Women Crossing the Line - JASS Southeast Asia

Siti Harsun
, Indonesia

When I first met Siti Harsun, my impression was of a quiet girl and a warm smile. But I soon learned not to be fooled by her appearance. Beneath her gentle manner, Harsun is a fierce organizer. Once our discussion turned to food security, her soft voice became fiery and filled with indignation.
Wendy Maw
, Myanmar

Wendy Maw is a 21-year-old trailblazer from Burma. “I need to learn a lot of new things. I have a huge task being a trainer in human rights education. I have to give the right message to the people.”
Oemi Faezathi
, Indonesia

“When you are talking with women, sometimes there is difficulty in language.  I come from West Java which has a different language from West and South Sumatra.  Most of the people from South Sumatra cannot understand the Bahasa language easily as they have a different provincial dialect,” reveals Oemi Faezathi, community organizer of PEKKA.   This is where media tools come in.  
Amporn Boontan
, Thailand

“Challenging patriarchy does not necessarily mean getting into positions of power,” explains Amporn Boontan, Thailand’s regional coordinating group (RCG) representative for JASS Southeast Asia, after having been recently elected as a Sub-district Committee Leader of the Women's Empowerment Fund. “I can use this role to start something. Women are actually waiting for action,” explains Amporn.
Maria Mustika
, Indonesia

Maria Mustika learned first-hand the isolation and trauma that comes from shame and stigma in families and communities. Her LBTI activism (lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex) is grounded in her personal experience of coming out as a lesbian. For more than ten years, she has been taking the lid off sex and sexuality in her community. First, as part of community outreach for Gaya Nusantara – one of the most vocal and visible gay rights organizations in Indonesia – Maria supported other young people kicked out of their homes and circles of friends because of their sexual orientation.
Chea Cheysovanna
, Cambodia

Vanna, as she is known, has walked quite a path with JASS Southeast Asia so far. It makes sense that this path led her to join with others from the local JASS circle to start a young women’s network in Cambodia. Vanna was among the participants at the first JASS Southeast Asia regional gathering, an inspiring process held on the shores of Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Before this, Vanna’s work with a local NGO in Phnom Penh left her feeling somewhat removed, using other women’s stories to highlight issues in advocacy around women’s needs. The 2008 JASS process inspired her to ground her activism in her own personal experience.