The Paradigta Academy Alumni Forum was held in 7 provinces – Aceh, West Java, Central Java, West Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) – between September and November 2018. Some 718 people attended the alumni forum from 289 villages across 25 districts/cities. It was the first-ever forum of its kind for Paradigta Academy alumni who have participated in the leadership education program for village women cadres. Since 2016, Paradigta Academy has graduated over 2,000 village women cadres in 7 provinces.
The Paradigta Academy Alumni Forum lasted for 2 (two) days. On the first day, alumni reflected on activities that they have carried out since graduating from the Academy. This was followed by a discussion on the 7 (seven) point Paradigta Academy Alumni Platform or Agenda to be presented to multistakeholders in a policy discussion held on the second day. The seven-point platform is as follows:
- 30% minimum quota for women in all village government bodies.
- A democratic, open and accountable mechanism in conformity with prevailing laws to ensure that village regulations, customary regulations and the customary justice system do not contradict the law and protect every person from acts of discrimination on any grounds.
- 30% proportional allocation of village budget that pays attention to the gender-responsive variable and sets a measurable ceiling for public spending, education, healthcare, population affairs and community empowerment.
- A regulatory system for the management and stewardship of natural resources for the full enjoyment of rights for women and men based on the local knowledge and wisdom of the community, including women.
- A regulatory system that firmly guarantees women’s access to and control of village development planning, implementation and monitoring, with equal access to services for women.
- Specific provisions for developing village women cadres and the participation of village women in Paradigta Academy, Village Academy and other initiatives.
- A gender-responsive village information system that guarantees transparency as a strategic measure for preventing and eradicating corruption in the village, and a more transparent and accountable village financial management system.
On the second day, stakeholders attending the dialogue with Academy alumni included Bappeda, Local Village Community Empowerment Office, Local Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office at the provincial and district level, as well as the sub-district and village authorities. In West Kalimantan, the event was even attended by the Kubu Raya District Head. A positive outcome of the dialogue is the commitment and support of stakeholders in following up on recommendations put forward by the participants. The Kubu Raya District Head will demonstrate his commitment by issuing a District Head Regulation that requires villages to allocate their funds to support Academy participants and to recommend village women cadres to learn at Paradigta Academy. The NTT provincial government has incorporated PEKKA’s facilitation agenda into the provincial medium-term development plan. The West Java provincial government was inspired by the Paradigta Academy initiative, and requested PEKKA Foundation to provide input for conceptualizing a women’s school to be realized as one of the elected West Java Governor’s agendas for his Women Champions Program.