Gender Equity

Jan 1st, 2008, in News, by

Western aid agencies and their gender equity agenda in Indonesia.

Western Agenda

Said to be a commentator on public affairs, Ansari Yamamah, M.A., Lecturer in Shariah Law at Medan IAIN, said on 12th December that western NGO's and aid agencies were trying to impose their own ideas of gender equality on Indonesians, as well as western conceptions of terrorism, human rights, and democracy.

Western people often assumed that their way of doing things was the best, and Indonesia, with a society wracked by poverty and injustice, was seen as fertile ground for spreading their ideologies.

Western countries give lots of money to non-government organisations that support their agenda.

Of all the money that foreign NGO's spent in Indonesia little of it went towards improving the financial and economic situation of the country and the people, he said, but rather it went on politically motivated projects such as gender equity programs. republika

It's True

Meanwhile, later on 27th December, a survey released by the Australian newspaper lent some support to Ansari Yamamah, claiming that much of the $400 million that Australians had donated to 2004 Aceh tsunami relief had been used by aid agencies to promote politically correct projects that advanced left-wing Western culture over traditional Asian values.

Some of the charities that were ridiculed in the report, and their activities in Aceh:

  • World Vision - managed a lobbying campaign to advance land reform to promote gender equality, as well as programs to educate Acehnese women in "democratic processes" and encourage them to enter politics.
  • Caritas, a Catholic aid group - funded an Islamic learning centre to promote "the importance of the Koran".
  • Oxfam - staged a "travelling gender justice show" to encourage male Acehnese villagers to better respect women.

The "travelling gender justice show" features scenes of an old fashioned father:

Apa Kaoy, who cannot cook, complains when his wife, exhausted from working in the rice field, has not prepared supper.

Illiterate bigot:

...he disapproves of his daughter's ambition to study at university. Instead, holding a newspaper upside down because he cannot read, Apa Kaoy tells his daughter it is important that she learn to cook, clean, marry and have children.

Enlightenment:

his attitude towards women softens as other more enlightened men point out the error of his ways.

Echoing Ansari Yamamah in Medan Don D'Cruz said of the Australian report that much of western aid money did not go on actual relief work. theaustralian

Indonesian version of this article - Kesetaraan Jender.


84 Comments on “Gender Equity”

  1. avatar tomaculum says:

    And a part (maybe not few) of the money seeps away into dark canals, and the receptors are both men and women.
    At least this way the westerners have reached their target to impose their idea of gender equality ……. 🙂
    And don’t forget, they (the westerners) are controlled by CIA and MOSSAD.
    Happy New Year 2008, Patung, I hope God (every God) would throw some more brain downstair .. 🙂

  2. avatar iamisaid says:

    Give aid to Indonesia is wrong.

    Don’t give aid to Indonesia is also wrong.

    Give directly to people like Ansari Yamamah then would not be wrong.

  3. avatar Sputjam says:

    If I am not mistaken, ladies were only allowed to vote in the last century (20th century) in the US and UK, and blacks little after that.
    When european wrote history, they assume (and still does today) that they are the only humans that is worth considering. Hence when US was dictating about freedom in 1774, it meant freedom for whites from british rule, and not neccesarily freedom for blacks and natives.

    Huge portions of aid given to victim of tsunami or any other tragedy actually went to management costs, cost of purchasing equipoment and merchandise, which normally goes to donors own industries etc. I would estimate that only 20% of all money donated actually ends up in the places of tragedy, if they are lucky.

  4. avatar Robert says:

    Caritas, a Catholic aid group – funded an Islamic learning centre to promote “the importance of the Koran”.

    Does the Pope know this?

  5. avatar Janma says:

    I think the title is wrong… should say equality not ‘equity’

    just my five cents!

  6. avatar Jon Spencer says:

    It took Christian Europe more than a thousand years (after it became Christian) to start thinking seriously about human rights. Slavery was outlawed in Europe first. White men got the right to vote in the USA in 1776, black men in 1865, and women in 1920. Now rights are being extended to homosexuals in the USA and Europe. So Europeans and their descendents (US, Australia) want everyone to have rights. They can’t stop themselves from promoting rights in other countries such as Indonesia except perhaps when their companies are making money by squashing other peoples rights. And when something really threatening comes along, like communism in Viet Nam or facism in Japan, people’s rights get squashed and people get killed just for being in the way. But in the long run, the west is addicted to the idea of rights, and will always view the lack of equal rights for women in predominantly Muslim contries as fundamentally wrong. The west will probably never completely separate their financial aid from their western agenda of gender equality. If you don’t like it, don’t take their money.

  7. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Dear Jon Spencer,

    Australia’s financial aid to Indonesia was not humanitarian with all the previous governments. It was to safeguard their national interest from an unstable neighbour. Imagine a 5% refugees from Indonesia population coming south, and Australia was forced to take them to satisfy UN refugees obligation. Australia may call it ‘humanitarian aid’ but we know better. Just as they said there is not anti-Asian discrimination in Australia, ask any long-timer Asian.

    Salam.

  8. avatar tomaculum says:

    Was there also any aid from Saudi Arabia?
    If, then they surely didn’t try to impose their idea of gender equality, do they? 🙂
    But ti impose other “ideas” ? 🙂

    ….there is not anti-Asian discrimination in Australia, ask any long-timer Asian.“???
    In a white man country the browns will be discriminated, in a brown man country a white (or yellow) will also discriminated. Every one discriminates every one, even women are discriminated in men’s society. 🙁

  9. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    My point is that we do not hide our pretense.

  10. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Few examples:

    Money to save their own arse = Humanitarian Aid

    Pedophile = English Teacher

    Human Rights = For their own kind only

  11. avatar tomaculum says:

    Or like that:
    stubbornness = national proud (or even faith)?
    Peace Brother Aluang 🙂

  12. avatar raden says:

    Jon Spencer must learn Indonesian way of accepting money without string attached.
    Example,
    Singapore Red Cross (not Sgp Gov’t), a relatively tiny red cross organization had accumulated & spent as much as SGD 84 Million from Singaporean to Aceh for the past 3 years. At present, they are shortage of funds and unable to continue part of the infrastructure development in Aceh because unanticipated high inflation rate in Indonesia for the past 3 years.
    In this case, after 3 years efforts in Aceh, do you think Sgp gov’t will get any bargain advantage to Indon gov’t ? I do not think so, Temasek’ investments are in trouble, the Defence Pacts were rejected by Indon Parliament & Indon stop selling the Riau’ sands to Sgp eventhough a lot of contributions from Sgp to Acehnese.
    In return, do you think today the average Singaporean will donate to Sgp red-cross to the Central Java land slide victims after all kind of those treatments ? I do not think so

    Sgp learnt a big & expensive mistakes here, helping aceh doesn’t means to get sympathy from Indon. Indon mentality is different than other ‘respectful country’, Indon like to receive bribe money but no guarantee what sympathy in return, exactly like Indon pejabat who may cut your money but after eating your money they will do shouting robbery … robbery … etc (maling teriak maling). Indon is a very difficult country to deal with, if you do not like Indon then better do not offer any help or simply stay away from freaky Indon people. And your life will be fine, fool proof guarantee.

    As a result, Sgp keep silent when recently Java experienced 100+ death because of land slides & flood in bengawan solo, they said who care to uncivilize country ??

    You are not in the position to tell Indon, don’t accept the aid money if you don’t like the conditions but you are in control to just ignore Indon from your aid funds list, that’s all

  13. avatar Cukurungan says:

    raden said:

    Jon Spencer must learn Indonesian way of accepting money without string attached.
    Example,
    Singapore Red Cross (not Sgp Gov’t), a relatively tiny red cross organization had accumulated & spent as much as SGD 84 Million from Singaporean to Aceh for the past 3 years.

    Me :

    Why you don’t reckond how many billion USD Singaporean had stolen from Indonesia especially from their criminal economic activities such as import illegal logging, transit and deposit corruption money, protection for pencuri uang rakyat and crude oil smuggling.

    I tell you that Singapore Economy would be in big trouble when their big neighbors countries have a goods and strong leadership or in other words, Singapore Economy will always in a goods shape as long as the corrupt leaders and government are still ruling theirs big neighbors countries.

  14. avatar Jon Spencer says:

    Dear Aluang Anak Bayang:
    You wrote “Imagine a 5% refugees from Indonesia population coming south, and Australia was forced to take them to satisfy UN refugees obligation.” Australia would never do this to satisfy its UN refugee obligation. Australia has been sending refugees to a detention center on the Pacific Island of Nauru or to a detention center on Christmas Island. That is supposed to discourage others from trying to get to Australia. Australia will not accept even a few hundred refugees without putting them on these islands for up to five years. So I don’t think that they would ever accept millions of Indonesian refugees no matter how bad things get in Indonesia. Maybe Australia will change a little under the new government but not a lot.

  15. avatar Bogalakon says:

    raden said :

    SGD 84 Million from Singaporean to Aceh for the past 3 years……. o you think Sgp gov’t will get any bargain advantage to Indon gov’t ? I do not think so, Temasek’ investments are in trouble, the Defence Pacts were rejected by Indon Parliament & Indon stop selling the Riau’ sands to Sgp eventhough a lot of contributions from Sgp to Acehnese…….Sgp learnt a big & expensive mistakes here, helping aceh doesn’t means to get sympathy from Indon”

    Ho…ho.., so this is Singapore’s aim in donating Indonesian.
    It’s not donating, not even helping. It’s what I called trading (as it used to be).
    84 million SGD and Indonesian giving them defends pacts, telecommunication monopoly, and Riau sands in return.
    Then here the story goes…

    300 million SGD for Batam and Bangka island
    500 million SGD for Bali
    1 billion for Java
    5 billion for for Papua

    I think you should encourage government to make a promotion campaign like “Indonesia for sale 2008” instead of “visit indonesia 2008”

    – Tong Kosong Nyaring Bunyinya –

  16. avatar raden says:

    You are correct Cuk,
    but when will Indonesia really have a perfect leader like you said ? are we waiting for another better than SBY ? is this lack of an individual presidential candidate problem or a nation wide dis-unity problem ?
    As big nation like us, actually we do not need Sgp money at all , setuju ?

  17. avatar Arema says:

    The title should be something like “ada udang dibalik batu” or “Westerners’ hidden agenda behind their humanitarian aid”.

    Well, it can’t be helped isn’t it..? Any help nowadays is seldom given sincerely. Like some of you said, Australia may want to prevent Indonesia from crumbling, because it will certainly trouble them. Singapore may want to portray a better image to Indonesians, thus the “generous aid” flows to Aceh. The western countries may want to impose their ideologies over Indonesians. Note the word “may” there. Those countries may have helped Indonesia sincerely, but I believe they should expect something in return, be it big or small, be it directly or indirectly.

    And even though the helpers are sincere, it may not be perceived the same way by the ones being helped. Let me give you a fictional example. Imagine you’re a helper, sent to a deep-in-the-jungle tribe for humanitarian aid. You were shocked when you see them wearing almost nothing on their body. According to your values and standard, human should clothe themselves, not only to make them more presentable, but also for their health. So, with a sincere heart, you gave them clothes to wear. Although they do receive and wear it, they did not appreciate it as much as you’d hoped. They consider clothing as unnecessary, restricting movement, and insulting to their God, because their God’s statue is naked.

    I think the above example is more or less describe the situation in our country. Indonesians behave like they deserve the aid, and should have been helped. They take those aids for granted, without any appreciation, and start complaining about “small things” such as westerner’s hidden agenda.

    I’m sick and tired of hearing this professor and that ulama complaining about westerner imposing their ideology to Indonesians. Okay, I agree that we need to be prudent against outsiders’ influence, and not all things western is good, in fact a lot of them are bad (like free sex, for example). But that doesn’t mean that ALL things western are bad. That’s the common mindset of many close-minded (and arrogant?) Indonesians. They start to hate something for no obvious reason(s). The same case with the word “communism”.

    We need to be more specific by saying this particular aspect of the western ideology is bad, and explaining why it is bad. Just like we read Achmad Sudarsono’s comment (sorry bro, no offense), we will respond based on what he typed. If he’s talking nonsense, it is time to let loose and fire away, but if he got some good points to say, then we should listen, digest, think, and discuss.

    Closing both eyes and ears just because it is western is a proof of how primitive our civilization is.

  18. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Folks,

    Gender equity ain’t just about spreading bad ideas from those badly-written women’s studies textbooks. (I could go on, and on, about their bad prose. Germaine Greer didn’t have bad prose. She was funny. It’s just those god-awful post-modernist womens studies majors).

    The women make alot of important economic decisions at the village level. In Aceh, they make the place tick. They tend to take charge of household spending.

    Focusing development projects on women makes a lot of pragmatic sense because they’re also taking care of children, thus future human resources. BRI, for example, makes over 90% of its micro finance loans to women not because they’re trying to be trendy.

    They do it because women’s micro finance has a high chance of payback, whereas men are more likely to piss it away on cigarettes or other stuff. It’s the case all over the world.

    Arema – it’s ok – I ask for it. 🙂

  19. avatar ecky says:

    Folk,

    Can you list down top 3 countries who give the most aid to Indonesia?

  20. avatar perseus says:

    I would not trust a lecturer in Shariah Law to be able to resist the temptation to take a crack at the West. The types of programs he describes might have cost what $5,000 or $10,000 or $20,000? In the context of the billions of foreign aid that came in (AUD 1,000,000 from the Australian Govt alone) such expenditures are trivial. His guessimations of the percent of expenditure are worthless. Please illustrate this with reference to the published accounts of expenditures in the reports of the Aid agencies. You will find if you dig that most of the money went on reconstruction and medicine and flying relief helicopters around ain’t cheap. Normally, thousands of dollars per day. And there may have been a few “administrative fees” here and there…

    However, there is a serious point here. Western and Islamic ideas about the role of women in society are simply not compatible. One of the causes of the Clash of Civilizations.

    In the West women are regarded as free, equal and independent. They do not have to obey their father. They can go out without their brother. They can get a job and earn their own money. They can buy their own house and their own car and drive it. Their right to be educated is as valid as their brother’s. If the daughter is smart and the son is dumb, the family will send the girl to university and the boy will be apprenticed in a trade. There are no arranged marriages and if a girl wishes to have sex before she marries, this is as valid as the same choice made by a boy. None of these rights as we would call them in the West are compatible with hardline Quranic teaching.

    A Saudi girl can do none of the above but Indonesian girls, I think, can do much if not all of the above – at least in Jakarta and Bali anyway. This, I daresay, is because the Indonesian Muslims have a more pragmatic interpretation of the Quran. But the hardline reading of the Quran is simply sexist as far as the West is concerned. It’s a clash.

    Interesting to note what Achmad said about the micro loans. Sounds very true. Women are more grounded and less likely to lie, cheat and steal and piss their money away gambling, boozing and smoking.

  21. avatar Andrew says:

    Why do (some) people still think that Indonesia MUST accept the foreign assistance?

    if Indonesia doesn’t want it, DON’T accept it; it’s not like they’re shoving money down our throat. But if we DO accept it, shut up, be grateful, and acknowledge that it may come with strings attached.

    Some are so shameless they take the money then talk bad about the donors.

  22. avatar iamisaid says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Some are so shameless they take the money then talk bad about the donors.

    That’s because those who are back-biting about the donation cannot tolerate that others are gaining from it, wrongly or rightly.

    And, if these very same back-biters were the happy receipients of donations, they would not utter a foul word about the donor BUT someone else would take their place instead. LOL !

    Happy New Year to you Andrew.

  23. avatar Sputjam says:

    Indonesia is more than capable of helping itself in times of disasters. As for gender equality, Indonesia had a women president. Even the US and singapore had yet to reach this level of tolerance.

    As for illegal timber, sinagpore does not purchese these items. They merely store funds made from smuggling in their banks. That would include illegal money from other parts of asia, not necessarily indonesia alone.

  24. avatar tomaculum says:

    Why do (some) people still think that Indonesia MUST accept the foreign assistance?
    Andrew,
    I think Indonesia doesn’t need any help from earthen sources , the help will/should come from elsewhere … 🙂 (so let us pray again and again till to amen)

    Indonesia is more than capable of helping itself in times of disasters.
    Really???
    Money? Problematic allocation?
    Skill? …….. 🙁
    Dedication? I know a hand full people with engagement, a hand full from over 250 Mio?????

  25. avatar raden says:

    Andrew is correct, shameful people who had taken the money then disgruntle if those with string attached, but that is the real true of Indonesian in majority.
    I heard from Singaporean friends that the Sgp Red Cross has nothing to do with Sgp gov’t, it was really sincere money from every individuals living in Sgp for donation to Acehnese who are different race, different religion & belief and then we said it … oh it was only S$83 Million so small ? how disgraceful we are !!!!

  26. avatar raden says:

    Another email from my singaporean friend just arrived, they gracefully told me that at least THERE IS NO CORRUPTION IN SINGAPORE that all the S$83Million which maybe very small for Indonesian Acehnese & Indon gov’t were arrived safely & spent wisely in the trouble infrastructure Aceh although it is not enough to continue the mission due to high inflation rate in Indon.
    The hard earn money from the majority buddhist community of sgp to the tender loving care of hard_core muslim syairah law believer acehnese

  27. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Raden,

    To your Singaporean friend:

    Bullsh*t.

    What there is none of in Singapore is free access to information.

    Who controls Temasek ? Who’s she related to ?
    Who’s the Prime Minister ? Who’s he related to ?
    What 100 or so Anglophile/Phobic Chinese families are at the higher circles of power and why ?
    What happens to the compulsory pension scheme cash ?

    I want to see someone follow the money trail from the forced pension savings to Temasek.

    Finally, why have no shareholders raised a peep about Temasek’s poor performance and why no disclosure about the Lee family’s full financial holdings.

    Reason: Singapore’s a dictatorship of the Lee clan and its cronies.

  28. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Friend Jon Spencer,

    Jon Spencer Says:

    January 3rd, 2008 at 11:25 am
    Dear Aluang Anak Bayang:
    You wrote “Imagine a 5% refugees from Indonesia population coming south, and Australia was forced to take them to satisfy UN refugees obligation.” Australia would never do this to satisfy its UN refugee obligation. Australia has been sending refugees to a detention center on the Pacific Island of Nauru or to a detention center on Christmas Island. That is supposed to discourage others from trying to get to Australia. Australia will not accept even a few hundred refugees without putting them on these islands for up to five years. So I don’t think that they would ever accept millions of Indonesian refugees no matter how bad things get in Indonesia. Maybe Australia will change a little under the new government but not a lot.

    I don’t know if you are the Jon Spencer I knew, hahaha maybe another with the same name.

    The threat of millions of hungry Indonesia refugees pouring south is a real possibility. It is not a matter of locking them up in some faraway islands, but do Australia has the manpower to deal with such exodus? My point was that it would push their fiscal sustainability over the breaking point.

  29. avatar Cukurungan says:

    raden wrote:

    I heard from Singaporean friends that the Sgp Red Cross has nothing to do with Sgp gov’t, it was really sincere money from every individuals living in Sgp for donation to Acehnese who are different race, different religion & belief and then we said it “¦ oh it was only S$83 Million so small ? how disgraceful we are !!!!

    me:
    every individuals living in Sgp ho.. ho.. ho include China maling BLBI and cukong Narkoba who made money from misery million poor people of Indonesia…
    include China Bandar Penadah Minyak Selundupan who without shameless buying Indon subsidized oil to the poor.

  30. avatar ade wanto says:

    Andrew Says: Why do (some) people still think that Indonesia MUST accept the foreign assistance?

    Coz there are many people from donor country can live from the aid for Indonesian. Do you think all donation are money, don?’t you? Many donor countries donate their own domestic products that their Govt buy and ship it to Indonesia. Firstly, all profit of donor donation go to their domestic industry.

    I think it will to be better INDONESIANS MUST STOP FOREIGN AIDS. Co, we don’t need IMPORTED “AIDS.”

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