Since 2011, WRI has been part of the Network of Pro-Women’s National Legislation Program (JKP3) in monitoring the Gender Equality and Equity Bill (Gender Bill). JKP3 is a civil society network concerned in women’s issues and policy advocacy. The Gender Bill is one of the pro-women legislation agenda that is being fought for and currently under talks of the Legislative Body (Baleg) DPR-RI to be harmonized. The process is expected to be completed by DPR-RI period 2009-2015 while adhering to the principles of eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
In order to push through the discussion of the Gender Bill, which will be a legal basis in the elimination of discrimination against women, JKP3 held a hearing with the Directorate General of Laws and Regulations Ministry of Law and Human Rights. The objective of this hearing was to conduct a dissemination and garner support from the Executive, especially the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, for the legislation of the Gender Bill. The duties of the Directorate General of Laws and Regulations Ministry of Law and Human Rights are to formulate and execute the policies and technical standardization in laws and regulations. In regards to such duties, the human resources of the Directorate General who design the laws are the backbone of the designing and drafting of regulations underway at DPR-RI.
The hearing, which was held on Tuesday, 30 April 2014, was attended by 9 JKP3 representatives, 8 representatives of the Directorate General of Laws and Regulations Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and 1 representative of the Directorate General of Human Rights. The activity was commenced with an opening speech by the Director of Laws and Regulations Drafting, Pocut Eliza, S.Sos, S.H., M.H, followed by a presentation from Ratna Batara Munti M.Si as the head coordinator of JKP3.
Ratna explained that the Gender Bill focuses or regulates the gender relation between men and women, so its presence does not serve as a redundancy of previous Laws. The nature of this form of law is lex generalis, a law of general application, to be legal umbrella of existing gender-responsive laws. For instance, the Law on Elimination of Domestic Violence, Law on Human Rights, Presidential Instruction on Gender Mainstreaming, and Law on Anti-Human Trafficking. JKP3 explained that the legislation of Gender Bill is currently being handed over from Commission VIII DPR-RI to the Legislative Body (Baleg).
In response to Ratna’s explanation, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights stated that their involvement in the discussion of the Gender Bill was during the discussions in early 2012, which used the draft by the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection. Currently, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has yet to know the latest development of the Gender Bill’s legislation.
However, there are several recommendations from the Ministry that can be considered by civil society organizations, in this case JKP3, on the monitoring process of Gender Bill. They recommended the Gender Bill to adhere to Law No. 12/2011 on Establishment of Laws and Regulations. This law regulates the guidelines for the establishment of laws in terms of objectives, lexical selection, and a number of necessary principles. The Ministry suggested that the “principles” do not need to be explicitly included in the law, as long as such “principles” are reflected in the substance of the Bill. This is imperative, as the latest draft (as of December 2013) incorporated several principles in Article 2, which may be eliminated provided that those “principles” are emulated in the Bill.
Apart from the recommendations that have been verbally stated by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the Ministry promised to write the statements and feedback from the results of the hearing based on the latest draft of Gender Bill and materials from JKP3.***