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Protecting Women and Children in Peace Village, Wahid Foundation Invites Collaboration With National Commission on Violence Against Women

Last Thursday (30/03), Wahid Foundation visited the office of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) in Jakarta for an audience to discuss strategies for developing a safe and friendly community for women and children in Indonesia.

The audience was also aimed at strengthening the efforts of both organizations to raise awareness among the public to prevent various forms of violence and discrimination against women and children.

In combating violence and discrimination, Wahid Foundation has launched several programs designed to mitigate and prevent the rise of intolerance, one of those programs is the Peace Village program. The Peace Village program is created by Wahid Foundation in order to build facilities in small communities and help uplift women as well as children in a friendly and peaceful environment.

Visna Vulovik, Wahid Foundation’s representative, explained that the Peace Village program has 3 pillars as its foundation. The first pillar is sustainable economic empowerment, the second pillar is peacebuilding, and the third pillar is the empowerment of women’s roles at all levels.

"To give an example of the efforts made by the program, Peace Village has built several public facilities, one of which is the Women Crisis Center. Several such facilities were built and developed in various villages with the intent to empower and protect women.” Said Visna.

According to Visna, the WCC can function as a task force that monitors signs of violence against children and women and reports such incidents to the relevant authorities.

M.Z Fanani, Wahid Foundation’s Program Officer, added that the Peace Village Program has done a significant job in creating a peaceful environment for 173.739 men and 176.745 women in 2022. In addition to empowering women, the Desa Damai Program also collaborates with several Islamic boarding schools in villages to provide education. This collaboration is aimed at preventing the emergence of religious radicalization among young people as well as continuing Wahid’s Foundation's research on the spread and increase of intolerance, radicalism, and violence against women or women's involvement in conflicts in various villages in Indonesia.
At the meeting, Veryanto Sitohang, Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan, and Bahrul Fuad, Chair of the Monitoring Sub-Commission and Commissioner of the Community Participation Sub-Commission, suggested that Wahid Foundation expand its program reach, especially to also involve disabled groups in the Peace Village program. According to them, disabled groups face many difficulties in accessing facilities and religious literature. On the other hand, there are radical groups that target these groups, especially the deaf and blind, indoctrinating these groups to their radical ideologies by giving them extreme or edited materials.

At the end of the forum, Wahid Foundation and the National Commission on Violence Against Women believe that violence against women and those that possess disabilities is a serious problem that must be addressed by all of Indonesian society. Therefore, both institutions agreed to follow up with collaboration, with the hope of contributing to strengthening the justice and protection service system for women and children and improving gender equality in Indonesian society.

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Peace Village initiative aims to tackle the threat of radicalism by empowering communities, one village at a time, through cultivating social cohesion, community resilience, as well as promoting societal equality and respect for diversity.

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