Indonesian young women activists: safe space, solidarity, power
While the personal courage it takes to speak up is a crucial ingredient in the battle to address violence against women, progress depends on our collective power, more than sheroes and heroes. In fact, the collective and solidarity one feels from others is essential for being brave enough to cross the line. That’s why we’re honoring networks during these #16DaysofActivism.
Today on DAY 13, we honor our young, powerful sister, FAMM-Indonesia or the Young Women Activists’ Forum of Indonesia, a 350+ membership network that reaches every rural and urban corner of Indonesia. Co-created with JASS Southeast Asia, FAMM brings together LBTI, Muslim, rural and indigenous women for the first time. Many are dealing with risky issues from the defense of land, water rights and the environment, to defending LGBT and reproductive rights.
FAMM has turned the creation of safe spaces into a political strategy of collective power and safety. They’ve transformed an initial shared sense of mutual acceptance, trust and ‘home’ from JASS’ movement-building processes into:
- An ongoing safe space for mutual support and political education where each of these frontline activists can be re-energized and find common ground across the many issues and identities represented in FAMM.
- A protection and solidarity network by creating their own internal urgent action and alert system, sharing resources in emergencies when activists are under threat, designating safe houses for activists to avoid burnout and step away from unsupportive personal environments, and a security network to hide from violence and repression. Particularly for environmental defenders and LGBT activists, the FAMM network is life-saving and sustaining.
To learn more about FAMM’s story and work, check out these reads:
- Building safe spaces to support young women’s participation in local governance in Indonesia: a “practice paper” co-produced by the Institute of Development Studies and FAMM
- Women Fighting Floods and Fires in Southeast Asia
- Human Rights Honored after Indonesian Activist is Released from Prison
- Young Women Activists Challenge Fundamentalism