In order to promote women’s participation in the lead-up to the 2024 political year, the Yogyakarta City Government launched the “Women’s Political Voice Channel: Special Region of Yogyakarta Series” on Thursday (10/8).
This launch also served as a platform for discussion titled “Women and Politics: Traces, Roles, and Strategies,” in collaboration with the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
Referring to Law Number 2 of 2008 on Political Parties, the government has stipulated a requirement for the representation of women to reach 30%.
“The 30% participation target has finally been achieved over the years. In the Yogyakarta region, the gender gap between men and women has remained consistent over the years, running parallel but quite close. This indicates that gender equality has been almost achieved, although imperfect. This needs further encouragement,” explained the Head of the Yogyakarta Office of Women’s Empowerment, Child Protection, and Population Control, Erlina Hidayati.
The lower participation of women compared to men is primarily due to the social reconstruction of women’s household roles.
“When married women aspire to pursue a career, they often face the dilemma that their role is that of a homemaker. Yet, this can be overcome by encouraging men’s household roles. Hopefully, more women will dare to pursue a career after marriage,” stated Dr. Fina Itriyati, a sociologist and Vice Dean for Research, Community Service, Cooperation, and Alumni at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
Political observer Prima Sulitya added that the atmosphere of such is still unsupportive. Besides the challenges women face due to marriage, having children, and other factors, the resources required to become a legislative candidate are costly.
“Moreover, there’s the matter of how parties select and entrust women to become legislative candidates. If we look at the media today, there are still many negative sentiments surrounding female candidates,” she said.
The lack of environmental and societal support has made many women hesitate to run as political actors.
Political participation cannot be solely evaluated based on political candidacy. Electability, voter tendencies, and political voices from the community also reflect the extent of Indonesia’s political participation.
According to the Head of the Undergraduate Program in Politics and Government, Dr. Mada Sukmajati, this issue is more complex when deeply analyzed.
“The reason why the participation of female legislative candidates is still limited cannot be solely attributed to the women themselves. Political parties generally nominate individuals who have high electability in society. I believe the electoral strategies of candidates will greatly influence this, and this is what needs to be supported to encourage society to pay attention to female candidates,” she said.
These challenges reflect how society remains somewhat pessimistic about female political candidates. This needs to be addressed to grant recognition to women and enhance their political roles.
The ultimate goal of this involvement is to prioritize gender equality and the development of vulnerable groups.