Go Forward Indonesian Women (MPI) proposes the government to establish a regulation to disqualify any political party that fails to fulfill the 30 percent quota for women from its participation in election in the electoral area. This regulation, according to MPI, will encourage political party to obey the gender quota.
“Any party that fails to fulfill the quoat should be barred from participating in the electoral area,” says a senior member of MPI, Yuda Irlang, during a hearing session at the House of Representatives, Jakarta (02/08).
This recommendation is met with skepticism from members of the Special Committee for the new Elections Bill, one of them is Agung Widyantoro from the Golkar Party. Agung says, it is difficult for branches of political party in area outside Java to fulfill the gender quota. Agung worries this proposal, if implemented, may cause political party to propose female candidate indiscriminately, leading to many bad female politicians to gain spotlight.
“In local areas, political parties face difficulties in fulfilling the gender quotas. There are many problems, including cultural barriers. There are still parents in local areas who forbid their daughter to engage in political activity,” says Agung.
Another member of the Special Committee from Gerindra Party, Bambang Riyanto, expresses the same concern. According to Bambang, it is difficult for political party in local areas to look for bright and diligent female candidate.
“I hope we are not seeing this matter from the perspective of Jakarta’s elites,” says Bambang.
A consultant from Kemitraan, Wahidah Suaib, responses the two politicians by saying that political party should commit a self-reflection. “Have they (political parties) been very serious in promoting women participation in politics so far? Political party should establish an internal mechanism that could encourage women participation starting from the inside of the political party itself.”