As a research institute with a vision to realize a gender-fair Indonesian society, on 13-15 March 2013, the Women Research Institute (WRI) organized a further study program on feminist methodology and gender analysis in Jakarta. The feminist methodology has become very important as it can assist and provide a framework for women who work or are concerned in women’s issues. This method reminds us on the importance to respect various views and opinions. It also emphasizes that there is no absolute truth about anything. This viewpoint criticizes currently used methods, particularly social researches or scientific papers, which believe that quantity can refer to the existence of social truth.
Furthermore, this further study on feminist methodology and gender analysis aims to strengthen the capacity for gender analysis in research findings or other studies on women’s or gender issues in order to produce quality researches. In a long term, such researches can be used to provide recommendations for decision-makers.
Objectives of Program
- To increase participants’ understanding on recognizing feminist theories and methodologies that relate to women’s issues and other sciences.
- To understand the comprehensive aspects of gender analysis by sharing and exchanging information and experiences among participants.
- To enhance the capacities of participants in the development of knowledge.
- To enlarge the network of a methodological study forum among researchers.
Facilitators & Speakers:
Sita Aripurnami, M.Sc (Executive Director of WRI), Edriana Noerdin, MA (Program Director of WRI), Dr. Widjajanti Isdijoso Suharyo (Deputy Director of SMERU Research Institute), Dr. Chusnul Mariyah (Lecturer of Political Sciences, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences University of Indonesia), and Dr. Lugina Setyowati (Lecturer of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Indonesia).
Training Process, Jakarta 13-15 March 2013
The Further Study on Feminist Methodology and Gender Analysis, supported by the Representation Program – Chemonics International – USAID, was held by WRI as part of its Capacity Building program. The objective of this program is to enhance and strengthen the capacity of researchers in order to gain the ability, knowledge, and skills in conducting researches and developing their capabilities.
A number of 15 participants attended the training, consisting of 14 women and 1 man from various research bodies, universities and the public that were interested in enhancing their understanding of feminist methodology and gender analysis. Apart from WRI, participants also come from, among others, the Institute of Health, Research and Development Ministry of Health, Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, Independent Youth Alliance, Paramadina University, Stikes Bhakti Pertiwi Indonesia and Prof. Dr Hamka Muhammadiyah University (UHAMKA).
Participants of this program are required to have experiences in research. This is important in order to ensure that the exchange of research experiences can be carried out. Moreover, participants would be encouraged to critically analyze their research data findings using a feminist perspective.
The method of this program included lectures, simulations, and group discussions. Each session was moderated by a facilitator, who was expected to be able to stimulate participants in implementing a conceptual framework and sharp analyses in reading the social reality that women face.
In the organization of this event, it is imperative to understand the knowledge, comprehension and skills of each participant at the beginning and at the end. As participants would be expected to be competent in conducting researches using the feminist methodology from planning, undertaking, until reporting; evaluation had to be carried out in several stages so that every suggestion during the evaluation can be used to improve the following activities.
Design of Curriculum
The design of the curriculum and training was formulated into a sequence of activities as follows: the first day focused on the introduction of the feminist standpoint for intellectual exploration and observation of the usage of the feminist perspective in political issues. This was closed with a presentation of training management in order to qualify participants in preparing proposals and other technical issues. Participants were also given a pre-test to measure their initial knowledge, comprehension, and skills.
On the next day, participants were divided into several groups for a simulation. This simulation was intended to function as an exercise to design and present a research proposal as well as to receive peer feedbacks from each group. There are four basic points in making a research proposal, namely: 1) Research problems, 2) Hypothesis, 3) Research questions, 4) Data Collection Method.
On the last day, the facilitator presented materials about feminist-perspective research and the process to conduct gender analysis in research. It was also on the last day that the evaluation and post-test sheets were processed into an evaluation of the training.
Significance of Training
Notwithstanding the organization of the event, it is also as important to measure the substantial aspect or impact of the training. Although the impact of WRI's training cannot be measured directly, but it could be observed and concluded that participants had gained a critical awareness on the feminist perspective, gender analysis and feminist research management through active discussions. The active discussions that developed during the training demonstrated the participants’ enthusiasm to understand feminist research methods and the way to practice it in field researches. Participants also gained knowledge on the management of research conducted by research teams which may involve many people institutionally.
Apart from active discussions, participants were also encouraged to involve actively in designing researches. In this session, participants were invited to develop their skills in identifying social, political, cultural and economic issues that are faced by women. In this activity, participants were grouped into several themes of researches that suited the participants’ interests.
- Participants were expected to be able to formulate the background of a social phenomenon among women that is important to be analyzed;
- How to write a literature review by understanding the basic assumption of the arguments in the literature, in order to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of that literature;
- How to formulate key questions that should be answered in the research, and derivate those questions to be more operational into interview guides or questionnaires;
- How to formulate data collecting strategies using the feminist perspective to answer the research questions.
The purpose of this research-designing training is to facilitate participants with the experience of designing a research proposal that uses feminist methods and perspectives.
At the end of the training, all participants did an evaluation of the whole training program by filling out evaluation forms. The inputs from this evaluation are expected to improve future trainings. The training in whole has provided the participants with enhanced knowledge regarding gender understanding and research management using the feminist perspective.***