders.
Specific challenges for the unregistered marriages and children born out of wedlock:
- Access to services: Due to the immense number of unregistered marriages in NTB on the one hand and the costly fee to obtain marriage validation service from the religious court on the other side, some couples are in need of more support to access the service.
- Legal framework: Children born out of wedlock’s legal relation with the father is still only limited to basic aspects, i.e. father’s responsibility to the child’s education and well-being. It excludes, for instance, the child’s right to receive inheritance and custodianship from the father.
Current focus and activities
The project currently promotes the Community Dialogue approach to a wider audience so that the good practice will be sustained and adopted by the local governments and NGOs alike. The Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection in its coordination cycles is actively promoting the approach to all provinces.
A network of practitioners consists of the NGOs with the support from the local government to spread the approach to other villages.
In addition to that, an advocacy plan has been developed to guide the women’s machinery in pushing for relevant policy reforms at national level. It is expected that further operational policies from the related ministries will be able to facilitate the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling and in turn guarantee the equal rights of children born out of wedlock.
Link to children and youth rights
Women and child rights are interlinked in many aspects: Children born from a couple without marriage certificate cannot attain a birth certificate, which is a prerequisite for entering formal education in Indonesia. Hence, promotion of marriage registration also means ensuring the child’s right to education.
Apart from collecting both men’s and women’s aspiration by using the existing women’s and men’s group in the village, Community Dialogue approach is also accommodating the youth’s perspective by allocating a specific group for the youngsters. In several Community Dialogue areas, these youngsters decided to discuss and educate their peers on the topic of early marriage prevention.
For more information on children and youth rights:
Dr. Maria-Nieves Alvarez
Sector Project „Realising the rights of children and youth“
Tel.: +49 6196 79-1697
For more information on the project:
Project Manager “Strengthening Women’s Rights (SWR)”