PEKKA was originally developed in the year 2000, from the initial idea of the National Commission on Violence Againts Women (KOMNAS PEREMPUAN), to document the life of the widows in the conflict region, and the intention of the Kecamatan Development Program (PPK) to respond to the request of the widows who are the victims of the conflict in Aceh, to get access to the resources, in order to overcome their economic problems and trauma. This project was originally named the "widows project" which was fully supported by a grant from the Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank. KOMNAS PEREMPUAN then asked Nani Zulminarni, at that time the chair person of the Center for Women Resources Development (PPSW), to be the Coordinator of this program.
Through the process of reflection and intensive discussions with various parties, Nani then proposed to integrate both of these original ideas into a more comprehensive empowerment program. For the purpose, the theme and title of the "Widows Project" or the "Project for Widows" were changed to sound more provocative and ideological., ie. by putting the widows in a better position, role and responsibility as the head of the family, rather than as poor/ pitiful, humble, helpless and useless women. In addition, this project is expected to also be able to make social changes by raising the prestige of widows in the society. Therefore, Nani proposed to name the project "The Female Headed Household Empowerment Program" or abbreviated the PEKKA Program, which was agreed by all parties. Later on, the word Pekka is also used as the terminology for Women Headed Households or Perempuan Kepala Keluarga in Indonesian language.
WHY PEKKA IS NEEDED
National Economics Census Data of Indonesia (SUSENAS) 2007 shows that number of household headed by woman has achieved 13.60 % or approximately 6 million households which covered more than 30 million citizens. In comparing with data in 2001 when PEKKA was started, the trend is increased in average 0.1% each year. Base on Indonesia Marriage Law Number 1 year 1974, regarding social politics life and society, the head of a household is a husband or a man. More over, the Indonesia social structure and values is almost never consider women and head of households. The sub-ordinate position of women is reflected in al system including the law. As the consequence, a women headed household is not recognized and must face rights discrimination in their social politics life.
Household headed by women are generally poor and in many cases even the poorest among the poor in Indonesia social economics strata. The PEKKA National Secretariat data based show that Pekka members are commonly in between 20 – 60 years old, more than 38.8 % are illeterate and never go to school . They have up to 6 dependents and mostly work as farm labor and other informal sectors including small traders. Their income is as low as less than one US Dollar per day. Many of them had a traumatic experience because of both domestic and state violence.
In general this program aims to strengthen women headed household so that they are able to make contribution to the process of building more prosperous, democratic, gender justice and dignified society.
THE VISION AND MISSION
In general this program aims to strengthen women headed household so that they are able to make contribution to the process of realizing society that is prosperous, democratic, gender-fair and respected.
Pekka mission objectives include:
- Improving the women head of households’ welfare
- Organizing and facilitating the women head of households to have access to various resources
- Enabling the women head of households to actively participate in every phase of development in their respective area
- Raising the women head of households awareness about their rights as human beings and as citizen who is as equal as others
- Empowering the women head of households to have control of their lives, the decision making process within their families as well as within the society.
It is called The Four Pillars of Women Headed Household Empowerment
- Visioning. Principally it is an effort to build critical awareness within these women of their rights as human beings, women and citizens, to motivate them to improve their life and to facilitate them to develop their vision and mission for their lives. Visioning becomes the main foundation for Pekka to go forward.
- Capacity Building. It is needed to increase the capacity of women headed household to overcome many problems of their lives. It is done through intensive facilitation, trainings and workshop to build their self-esteem and to increase their technical and managerial skills. The program also trains and develops community leaders and facilitators taken from Pekka groups.
- Organization and Network Development. It is done through establishing and strengthening of community-based groups called Pekka (women headed household) groups in entire program areas. These groups are facilitated to develop their independent association or Serikat Pekka as well as network among them, from the sub-district to national levels, and networks with other institutions that can support their works.
- Advocacy and Change. The focus is put on access to information, resources, decision making and legal justice. Campaign and education for the people are expected to be able to change any negative perspective about women and women headed household.
PEKKA works with poor women who are the head of households and play the roles and responsibilities as bread winner, households manager, and decision maker covering:
- Single or unmarried women
- Housewive having disabilities or permanently ill husband
- Married women left by their irresponsible husband with unclear status