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In-Depth Story

Three Obstacles in The Low Representation of Women in the House of Representatives

As many as 575 members of the House of Representatives period of 2019 – 2024 started to fill the Nusantara Building, Senayan, Jakarta in early October 2019. Only 20.5 percent or 118 members are women. Even though there was an increasing number from 97 previously, the current proportion of representation for women in the House of Representatives is still not maximized. One of the obstacles is the disadvantaging listing number.

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Eva Kusuma Sundari (54) was surprised when she learned that her listing number on the candidate list had dropped to number five, just a day before the submission to the Electoral Commission on July 17th, 2018. During the internal party plenary, this PDI-P politician said that she was listed at number three.

On the ballot paper, Eva’s position was overtaken by Arteria Dahlan, who was also competing for votes in Election Area VI, East Java covering Blitar city and district, Kediri, and Tulugangung. To Eva, the listing number on the ballot paper affects the electability of the candidates.

“I wasn’t on the electable number. I was at number five. It was difficult to win,” Eva expressed her disappointment to jaring.id in Senayan on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019.

Her concerns were proven when the counting ended. She only managed to get 80,747 votes out of 100,000 targeted votes. Her votes were 20,000 less than her PDI-P colleague, Arteria Dahlan, the politician who promotes the revision of Law on Commission on Corruption Eradication.

She said she did not know the exact mechanism in reshuffling the listing number for PDI-P candidates. But she regretted that she will not be able to fight for women’s agenda from within the parliament building.

In the previous period, Eva was one of the main supporters for the revision of the 1974 Law on Marriage No. 1. In this regulation, the minimum age for men and women to be married is increased to 19 years of age.

“If only I was listed among the three electable top numbers, my chance (to be elected) will be higher,” she said.

This article was made by JARING.id team. A collaboration reporting between JARING and Rakambia Radio on election issues in East Timor and Indonesia.

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