“My Name is Sumarni. I am from Krajan, Weru, Sukoharjo”
Kamis 6 Desember 2018

First published : 24 November 2017


SUKOHARJO – After introducing herself, Sumarni immediately returned back to her seat along with the laughters from the training participants. She was supposed to share something with the other training participants. Instead, she could only manage to make a brief introduction as she was nervous about having to talk in front of the public.


The occasion took place during the training for women farmers held by BWI on 23 November 2017. The training entitled “Strengthening and Developing Organisational Management of Women Farmer Group in Support of Sustainable Landscape in Central Java” was attended by women farmer representatives from 11 women farmer groups in the districts of Wonogiri, Klaten, and Sukoharjo.


Sumarni is the portrayal of lack of self confidence among women farmers in Central Java. Not many women farmers have the courage to raise their voices. In most cases they would be reluctant to speak let alone to give their opinion as they are  often considered ignorant and only capable of taking care of the household  Such negative stigma against women has added to the women’s lack of confidence and reduced the quality of future women farmers.


BWI values the importance of the presence and role of women in sustainable landscape management in Central Java. Turning a blind eye to women farmers’ lagged advancement from male farmers will only lead to slower and incomprehensive implementation of sustainable landscape management efforts in Central Java.  The number of men and women are equal, either at the global level, in Indonesia or among farm workers in Central Java. However, not many women have equal opportunities like men. In agriculture, for instance, women farmers are rarely involved in farmer groups meetings although they are actively engaged in agricultural activities.


“A policy at the provincial level is in place to ensure the involvement of at least 30% women in meetings. However, in reality there are less than 30% or even no women are attending meetings,”  said Agung Tri, the extension service officer from Central Java Provincial Agricultural and Crop Estate, who was one of the resource persons in the training.


The training aimed to strengthen the management of women farmer group (KWT). KWT is one of the important entry points for women farmer empowerment. When women farmers lack the confidence to discuss issues with male farmers, KWT plays an important role as the forum for women farmers to share experience and learning, and build their self confidence.


An empowered KWT means empowered members. Through an empowered KWT, women farmers can develop their ideas and potentials in many different aspects, including in economic aspect and in developing network.