Government officials from the Aceh Provincial Office, civil society organizations, and youth leaders in Aceh, Indonesia, received two-day training on protecting women and children’s rights during social conflict on15 July 2022. Photo: UN Women/Madona Antonia Carini

Banda Aceh, Indonesia – Government officials and members of civil society groups in Indonesia’s Aceh province have learned in a UN Women-supported workshop how they can work together to put into action a Regional Action Plan on Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children in Social Conflict.

The Governor of Aceh recently approved the plan, which is aligned with the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for 2020-2025.

The Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, UN Women Indonesia and AMAN (The Asian Muslim Action Network) Indonesia jointly organized the two-day workshop, which ended today in the provincial capital. 

Workshop participants included representatives of key government agencies: the Aceh Provincial Office for Women Empowerment and Children Protection; Provincial Office for Social Affairs, Village Government and Community; and Counter-terrorism Coordination Forum. They also included members of women’s, youth and other civil society groups, and religious leaders – they all need to be a part of more equitable and inclusive peacebuilding efforts. 

Trainers from UN Women and AMAN Indonesia presented the international instruments on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Youth representative presented the group discussion on strategies and tactics women used in a documentary to mobilize public support during the training on 14 July 2022. Photo: UN Women/Hosianna Rugun Anggreni

Workshop participants identified how conflicts specifically affected women and children in Aceh and how the regional action plan should meet their needs. They urged the provincial government to allocate a sufficient budget to implement the regional action plan and promote gender equality and peace as a key priority. They recommended establishing effective monitoring and evaluation systems and working with civil society to implement the plan and collectively achieve sustainable and inclusive peace in Aceh. 

The participants also discussed how women can help build peace and prevent violent extremism. The national action plan highlights the issue of violent extremism, along with other current challenges to the security of women and girls, such as disinformation and hate speech online. Several provinces including Aceh have also been working on regional action plans against the threats of violent extremism and radicalization, which have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The prompt response of the Government of Aceh in finalizing its Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security demonstrates its commitment to upholding women and children’s rights in social conflict,” said Valentina Gintings, Assistant Deputy for the Protection of Women’s Rights, Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection. “Now it’s time to turn these commitments into implementation so that women and children are fully protected from violence and empowered to become agents of peace.” 

Nevi Ariyani, Head of Aceh Provincial Office for Women Empowerment and Children Protection, said: “The regional action plan in Aceh is a blueprint for all stakeholders to act upon their roles strategically to offset the disproportionate impact of social conflict on women and girls, among other marginalized groups. We hope the implementation will increase active participation of women and women’s organizations to ensure women and children’s rights are protected through prevention, mitigation, and empowerment.” 

UN Women supported the workshop as part of its regional project Empowering Women for Sustainable Peace: Preventing Violence and Promoting Social Cohesion in ASEAN, funded by the Governments of Canada and the Republic of Korea.

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