The data from Global Forest Watch (GFW) records a massive loss of tree covers in peat lands in Pelalawan Regency and Siak Regency, Riau, which could lead to prolonged forest fires. Currently, the proportion of degraded forests is much larger than the proportion of natural ones, potentially causing an extended impact on women who are highly dependent on forest conditions. The increasingly fast rate of deforestation each year is triggered by the large number of concessions granted to plantation and forest-based companies, thus limiting the people’s access to forests and natural resources.
This year, women all over the world celebrate the 100 years of commemorating Women’s International Day (March 8). Many events and activities are take place around the globe to celebrate the achievement of women. In order to celebrate the 100 years of Women’s International Day, this year theme is about Access to Education which highlights that gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to the global mission in achieving equal rights and dignity for all.
Household becomes a source of discrimination and subordination against women when it comes to the issues of gender and poverty. Inequality in the resources allocation in a household indicates that men and women experience different forms of poverty. In public space, the poverty experienced by women is always related to restricted spaces for women to participate in the formal decision making. Women often consider the concept of public domain as merely a place to work or a place to trade instead of forums in communities. The involvement in public forum within communities is usually limited and related to domestic roles such as arisan (a form of social gathering usually held by women to collect money meant for saving), praying groups or religious groups and PKK (a government-supported program to educate women in family welfare introduced in the New Order era).
Until today, there are only around 18 percent of women Parliamentarians across the world. Meanwhile, one of the important objectives of the 2015 Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) is the representation of women in parliaments. The target of women’s representation in parliaments becomes greatly urgent when women become the subjects with authority in policy making – not only to fulfill the target of MDGs but also other targets of development.
A significant number of members of society do not realize that health service, education and access to work are basic rights the state should provide for. The state as a public instrument has the authority and obligation to fulfill basic rights. The state is authorized to formulate budget for the public through government or private programs.
In reality, the government’s budget and programs have yet to fulfill those basic rights. The problem, in this case, is gender bias in public policy. Public policies, which fulfill basic rights, will affect the welfare improvement of poor people, including women as the most vulnerable group.