According to the World Female Prison List In 2018, Indonesia is one of top twelve countries in the world with the most imprisoned female inmates. Often prisons, detention centres and correctional centres are underfunded and overlooked, particularly in developing countries, and especially during times of crisis like a pandemic (for example, COVID-19).
These facilities are breeding grounds for many diseases as a result of overcrowding, poor living conditions and sanitation. In addition, in Indonesia, the system of correctional centres and detention centres are mostly built and managed from a male perspective. The incarceration law does not accommodate women’s basic needs and women’ rights, including sexual and reproductive health. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that Indonesia is experiencing 200% of correctional institution overcapacity that leads to scarcity of resources. The lack of gender sensitivity in the system impacts several aspects of a female inmate’s life: health, violence, and lack of psychological support.
In overcrowded correctional institutions, with limited facilities, female inmates have limited access to basic health care and sanitation, including sexual and reproductive health services. 20 women in a cell share one toilet, with a low wall that hardly covers one’s body (no privacy/stripped of their dignity); they need to buy the water they use for toilet/bathing. The correctional institutions do not provide sanitary pads and other related basic needs (health check-up, medicine, menstrual cramp medicine, etc.). All of these need to be bought at higher market rate within the correctional institutions. Some inmates have monthly expenses up to USD 190 (supported by their families) to fulfil these needs. The overcapacity situation of these facilities also leads to high prevalence of infectious diseases: HIV, Hepatitis B and C and tuberculosis (TB). Female inmates are also more prone to violence due to a lack of gender sensitivity of the system and in the society. The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) in 2015 stated that women imprisoned experienced layers of violence: at home from their partners, during their trial from law enforcement officers, and even upon release in society (stigma attached to prisoners), Women in these situations often do not understand or know of their rights, and tend to see or accept Violence Against Women (VAW) as the norm, and would rarely speak of it. In addition to their physical health being neglected (especially during Covid-19), female inmates also have a great need for mental health support, which very rarely provided by these institutions.
Pamflet was established in 2012 by a group of young people to support Indonesian youth activists and capitalize on their resources and knowledge. It mostly works on mainstreaming gender in programmes, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and ensuring youth participation in policy and research processes, and focuses on research relevant to youth issues. Pamflet views young people as active agents who can generate meaningful change within society. It truly is youth-led; all staff are/need to be under the age of 30. Despite its relative young age, Pamflet is highly regarded, and has proven its capacity to take a place at the table. It has been asked to engage in consultations with UNFPA and the Ministry of National Development Planning on different (youth) strategies, and also consulted by agencies working on youth issues, such as UNICEF. Along with the Indonesian Family Planning Organisation and the Centre of Gender & Sexuality Studies of the University of Indonesia, Pamflet advocated for the inclusion of sex education in the national curriculum.
EMpower’s 5th grant to Pamflet) will support a pilot programme for 45 young women aged 20-24 from disadvantaged backgrounds, often targets of drug and human traffickers and survivors of violence. They are incarcerated in correctional institutions in Bogor City and Bandung City. Pamflet will first recruit and train a group of female volunteers (aged 20-24 as well) in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and facilitation skills. They will join Pamflet staff as peer educators to carry out various sessions related to SRHR and menstrual hygiene management with the 45 young women. A peer group support as well as a safe space will be created for these women to discuss e.g. about traumas they have faced.
Primary Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Funded Since: 2015
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