Nukila Evanty: Actively involve women in security sectors

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Jakarta, IO – The Pacific Forum, an international institution based in the United States, recently hosted an online workshop for the “Gender in Health and Climate Security Series” at the end of January.

The workshop presented experts from numerous Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Nukila Evanty, Executive Director of the Women’s Working Group (WWG), had the opportunity to represent Indonesia.

Nukila is a well-known activist who persistently works for women’s rights. In this workshop, Nukila focused on women’s health and natural disasters, as she believes women are the most affected. “Women have been experiencing violence and injustice caused by gender inequality and discrimination in our social structure, apart from any conflicts and climate disasters that take place,” explained Nukila, in an exclusive chat with the Independent Observer on Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Nukila further mentioned how governments in most countries understand the significance of women’s and men’s equal participation in negotiating for gender equality and gender-based violence elimination.

The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) to include women’s significant roles in peacebuilding and peacekeeping through the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda.

According to Nukila, the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) encourage countries to protect women and girls by establishing concrete regulations that will end violence.

Nukila appreciates the Indonesian government’s efforts in actively ratifying international covenants and enacting them as regulations, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

This commitment is in line with the Beijing Platform for Action agreement to further create a WPS agenda. Through the National Action Plan for the Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children in Social Conflict for the Years 2014-2019, the government has been implementing SCR 1325 since 2014.

Nukila then talked about how the Naval Medical Center in San Diego provides comprehensive care for women. Should disasters happen, such as major wildfires, storms, or floods, military hospitals and clinics are required to be constructed. Hospitals are required to take care of women’s health at all ages. The Military Health System allows women to receive comprehensive healthcare for their cardiovascular, mental, and musculoskeletal injuries and reproductive health.

Nukila commends the Indonesian government for its significant efforts for women. Nevertheless, she recommends four steps for a better future ahead:
First, improving statistics on women’s needs and participation in handling the effects of both natural and man-made disasters. Things have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, which demands different approaches to dealing with disasters.

Second, during health emergencies and natural disasters, major policies should be gender-responsive, with the necessary implementation. It is also important to inclusively engage society.

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Third, actively involve women in security and military sectors, not just in administrative capacities.

Fourth, increasing women’s access to and involvement in aid programs, resources, training, and education.

“Many people are unaware of the National Action Plan for WPS. Many are still clueless about how they may help the government. Many are even more uninformed of what women might need and the urgency of women’s involvement in peace and security issues,” ended Nukila. (des)