Empowering Women through Gender Training

Tri Awartin is a wife of one of the biogas users in Yogyakarta. She is 33 and has 2 kids, a daughter and a son. Tri comes from Pakem, one of the sub-districts in Sleman, Yogyakarta. Her husband Sukadi (37) originally comes from Bendosari, Bantul sub-district in Yogyakarta. Through her marriage, Tri Awartin eventually become part of Bendosari community. It was not an easy way for Tri to get through the life among societies that have a different characteristic and culture. Tri was born from a very modest family. Her father worked as cleaning staff in the government office and her parents showed her that domestic work can be done by men and women.

Unfortunately, the culture in Bendosari is in contrast with what she has learned. In this area, man is positioned as a leader of the family who is not used to do the domestic work. Tri Awartin has to complete all the household work, when her husband was doing more relaxing work at home. During the gender inclusive training of the GADING project, Tri Awartin shared her experience, “…I feel so tired. When I moved with my husband, I have to work since early morning preparing all the household member’s needs when they still sleep and this domestic work continued until late at night”.  Tri expressed her desire to have other work aside the domestic work, so she can also help her husband to generate income to fulfil their household needs. However, Tri Awartin had a doubt to communicate her thought to her husband, since it may affect their marriage. But on the other side, Tri also felt her marriage cannot last forever if her husband does not change.

The gender training of the GADING project became a turning point for Tri Awartin. GALS (Gender Action Learning System)  methodology enabled Tri Awartin to express and communicate her problem, desire and dream.  By having her husband in the training, it also improved his awareness on gender balance and work division. As result, communication and collaboration within her household was improved. Sukadi started to help Tri Awartin cleaning the house and taking care of their children, even though the behaviour change on household task division was not running smoothly at the beginning.  With support from her husband, Tri is more confidence in facing “judgement” from the surrounding society of Bendosari which has a strong patriarchy culture. “I always remember the gender balance tree (of GALS) every time I faced a challenge” she said.

Tri Awartin turned into a woman who has a vision and motivation to develop her household and shape herself to have existence not only based on the rough work but also her brain and useful activities. Tri Awartin felt that she has more strength to continue her life and household journey without doubt.

The dream was the change of an early childhood school where she became a teacher. So far, she taught by volunteering. Tri hoped that the school could start to have a capacity to pay so that her hard work could be appreciated. After months, Tri Awartin was surpised that her dream came true. Tri Awartin also had a big dream to change the community condition, especially for the women. She would invite women in Bendosari to be more creative and independent in thinking.

Now, Tri Awartin is an active member of a community group in Bantul sub district, Yogyakarta. Joining the group provide he an opportunity to disseminate the knowledge and benefit of bio-slurry and lemna to other people. Sharing knowledge always be a dream in her life since she was a little. The household also gained benefit since they have started to grow vegetables using bio-slurry based fertilizer which can improve economic efficiency of the household besides the healthy food produced from organic fertilizer.

12 March 2018