In general, the term ‘good governance’ is used as if it already represented the interests of all groups in society. In reality, gender justice and equity are not explicitly mentioned as a principle of good governance, so the voice and interests of women are not represented in the concept of governance.
The work of the Women Research Institute(WRI) is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. WRI is convinced that the principles of the elimination of all forms of discrimination have to become the principles of good governance. To give effect to good governance, an inclusive democratization process is needed that recognizes and nurtures not only diversity in ethnic, racial, religious, belief, physical capability, social class, age, language and geographical origin, but also gender diversity.
Will the formation of good governance also produce a position and condition that is just and equitable for men and women? Efforts to create good governance until now appear to have not yet been able to resolve the many problems that are faced by women.
Several research studies on the existing position and condition of women show that the methodology and analysis used have not taken the gender perspective into account. As a result, women are often marginalized in the effort to realize good governance. Several examples of the marginalization of women in the discussion of the important issues in governance are:
Pluralism is meant only as diversity in ethnicity, race, religion and geographical region. Gender differences between men and women that have consequences for the diversity of impact and interests has not yet been adequately examined.
Democracy is often meant as equity in the public domain. The struggle to demand a more democratic power relationship is seen only as a struggle in the public domain. The problem arises when there is a division between the public domain and private domain, whereas democracy is only considered to be the need for equal rights in the public domain. Inequity in the power relationship between men and women in the private domain is often manifested in the form of violence, including sexual violence. In various places in Indonesia, the form of this violence also manifests itself in broader conflict in the community, in fact in armed conflict in several regions.
Participation is an easy word to manipulate because it is considered to already reflect community involvement, including women. The community is, however, very heterogeneous, including differences based on sex, social class, ethnicity, race, religion, language, physical ability, age, geography and beliefs followed.
Based on the condition of women in governance, WRI was established and started to become active.
Society is diverse based on capability, ethnicity, race, religion, geography, sex, and other differences. This diversity can bring about discrimination. One type of discrimination is discrimination based on the social and cultural constructions that differentiate women and men. This discrimination results in the unequal relation, position, condition, and control of productive assets in the public and private sphere.
Meanwhile, the social, cultural, political, and economic system has “isolated” the access, presence, representation, and influence of women in the democratic process, particularly in decision-making.
These conditions of inequality and “isolation” have caused violence against women and policies and budgeting processes that do not take the needs and interests of women into account.
- Considering the above, thus WRI is involved in the struggle for:
- Raising the critical awareness of men and women that issues in the private sphere are as important as those in the public sphere (the personal is political).
- Increasing the access, number, and capacity of women to participate in decision-making processes so that the needs and interests of women can be expressed.
- Mainstreaming of feminist research methodologies.
Establishing WRI research findings as the basis for changes in discourse and behavior as well as policy making that are based on justice and equality for both women and men.
WRI was established and became active based on the above objectives.***