Hivos Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia

Women's Empowerment

Women’s Condition in Sumba

Approximately one hour east of Tambolaka airport, you can find the Renewable Energy Kiosk, Yofi Mayu Delo. Sitting down in front the kiosk, Mama Margaretha, a 44-year old mother of four, winces as she recalls her life journey.

“My parents, and especially my father, did not give his blessing when I got married.  Because my husband was working as a mason, I think my dad thought that I would suffer”, she says.

Sumba, due its remote location, has never been a priority for the Indonesian government. Until a few years ago, most of the villages in Sumba didn’t even have access to electricity, which meant that as soon as night came, all activities had to stop. Once the island started developing, this presented a huge handicap, so officials had to pay attention to the energy needs of the local community.

On International Women’s Day 2018, we’re highlighting the role that women often play in feeding their families and the importance of making sure that the kitchen is an open space, regardless of gender and age.

A woman’s “turf”

“Girls must learn to cook and this kitchen is your territory,” said my mother ages ago. Being a lousy cook myself, I’m lucky that my father is actually the one who makes breakfast every morning and who often cooks for the entire family!

During the week of 8 March - International Women's Day - Hivos is sharing stories of some of the amazing and powerful women we support worldwide. This year's theme is: “Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

There are a few critical moments in the lifespan of a grant-making programme: Those moments in which you need to press pause, contemplate the journey so far, and look back at your achievements and challenges. After one year of grant-making, filled with work on designing and refining four different types of calls for proposals, reviewing over 1000 grant applications from ten countries spread out in 3 regions, Voice needed a moment to reflect on whether we have actually been engaging with the right audiences.

4,000 female entrepreneurs bring renewable energy to over 2 million people

How do you get sustainable energy solutions for more than 2 million people in the most remote areas of Africa and Asia? And how do you make sure these solutions are really used? The answer is as brilliant as it is simple: appeal to the power of women. Since March 2016, the ENERGIA programme has been hosted by Hivos, and the results speak volumes. So Xenia Wassenbergh of Hivos’ People Unlimited Post sat down with two of the motors behind ENERGIA to find out more.

My father is from Nigeria. In 1967, a terrible civil war broke out in his region. Biafra wanted to proclaim it independence, to which the Nigerian state reacted with bloody slaughter and systematic starvation. Millions of Biafrans died, and images of malnourished children shocked the world.

Cities will dominate the landscape of the future. UN projections indicate that 75 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Africa, in particular, will change from a continent of states to a continent of cities.

Tanoker is a learning community in Jember, East Java, Indonesia. This community is doing their best to develop the potential of local women and children through creative activities. One of these is the “Learning and Tourism Village of Ledokombo” programme in Jember, in which Tanoker supports the villagers to make souvenirs for tourists visiting the village. The handicraft groups set up by the Tanocraft programme consist mostly of women, who also make and sell “jamu”, traditional drinks from herbal plants growing in the surrounding area.

Just one day at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) showed me that this year’s theme, ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work’, may finally bring some well-deserved attention to the feminization of migration and the plight of women in domestic work. But - will this attention actually result in measures to protect their rights? For those paying attention, Hivos’ panel discussion on 13 March, “I work without Rights, Do you care?” revealed some very necessary steps to take.