[Highlights from the Field] Leveraging Women’s Empowerment through the Training of Trainers for the Supreme CourtDec 24, 2015
Indonesia ratified the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) over 29 years ago. Although significant progress has been made in the 29 years since, Indonesian women are still prone to experiencing discrimination. In 2013, Indonesia reported a 29.4 percent increase in the reported incidents of violence against women as compared to the previous year. This figure was released by the National Commission on Violence against Women in the country.
The government is strengthening its efforts to prioritize this issue through enhancing access to justice and recovery for women survivors, including on crimes of sexual violence. The need to establish a comprehensive policy that covers prevention, punishment, and rehabilitation by state and public institutions can be seen in Indonesia’s 2015-2019 National Mid-Term Development Plan (RPJMN). This government’s planning document has explicitly outlined that they are committed to protect women as per the 1945 Constitution and a range of international conventions that have been ratified. There has also been efforts made in the harmonization of policies, including the revision of the Marriage Act, the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers Abroad and the abolishment of policies that discriminate in the name of religion and morality.
One of these partnerships include UNDP Indonesia’s Support for Justice Sector Reform in Indonesia (SUSTAIN) project. Since its inception in 2014, SUSTAIN has been implementing a series of trainings that targets both the conventional and administrative courts throughout the archipelago. This five-year project, funded by the European Union, aims to enhance public trust in the judicial system through support to the Government of Indonesia in strengthening the rule of law. The training series is expected to increase the transparency, integrity and accountability of the judiciary and the quality of justice services delivered to the community.
In the workshop’s first installment in November 2014, a Gender and the Rule of Law training was included as an important component for the Supreme Court judges responsible in drafting and finalizing the training module for the general and administrative courts across the country. Hence, the first Training of Trainers conducted in Bandung on the 16th of October tackled three key aspects of Gender and the Rule of Law: (1) criminal justice, (2) civil procedures, and (3) codes of conduct.
The facilitators from UNDP interviewed two of the 11 Supreme Court judges who attended the training of trainers.
Ifa Sudewi and Nani Indra are two senior female Supreme Court judges with over 20 years of experience, who were interviewed during the session. They have both been appointed as members of the panel to develop the curriculum and module to train judges throughout Indonesia. Highlights from this interview are as follows:
What are some of the examples that you can draw to highlight best practices in dealing with cases of violence against women?
Ifa Sudewi: “As a judge, we have to consistently analyze the evidences. We have to analyze every detail that might have a correlation in order to deliver a fair decision. This means, referring to the police report for instance as we have to question everything linked to the victim’s testimonies and to probe carefully from the witness for instance.”
Nani Indra: “I remember that in the past, I have advised my colleagues and the attorneys during a case hearing to refrain from asking questions and making discriminatory remarks that can trigger the trauma from victims. Remarks that challenge the freedom of expression from the choices of victim’s style of clothing for example, is not acceptable.”
What was your “aha” moment from the training?
Ifa Sudewi: “The Gender session in the training of trainers had helped to cast some of the doubts I had before on analyzing cases from the Gender lens that in turn can ensure equity and empower women and enhance their access to justice. I feel more empowered and confident to pay more attention to gender-sensitive case processing.”
Nani Indra: “The training allows me to see from the different aspect of cases that should be gender-sensitive. The session was very useful especially because we have male judges who attended the session. Not all men for instance are aware of the gender-sensitive questioning. This led me to believe that the training with male participants in general have to include a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment component.”
As a result of the success of the training in October, UNDP Indonesia will be continuing its support for the Supreme Court panel members to include an additional Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the rule of law Module in this influential curriculum and to support the panel members in conducting some training programmes on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the rule of law for the general and administrative courts in Eastern Nusa Tenggara and Central Kalimantan provinces.
Story by: Gina Meutia & Hilary Grantmyre