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Women's representation in election organisations little more than rhetoric

Kompas.com - October 18, 2022

Valmai Alzena Karla Martino, Jakarta – University of Indonesia Political studies Centre (Puskapol UI) Deputy Executive Director Hurriyah has touched on the low level of women's representation in the General Election Commission (KPU) and the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu).

Hurriyah said that out of 25 provinces in Indonesia only 1 province has at least two women representatives.

"[In] as many as 24 other provinces, yeah, their representation is low. In nine provinces there is only one woman, in 15 provinces there isn't even any women's representatives at all. Now, this is a portrait which is very saddening", said Hurriyah during an event titled "Welcoming the 2024 elections and the selection of election organisers: Several critical notes" on Sunday October 16.

The nine provinces with only one woman representative are Jambi, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, Central Kalimantan, Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, North Maluku and West Papua.

Meanwhile the 15 provinces with absolutely no woman representatives are West Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, Bengkulu, Lampung, Jakarta, Banten, Yogyakarta, West Nusa Tenggara, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Maluku.

"It's actually [quite] ironic that the KPU applies a policy of [a minimum] 30 percent women's representation for legislative election candidates. Bawaslu talks about electoral justice, but then the state of women's representation in the two institutions still faces many challenges and obstacles", she said.

Looking at the level of women's representation in the latest results of the election organisers selection process, which is still low, Hurriyah said that the regulations on women's representation in Indonesia remain just rhetoric.

"It has yet to be applied seriously by election organising institutions, in this case Bawaslu", she said.

Hurriyah said that the KPU and Bawaslu need to improve technical regulations which can guarantee the application of the principle of affirmative action in all selections.

In addition to this, she is also urging the KPU and Bawaslu to formulate election team recruitment mechanisms which have a strong gender perspective and electoral justice.

"The KPU and Bawaslu need to take technical measures to implement women's representation quota policies for the coming selection process", she said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Keterwakilan Perempuan di Penyelenggara Pemilu Hanya Sekadar Basa-basi".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/10/18/14052941/keterwakilan-perempuan-di-penyelenggara-pemilu-hanya-sekadar-basa-bas