by Niken Lestari
FAMM Indonesia was born in December 2012. Previously it was JASS Indonesia and we were known with that name. So one of the challenges was to reintroduce us as FAMM Indonesia to our network. It will take time and we are using online media to make us more visible.
Another challenges are related to our community of young women activists. FAMM is identifying some emerging problems in the current socio-political context experience by our members in the field. We realize that women’s movement is not limited to works conducted in NGOs or CBOs which can not escape the global economy context that interrelated with local and national political dynamics. Based on our monitoring of our members, some are now working as civil servants, a small portion continue to graduate school, became legislative candidate, and working in company or self-employed. Most of them still working as community organizers within and outside NGOs.
The changes of young women activists life cycle reflecting the women’s movement situation in Indonesia. Starting in a couple years ago, there are local NGOs that cut down their activities due to financial constraints, inability to develop innovative programs, inability to solve internal conflict within the organization, and lack of family support. There are still connotation and stereotype for women activists who are working in NGOs such as demonstrator, low-paid work, insecure, less benefit, unprofessional, etc. FAMM realizes that working with young women activists mean we are not only deal with the traditional leadership in mainstream concept but also showing different face of activism. Most of us in FAMM are organizing our community for long time. It was never meant to be one or three times protest. This type of organizing often left unreported by mass media because they prefer the heroic, frenzied, quick result action. Something they can take pictures of. Bad news is the real news.
Slowly it is about to change. One of the reason is that we too, as community, can publish what we are doing. By doing so, FAMM also trying to reclaim space that until now still occupied by tentacles of giant media which probably owned by couple of richest people. We offer different news which is our story that fill with ordinary characters, not exaggerated, doing what everyone can do, and facing daily challenges that many people have gone through. Out stories sometimes don’t have happy ending or don’t have ending yet because we are still moving the wheel.
FAMM supported our members with safe space because sometime they experience violence from both their partners and family. It is a challenge for all young women to exercise their leadership capacity in the private arena. I still have to struggle with my parents because I don’t have a child, other have to struggle with their family because they are asking for divorce or fighting to gain permission so she can join FAMM workshop.
Those small achievement often left unseen or undermined but they are part of our stepping stones. As young women, we are very proud and gain more confidence when we are able to convinced our parents, our partners, our extended family about our activities. Their support are very important. If they don’t have their support, at least they know that FAMM community is here to help them. (*)
Published at http://worldpulse.com/node/91737