Gender equality in political decision-making CEDAW, Beijing, Quotas #IAW Aletta Jacobs travel + 100

We are preparing our travel to Java 100 years after Aletta Jacobs, 30+ years after CEDAW and 15+ years after Beijing's Platform for Action. Aletta Jacobs and Carrie Chapman Catt main objects were the demand for woman's education and the vote for women. The education and suffrage question was entangled with the race question in South Africa and in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Aletta was president of the organisation now called Vrouwenbelangen founded in 1894 and Carrie was president of now called International Alliance of Women founded in 1904. Vrouwenbelangen is a cofounder of this umbrella of suffrage movements and is an affiliate of IAW. 

At this moment Lyda Verstegen, former president of Vrouwenbelangen, is president of International Alliance of Women. Main objective of international NGO IAW is equal rights means equal resposibilities; women's rights are human rights. Human rights are universal, indivisible and interrelated. IAW is an international NGO with general consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the UN. 
Since the 90's I'm an active member in Vrouwenbelangen & IAW. My main activities are effective strategies to achieve gender equality in political decision-making, and to use internet and social media

Gender equality in political decision-making
is one of the indicators of the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 3 in 2015. Increasing women's participation in politics / the percentage of seats in the national parliament and held by women. What are the numbers in Indonesia and the Netherlands? The women's participation in their national parliaments is increasing. It has to grow in order to reach gender balance M/F 50/50.

1997        Indonesia #40   11%   the Netherlands #5 31%

2011        Indonesia #73   18%   120 women out of 560      
       the Netherlands #8    41%     61 women out of 150

Source Women in Parliament 
Note USA is at #78 and has 17% seats held by women

About UN CEDAW in IAW, Indonesia and the Netherlands
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an important international instrument and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. The Convention is the most comprehensive treaty on women's human rights and establishes legally binding obligations to end discrimination. 

An important barrier to full equal rights between women and men is the fact that women do not know their rights. Only a few women are aware of the fact that the international society has adopted this convention on equal rights which guarantees women basis freedoms and rights. This is the main reason why the Danish Women's Society, cofounder of IAW, decided to focus on the CEDAW Convention between 1991-2001. In 2008 at the Board Meeting of IAW in the Netherlands there was a Symposium Human rights education in the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Most important to reach gender equality in political decision-making is Article 7 of CEDAW.
"1. Article 7 CEDAW:
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:
(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies;
(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.

Concluding Observations of the UN CEDAW Committee Indonesia 2007
26. While the Committee welcomes the enactment of Law No. 12 of 2003 on 
General Elections, which established a 30 per cent quota for women candidates for political parties in the legislature, the Committee is concerned that the law fails to include sanctions or enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the quota. 
The Committee is deeply concerned about the lack of progress in increasing
women’s participation in political parties since the enactment of the Law. The
Committee expresses concern about the low level of representation of women in public and political life and in decision-making positions in Indonesia.
27.  The Committee urges the State party to strengthen the 30 per cent quota system for women candidates in the Law on General Elections by making this quota a mandatory requirement and imposing sanctions and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that it is followed. It also encourages the State party to implement and strengthen the application of temporary special measures ... in order to accelerate women’s full and equal participation with men in all sectors and at all levels of decision-making in public, political and economic life.

32. The Committee, while noting the rather strong representation of women in Parliament and in the Government of the Netherlands, is concerned about the very low representation of women in municipal councils and local and provincial governments as well as in high-ranking posts. 
33.  The Committee calls upon all the governments of the State party to
accelerate their efforts to achieve equal representation in their elected bodies and, with that aim, to adopt temporary special measures, ... in particular quotas, numerical goals and measurable targets aimed at increasing the participation of women, including migrant and minority women
in political and public decision-making at all levels.

Women's Rights ... Shadowreport by 54 Dutch NGO's 2009/11 states ''Equal representation of women in political and social life is no longer an aim''. In the opinion of the NGO's, the government should strive for participation of women on equal terms with men, which means the aim should include increasing the influence of women."

About Quotas, Different Systems & Pros and Cons 
The website quotaproject reveals that the use of electoral quotas for women is much more widespread than is commenly held. In fact, half of the countries of the world today use some type of electoral quota for their parliament. Today women constitute 19 percent of the members of parliaments around the world. Recently, Rwanda superseded Sweden at the number one in the world. 56% women's parliamentary representation in Rwanda is an example of using electoral gender quotas as a fast track to gender balance in politics. 

Indonesia According to article 55 in the Electoral Law 10/2008, regarding elections to the House of Representatives: "at least one in every three candidates included on a political party list should be women.''
e Netherlands 

Aletta Jacobs and Carrie Chapman Catt of IAW were stimulating equal opportunity in voting rights by grass root mobilization of women and men. After 100 years the main focus is 'equality of result' writes Drude Dahlerup, professor of Political Science, Stockholm University, at the website of the quotaproject. "Following strong feminist pressure in the last few decades, as expressed for instance in the Beijing 'Platform for Action' of 1995, a second concept op equality is gaing increasing relevance and support: the notion of 'equality of result'." 

Inspirational woman and activities
- Nursyabani Katjasungkana former Member of the Indonesian Parliament (PBK Party) "Strengthening and empowering the community is the key to change." When Nursyahbani began her career as a lawyer and director of the Jakarta Legal Aid in 1987, 'women's rights', 'feminism' and 'violence against women' were unfamiliar words in Indonesian legal discourse.
- Political participation of women in the Netherlands related to CEDAW event, 2011/11 Reader by Leontine Bijleveld and report by Arina Angerman in Dutch and sometimes in English.
- Quotas for women seem to be the hot thing in the Middle East, 2012/1
- Ineke Stam president of the programme International high level conference for police leadership: Professionalism, Legitimacy and Diversity in 2011/9. Download the presentations, speeches, book On the shoulders of their predecessors and watch the videos of best practices. Ineke Stam is travelling to Indonesia with the Aletta Jacobs + 100 travel.


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