Jakarta, PWYP Indonesia – PWYP Indonesia held an online discussion themed “Gender Mainstreaming and Inclusive Development in Extractive Sector Governance” on Friday (5/2) in preparation for the 2021 National Working Meeting. Furthermore, PWYP Indonesia’s commitment to promoting the extractive sector is transparent and accountable and a gender-fair sector.

This discussion was motivated by conditions in the extractive sector where there are still several institutional and structural problems that limit space and access for women and vulnerable groups, especially in gaining access and control of natural resources to maintain a good quality of life. Furthermore, there are several other challenges, ranging from the lack of recognition and space for participation by the government and entrepreneurs on the existence of women and vulnerable groups and reflections from the civil society movement in carrying out advocacy. It is known that the extractive sector today is still dominated by men in addition to the minimal use of gender analysis in policy advocacy products. The speakers who attended the discussion were Risma Umar as the Chairperson of the WALHI National Council and Wasingatu Zakiyah as the PWYP Indonesia Steering Body.

Risma Umar explained several challenges women and vulnerable groups face in the development agenda and governance of the extractive sector in Indonesia. Risma Umar emphasized the existence of a paradigm of both things, which tends to be exploitative. In this context, natural resources appear to be used to benefit target markets instead of improving the welfare of the people living in the surrounding areas. Likewise, the existence of a patriarchal development model, development that occurs without paying attention to the social side, and has a significant impact on vulnerable communities (indigenous peoples, women, and other marginalized groups).

In Indonesia, the government has recognized the importance of mainstreaming gender in development. This was stated in Presidential Instruction Number 2000 regarding gender mainstreaming in national development. Unfortunately, according to Risma, this has not been appropriately implemented. Therefore, related institutions and institutions need to safeguard state commitments by holding gender audits as part of the policy formation mechanism and implementing the development agenda.

In facing these challenges, Risma Umar emphasizes the importance of looking at the concept of community-based energy. A narrative that contradicts exploitative logic so that people can live side by side with nature and use natural resources based on their needs. To do this requires study, research, a collaboration between communities, and efforts to share knowledge space through deep gender mainstreaming. Besides, it is essential to ensure the actual participation of the community at every stage of development planning.

Wasingatu Zakiyah, in her opportunity to give a brief explanation about gendering energy or how a gender perspective can be used in energy studies in Indonesia; As the energy trilemma which always relies on access, security, and sustainability, Wasingatu explains the importance of seeing conditions in the field that are directly affected by practices so far. Especially with the existence of energy poverty or energy poverty, he describes the condition of society without access to energy and how this directly affects the level of quality of life, education, and of course, the welfare of society, especially for women and marginalized groups.

In line with Risma Umar, Wasingatu underlined the importance of gender-based evaluation when talking about energy. In this context, energy projects must integrate a gender perspective into energy sector policies, which needs to be supported by sufficient evidence. Likewise, in promoting investment in this sector and the many technologies that support clean cooking and household activities, sustainable energy technology must be decentralized and accessible to all. Besides, it is also essential to promote a women-centred business model.

Closing this discussion, the two speakers agreed on the importance of gender mainstreaming and inclusive development in the extractive sector, which in practice must cover aspects of knowledge formation and determination of needs. The government and companies must look again at the various local pearls of wisdom that come from the community and no longer look at the extractive sector and the development agenda solely for meeting target markets, let alone the interests of certain groups. (HH / AA)