Within today’s era of political openness, women’s movement is spreading wider in all contexts: area of focus, geographic range, variety of issues, and even the definitions of gender issues. Such variety and magnitude of scope demand for the capability and commitment of women’s organizations to build and develop working networks to overcome numerous shortcomings, from the understanding of women’s issues, understanding of power relations, ability in develop working strategies, funding, to the regeneration of leadership.
The welfare of its people is commonly considered as an indicator of a nation’s success in its development programs. The welfare is commonly measured in terms of income level, education level and health condition of the people. Indonesia sets its MDGs target to reduce maternal mortality rate to 102 per 100,000 live births by 2015 as one of its development indicators. The 2012 Demographic and Health Survey shows that the rate was still 359 per 100.000 live births for Indonesia.
One Village, One Birthing Clinic, One Midwife
In 2010, the Human Development Index (HDI) for Indonesia, as published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), increased from 107 to 111. Several main HDI indicators are closely related to health, including Life Expectancy, Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR). The high maternal mortality rate in Indonesia in 2009 resulted in the decrease of Indonesia’s position in the Human Development Index.
The high maternal mortality rate reflects the inadequate reproductive health services for poor pregnant women and the difficulties faced by poor women to access reproductive health services. What actions should be taken if the Regional General Hospital (RSUD) in cities, Puskesmas (Community Health Clinics) in sub-districts, and midwives living in villages are considered too expensive and too far for poor women who live in remote areas? Strategies that should be implemented are bringing reproductive health facilities closer to the community’s houses, urging the government to issue the “One Village, One Birthing Clinic, One Midwife” policy and allocating adequate funds to implement it, in order to overcome the lack of reproductive health services for poor, pregnant women.
The Women Research Institute (WRI) will launch a documentary film as well as hold a seminar entitled “Ending Early Marriage and Reducing Maternal Mortality Rate” on 12 December 2012 to draw public attention to the issue of adolescent reproductive health, which still lacks awareness in Indonesia. Women Research Institute’s experiences in capacity building programs for the community in Central Lombok and Gunungkidul, including women and adolescents, were presented in the short documentary. The film showed that early marriage and unplanned pregnancy are among the common incidence in the regions.
This journal is a result of the research conducted by Women Research Institute (WRI) in collaboration with Hivos, which aims to present not only about women’s organizations and their works, but also a description of the type of female leadership which is suitable for women’s organizations in Indonesia. WRI chose five areas of research, namely Jakarta, Lampung, North Sumatra, Padang, and Lombok, which represent the efforts of women’s organizations in handling women’s issues around them. This research also seeks to obtain an overview of the issues and challenges of women’s issues that are currently or will be faced by women’s organizations.