Female consolidation to optimize monitoring of policies

KPP RI Presidium Dewi Asmara. (Photo: Instagram)

IO – The Parliamentary Female Caucus of the Republic of Indonesia (Kaukus Perempuan Parlemen Republik Indonesia – “KPP RI”) is not an organization created merely to show that there are women in the Legislative institution. KPP RI Presidium Dewi Asmara stated that the KPP RI is a forum for consolidation that includes all women in the Parliament, whether the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia – “DPR RI”) and the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah Republik Indonesia – “DPD RI”), or in the Regional Parliaments of Provincial, Regency, and Municipal Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah “DPRD”), members whose purpose is to mainstream gender issues into national development and to bring gender equality and fairness into a democratic reality.

Dewi’s statement was presented during opening of the virtual webinar “Optimizing the Role of the Parliament’s Women in Creating Inclusive Regulations at Regional Level” on Tuesday (06/04/2021). This event was meant to introduce the mechanism of Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS), i.e. the Observation, Monitoring, and Review of the Implementation of Existing Rules and Regulations. Members of Parliament can use the mechanism to identify regional policies that are not gender-responsive, then offer solutions to reduce or even eliminate these policies.

The webinar, organized by KPPRI in cooperation with Conservative-WFD, brought in two expert speakers to discuss how to optimize the role of women in formulating and monitoring regulations to become more inclusive: Dr. Al Khanif, Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (“CHRM2”), Jember University; and Riri Khariroh, M.A., National Commission on Women Commissioners for the 2015-2019 term/Director of the Peaceful Indonesia Alliance. The forum is not just one to provide space for consolidation, but a way for KPP RI to be able to consistently support and encourage female legislators to perform optimally as members of Parliament.

In his presentation, Al Khanif stated that observation and review of existing rules and regulations as a relatively new mechanism is little implemented by the DPRD, whether Provincial, Regency, or Municipal DPRD. “This shows how our DPRD has not shifted from a ‘lawmaking’ paradigm, while most democratic countries no longer care to create new regulations and prefer to tweak their perfectly working regulations instead.”

According to Government Regulation Number 12 of 2018 concerning the Guidelines for Creating the Regulations of the Provincial, Regency, and Municipal Regional Houses of Representatives, the mechanism for observing and reviewing existing rules and regulations is the same as the ordinary creation of new Regional Regulations. Therefore, this is not hard to do at a practical level. The difference is that PLS is part of the cycle of creating rules and regulations that can contribute to proposed regional legislative programs. PLS is expected to become one of the gateways for rechecking policies that show discriminative tendencies.

Riri Khariroh stated that the National Commission of Women found at least 421 discriminative policies in various regions that unfairly criminalize women and minority groups, unfairly direct morality, and restrict religious and spiritual freedoms back in in 2016. She also said that changing even one or two discriminative terms in any regulation is still a long process. Therefore, in order to correct these laws more quickly and build consolidation among women, the women in different parliamentary levels should cooperate to recheck and correct these regulations to make them fairer and more inclusive towards women. (des)