Economic area in the gender-based violence

Erna Surjadi
Posted August 22, 2015 from Indonesia
Gender Harmony For Change

Economic area in the Gender-based violence


Few weeks ago one young woman in her 25 years old is brought by the agent to look for a job. She came to the city leaving her 2 years old daughter at village within her mother care; while the husband left her before the kid was born. She did not have any degree in education, she just finished preliminary school. She worked as informal worker since youth, moved couple times from one household into another household. Once she worked in trade selling things in a shop, another time she worked in manufacture built wig and so on. She wanted to work anything just to get money; her story as usual invited sympathy to anyone heard the story. It seems that the husband that she married for about four years didn’t have any responsibility to family, just ran away without any message at all.

As usual, as village woman lives in rural area, nothing she could do but back to her mother who is a widow live with two children that belong to her sister. The agent succeeded to make her being accepted in one house as maid. However, after for about a week she ran away from that house with a note of sorry to the employer. The reason she mentioned was she couldn't forget her daughter at the village. The employer noted that she's been bought a new hand phone and asked for shampoo, tooth brush etc. for personal belonging including tampon which been provided by the employer as requested. The maid kept saying she remember always the daughter; while in the other hand she worked very good, fast and neat. The employer suggested her to tell her mother to bring the kid next month to live with her, they did not mind. However, it seems the maid had her own plan. She did not take anything from the employer's house when she ran away, however the case made the agent embarrassed, because the agent received money for the process.

The case above is not merely opened up the challenges of mother children relationship when they are being separated; however it is also telling about character of a person; who was left by the husband for just after about less than two years of marriage. The woman who has no confident to what she's been doing; one she decided to leave the daughter for working; then she regret it. The woman who did not feel grateful to the blessings received through the employer who bought her a new hand phone and other accessories for living. The person did not realized that actually she's waking ahead to change her "destiny" into a better life. After a month, she might receive more blessings, as being told they did not mind to accept the daughter live together in the house. She seems afraid to what is going to happen to her and her daughter life; she does not have any confident. However, she listened only to herself without listening to other voices of other people's rights: the employer and the agent who have agreement to the process of working. The agent paid the woman's transportation from village to the city area; while employer paid for the cost fee for any worker being accepted in the house.

What has been missing in the story above is respect relationship; between employee and employer; the woman and the agent; and between the woman and her husband. The central person of the story is the woman. She even did not respect her decision to leave the daughter; she regret it and she ran away from the employer and the agent. The agent should pay back the sanction as being agreed with the employer. We never known what happened between the woman and the husband. One thing we knew that the husband left the pregnant women without saying anything. The family of origin of the husband did not know where their son goes. They washed their hands. Is this economic violence against women? Yes, it is. Why this happened?

GH research during 2003-2005, 2006-2008 showed that patriarchy culture became the root of the problems; however effective communication by building respect between couples within unity, as further being proved in the continuing GH research during 2008-2010; may reduce the case by 56%. The communication may be blocked by self character who did not want to give respect to other people's rights; one most harmful attitude is dishonesty. Wise words say that "once you lied and failed to the exam, for the life time no body shall believe"

It was found before in the research; that most women victims were afraid to do anything when they received violence for the first time. They kept silence; because they did not have any confident nor they did not understand the rights of each other. She has the rights not to be hurt; and absolutely has the rights to tell her feeling; what made her happy and sad. Tears will be treated differently; it has weakened the position if not accompanied by voice/ explanation of the feeling. However, victims cannot beg for mercy all of the time; it should be balanced among each other spouse's rights and within same goals and partnership relationship.

Nobody refused for being spoiled; so as the husband and wife! Nobody denied the obvious need of family, such as: food, clothes, home, education, health etc. Communication should be built within the common needs and goals. The above story is just showing the other side of victim who is not used to do the right things; she just knows doing the thing rights! She missed the lesson about human rights; building respect among human being; to give respect and being respected in order to build harmony in life!

The other case showed also one woman being harassed and received economic as well as sexual violence from the husband. The other aspect of this woman's life showed also how she was very fast working, even tidy up the things that were not belonging to hers. She thought she was doing good things; however she forgot that people has own style and did not want to be disturbed by other person, even the spouse! She talked too much about other persons and she was easily invited other persons to come the inner relationship of her with the employer which actually being exclusive for her only. She forgot to say grateful for the blessings she received; she broke the trust and she did not even realized what she was doing is annoying other persons. This person has also missed to learn about respect to human's rights; to other people's rights. Long time ago, the story of her romance and then after 13 years of marriage the husband left her for another woman was actually invited sympathy and sadness. Particularly when knowing the husband never sent her money for her lived with three children. She carried a new baby from the husband and still being left after she delivered the fourth child. The husband even raped her after a week of delivery. Why?

Perpetrators are mostly fighting for their legitimating as confirmed by the patriarchy culture. It was found by the GH research as the main stimulating factor of violence against women. What being missed most of the time was respect relationship among spouses to each other rights. The women failed to build respect, nor the husband. Neither both of them learned to practice how to build respect for the human rights. Persons who are getting used to violate respect to each other rights may come easily into latent crisis; first it is not seen by naked eyes; the dissatisfaction and or depression disorder born which then eventually progress into bigger in-convenience that may be manifested into violence depending on which party is the stronger one. If the husband has more power (physic, money, status etc) then the wife became victim; if the wife has stronger power (money, status etc) then husband became the victim of violence against men. In the economic area, which become centrifugal to family life; failed to learn respect within spouse's relationship may lead to family crisis that by one or some reasons may be manifested into domestic violence/ gender-based violence

Gender based violence could happen vice versa; not only women as the victims; men could be the victims too. In India, many cases showed mother in law put domestic violence to the son in-law as well as by the wife due to they came from respected family and rich. In Indonesia, case of wife performed violence to husband because he had no job had been noted in media. However, the women victims were found much bigger (70 %) than the men victims (6%).

We have to admit, living together not automatically bring and blend two persons into one personality. They need to learn how to build respect on each other rights. Knowing human's rights is a beneficial for future advancement and happiness! Spouses must learn how to build family coping mechanism, practicing dual income family to raise family economic status, knowing gender language to build peace and harmony!

What a life for if every day we got dizzy with conflict within family life? People want to buy happiness; while in fact the happiness can be built by yourself - if you know the ways to get it! We can prevent gender-based violence; build peace and harmony! GH proved it, you can!

GH may guide you how to get the knowledge and get practiced on it; you can join the GH Training for Facilitator: 25 - 27 November 2015, by the same time of commemoration the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence Campaign in Jakarta, Indonesia conducted by Gender Harmony Foundation and Women United Nations Report Networks (WUNRN)

For more enquiries: please write Letter of Interest to: [email protected]; [email protected]

Limited seats only; max 40 persons

Includes: three days meals: BF, Snack two times/ day, lunch, four days stay at 4* hotel starting 24 Nov twin sharing; Gala opening dinner, GH kits, GH book on Eliminate the Gender based violence, T Shirts, GH bag, GH work book and material, site visits, Transportation during the GH event, Closing Dinner and Certificate.

Ticket and Visa (on arrival) and personal need must be borne by participants; The GH secretariat shall provide Letter of Invitation and other supporting document to process the visa.

To be noted: GH has conducted four times training for local covered about 400 persons; this will be the first International GH in English. There are about 3000 persons heard about GH and shared their testimony. GH is a promising tool against gender violence; when you learned on it you never get back to zero, you may implement it and more you can be the agents of changes to help also other families! ;

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