IL News 021/2019
Waingapu, Sumba Timur, NTT.

November 4th, 2019 at 07.30 am, was the fourth day of Women General Assembly meeting. Participants were still numbered at the venue. However, mama-mama (married women in Sumba) who prepared breakfast were ready to serve participants with the delicious food. From informal chat, we knew they had been working since dawn. Some didn’t even sleep just to serve. It’s amazing how women work restlessly.

At 08.00 am, participants started to fill up the meeting venue, ready to join Women and Democracy session. Albertus Patty (Council of Churches in Indonesia), Musdah Mulia (UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta), and Puansari Siregar (Leimena Institute), were ready to share their knowledge and concern on women and democracy.

Puansari Siregar from Leimena Institute – who promotes Christian active participation in nation building – shared Indonesia’s diversity stories as a context of women’s participation in democracy. She also underlined that citizens’ rights as guaranteed in Constitution are the foundation and warranty of women’ participation in democracy.

The inspiration on democracy was positively responded by questions asked: starting from injustice, intolerance, and political practice in their ministries.

All participants agreed that women shouldn’t stay silent. The democracy as voiced in this event, served as reminder that women must keep pursuing their works optimally for the sake of all livings’ justice and good. Democracy is a warranty of women’s right and sovereignty.

Women do not stay silent. It’s true, as women keep working – from the dawn until the sunset. From the unpaid domestic work to paid work. Women keep working to weave justice in the family, and in the government. Just like mama-mama in Sumba who weave string by string to produce beautiful traditional fabric, so should women keep weaving a better livelihood for all.