Jakarta – Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia launched the monitoring guidelines for GEDSI implementation in Indonesia’s energy transition in Jakarta on June 28, 2024. PWYP Indonesia invited various stakeholders, including civil society organizations (CSOs), women’s organizations, and government representatives from the National Energy Council (DEN) and the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) Indonesia Secretariat. The respondents provided feedback on the drafted document. This event is expected to be an initial effort to establish guidelines that accommodate the needs of gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) in Indonesia’s energy transition.

In its commitment to implementing JETP, Indonesia must ensure that the energy transition program does not repeat past mistakes from fossil energy governance. Wicitra Diwasasri, a researcher at PWYP Indonesia and the author of the guidelines, highlighted in her presentation how hydroelectric power plants (PLTA), as a priority JETP project with the second-highest investment value, have the potential to harm women with intersectional identities, such as rural women and women with disabilities.

“Why women? Women are easily affected by energy activities and energy poverty. Women are likely to face multiple vulnerabilities due to unfair gender social constructs. Women with disabilities are more susceptible to discrimination than men, both those with and without disabilities,” she said.

On one hand, hydroelectric power plants are considered vital in efforts to transition the energy sector towards electricity provision and renewable energy, contributing up to 30% of the total national energy production. On the other hand, their construction involves massive land use changes that will infringe on the rights of local communities, including women and people with disabilities.

The guidelines explain that constructing hydroelectric power plants results in air pollution, water issues closely related to nutrition and food security, ecosystem damage, floods, and waterborne diseases. Through a GEDSI lens, these guidelines formulate mitigation steps necessary to minimize these risks, especially for women and people with disabilities.

Moreover, these guidelines emphasize the urgency of meaningful involvement of women and disability groups in the energy transition process. Often, women’s involvement in decision-making is minimal due to a patriarchal culture that prioritizes men in decision-making roles. Social constructs also impose double burdens on women, hindering their contributions to policy planning processes and other public forums.
The event also featured perspectives from policymakers, represented by Dina Nurul Fitriani, a Stakeholder Element Member of DEN who is also involved in drafting government regulations related to national energy policies (KEN). She hopes that in the future, these guidelines will encompass a broader range of energy transition projects and be able to formulate specific guidelines related to land use within the context of national strategic projects (PSN), thereby preventing negative impacts on the domestic lives of surrounding communities.

At the same event, several CSOs provided practical feedback on the drafted GEDSI guidelines. They emphasized the importance of using relevant indicators to ensure stakeholders’ common understanding of the GEDSI concept. Maulani Rotinsulu from the ASEAN Disability Forum highlighted the pressing need to clearly define the specific needs of people with disabilities in the document.

Author: Muhammad Adzkia Farirahman
Reviewer: Mouna Wasef