Indonesia: Indigenous women organize themselves
For two days, April 15-16, 2012, more than 200 women representing various indigenous communities in Indonesia gathered on Doa Dukono Hill in Tobelo, North Halmahera, a regency in North Maluku, to form an organization that focuses on the country’s indigenous women’s movement — an inseparable part of the whole indigenous people’s movement to attain economic self-sufficiency, political rights, and cultural dignity.
“Indigenous peoples have long been oppressed by political, legal, and social systems, but indigenous women have been the most oppressed,” said Abdon Nababan, the Secretary General of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN). “These women have to fight for a change within their indigenous systems, whose patriarchal designs often shove the women aside,” Nababan said. “Ironically, when indigenous communities have to fight against outside oppressions, it is the women who stand on the frontline. So the formation of this organization is a milestone, both for AMAN and for this country.