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The e-Newsletter of the Gender Network

December 2014 | Vol. 8, No. 3

Community-Driven Development Project leads to Increased Influence by

Women in Decision Making, Jobs and Time Savings
By Imrana Jalal1

Jobs have no gender

Jemiyan, Sumarsih, Siswati, Sarmiyati and Saniken from Kelurahan Katerban, Kabupaten
Purworejo are construction workers who earn between Rp32,500 to 35,000 (about $3.5-4.0)
per day building sanitation facilities under an ADB funded project, the Urban Sanitation and
Rural Infrastructure Support to PNPM Mandiri Project (USRI, Loan 2768-INO)). They are
employed by the local Community Implementing Organization (CIO), which consists of five
women and seven men. They use their earnings for school expenses and food.

Photo 1. Women construction workers building

urban sanitation facilities, Katerban

We earn more as construction workers than as

contract farm workers. In that job we got approximately
Rp20,000 (about $2.2) a day. It is good to be able to get
off- season work. One woman said that although she
was quite capable of working the machines e.g., the
cement mixer, the men did not allow her to. I can use
the machines but they wont let me try, said one of the
women. Women mostly lifted and carried materials
from one spot to another. The segregation of jobs by
gender still persists in Indonesia, as they do elsewhere.

The USRI consists of two parts, the urban sanitation and rural infrastructure parts, and the
project is expected to complete in June 2015. Until the end of 2014, under the urban sanitation
part of the USRI, the project created more than 125,900 person-months of job opportunities to
construct sanitation facilities in 1,439 neighborhoods, of which about 25,180 person-months
were provided to women. On average, the workers earned about Rp60,000/day. However, the
average womens pay (about Rp45,000) was lower than that of mens. Women were employed
to work on very basic construction works such as carrying construction materials to
construction sites. More complicated work, with more pay, was allocated to men, as the CIO
management was of the view that women did not have the skills to do such work.
Under the rural infrastructure part, the project created about 90,000 person-months of
construction jobs, of which about 21,600 person-months (24%) were allocated to women. The
women earned wages of between Rp45,000 to Rp90,000 a day.

Imrana Jalal, Senior Social Development Specialist (Gender and Development), RSOD, ADB with inputs from Siti Hasanah,
Project Officer, Indonesian Resident Mission.

Overall, until 31 December 2014, about 215,900 person-months of temporary job opportunities
were created, of which about 46,780 person-months construction jobs, or 22%, had gone to
I have been working for two days on this construction
site. We installed the rocks along this new road
location. We work in groups. The CIO head informed
us about this job opportunity, and we are very happy
to be able to work, as we can get additional income
for the family. Im planning to use the money to buy
food and other daily needs, such as cooking oil, sugar,
etc., especially nowadays everything is expensive,
said Ibu Sri of Sribusono village. The working hours in
the construction site are longer than in the rice fields.
Photo 2. Women constructing rural roads in village
However, Im happy as the pay is higher, and the work
Sribusono, Central Lampung district, Lampung
is easy. The CIO men also taught us how to work
Province, 2013.
properly. Im also happy that I can do something different, so that I can have different

Photo 3. Carrying construction materials to

construction sites, village Tanjung Agung, Lampung

Photo 4. Women putting foundation rocks for rural

roads, Tanjung Tirto Village, Jambi

Toilets and water improve time poverty and womens sense of security
When children got sick with diarrhea, the time women spent
going back and forth to the fields and river also increased. The
project built sanitation and washing facilities in some 1,430
urban neighborhoods leading to valuable time savings. Women
residents said that having access to the new nearby community
toilets, and bathing and clothes washing facilities meant that
they and their children were saving over 1-2 hours a day from
not having to go back and forth to the river and fields.

The building of toilets close to homes also increased womens

sense of security, and their dependency on men decreased, as
they no longer needed to be accompanied to the river or fields,
especially at night. Children were also able to go to the toilet by
themselves, and their parents worried less about their safety.
The provision of water supply and sanitation (coupled with
health and hygiene awareness training by the USRI Community
Facilitators (CFs) for the latter) helped reduce time spent on water collection by as much as
50%, and also lead to an 8% reduction in the incidence of water borne diseases. As women are
largely responsible for water collection and for caring of the sick, these facilities had a positive
impact on time savings and womens domestic burden. Such time savings could potentially lead
to other productive activities.
Community empowerment with a special focus on women
The USRI project aimed to provide access to improved sanitation (and water supply) services
and rural infrastructure, with a community-driven development approach. Under ADBs gender
categorization system it was a Gender Equity Theme (GEN) project with an accompanying
Gender Action Plan (GAP) aiming to involve women in all project activities.
The USRI was implemented in about 600 rural communities (the rural road component), and
1,439 poor urban neighborhoods (the urban water supply and sanitation component) in 34
cities. It also had a critical underpinning objective of community empowerment with a special
focus on women. The related advocacy and training programs aimed to institutionalize good
sanitation practices, the use of clean water, and proper hygiene and health practices through
the use of CIOs and Community Facilitators (CFs). The CFs were to be the main mechanism
through which the USRI would involve the community, especially women. As of 31 December
2014, there were 818 female CFs, 31% of the total of 2,640 CFs, against a GAP target of 30%.
To enable community empowerment and engagement there were specific targets for women
to encourage female participation: at least 40% participants in consultation and socialization
forums and activities; and at least 40% of the elected members of each CIO. The participation of
women in all consultation activities to improve access to sanitation facilities (the planning and
decision making stages) ranged from 46% to 64%, which was well above the target of 40%.
Said Siti Hasanah, Project Officer, Indonesian Resident Mission, Overall, the participation of
women in planning and decision making is encouraging. In most villages and urban
neighborhoods, women were actively involved in all stages of the project. About half of the
participants in planning and decision making meetings are women. Womens membership at
CIOs was estimated at 43% (6,740 women of the total 15,673 CIO members) and 42% of
Kelompok Pengguna Dan Pemelihara (KPPs) (4,700 women of 11,200 KPP members) exceeding
the target of 40%.

Gaining voice and confidence to shape opinion making womens voices count
One of the main challenges in involving women in decision making is making their voices count.
It is one matter to get women to attend meetings, it is quite another to get them to speak and
shape opinion.
The CFs played a significant role in improving the quality of womens influence in decision
making. Their roles were clearly described in their terms of reference and included socialization
activities to build womens confidence to speak at meetings. This clearly paid off.
Separate meetings for women were organized giving them the space and voice to shape how
funds from block grants were to be spent, and to choose the basic infrastructure that changed
their lives and that mattered to them. Women indicated that the training from the CFs and
others increased their confidence and ability to express their views without fear. The gender
audit required under the GAP revealed that about 10% of women participating in planning
claimed to not only be actively involved, but to also lead discussions in meetings. About 67%
said they actively provided inputs at meetings, whilst 23% attended the meetings and adopted
a more passive approach.
Women were also responsible for the overseeing of Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
arrangements. Of about 11,200 project village and urban neighborhoods, residents elected as
members of user groups, the community group responsible for the operation and maintenance
of community infrastructure or KPPs, approximately 4,700 women (42%). Womens
involvement in KPPs improved the implementation of O&M, especially in financial tracking and
Access to markets, schools and hospitals
The rural roads and transport facilities built under the project improved village residents lives
in 600 villages, by giving them access to nearby markets where they could sell their farm
produce. The improved transport facilities reduced transport costs by as much as 50%. The
Impact Report under the project revealed that visits to health clinics and hospitals had
increased and pre-natal checkups increased by 15%. The improved transport facilities led to an
increase in school attendance and a 9% decrease in dropout rates.
Seri Sutanti, a female resident from Batu Raden Village,
said that the new proper road from her village, built by
the project, had reduced her dependency on her
husband. Before the road was built I needed my
husbands help to take my rubber to the market. Now I
can do this by myself on a motorcycle.
Photo 5. Women from Rejowinagun Utara, Magelang with their
proposal for growing organic vegetables for sale.

Time savings lead to the potential for organic farming

In Rejowinagun Utara, Magelang City, the women have developed the outline of a project they
are working on, to grow organic vegetables for sale and earn themselves an alternative
livelihood. They said that the organic farming project was possible as a consequence of the time
savings incurred, as a result of the project.
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy
of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this
paper do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's