Poverty Feminity and Women Empowerment in Indonesia

Oleh :
Galuh Pancawati - UNS - Fak. ISIP

Poverty is a condition in which an individual cannot meet his/her life need so that 
he/she is in a powerless condition. Moreover, poverty befalling women, in fact, affects
impacts more severely. This condition is called poverty feminization. High poverty
feminization becomes an intermediate problem to cope with immediately. The approach used
in coping with poverty feminization is empowerment. This research discussed the attempt of
coping with poverty feminization through Integrated Gender-Based Community
Empowerment Program (Program Terpadu Pemberdayaan Masyarakat Berbasis Gender =
P2MBG) in Surakarta focusing on empowerment process and empowerment level with
Longwe's Women's Empowerment analysis.
Surakarta city was selected purposively considering its high Human Development
Index not accompanied with Gender Development Index, so that it could be concluded that
the development in Surakarta City was still unbalanced. Techniques of collecting data used
were observation, interview, and documentation, while data validation was carried out using
source triangulation. 
The result of research showed that women empowerment affected significantly the
poverty feminization handling. Women empowerment process consisted of four stages:
consciousness raising, capacity building, empowering, and protecting. The next discussion
was on empowerment consisting of five levels. The first level was still running so that the
welfare level had not been achieved. The next levels: access, awareness, participation, and
control, had been achieved. In addition, there was a finding that Self Help Group (SHG) was
the spirit (soul) of a long women empowerment process in the attempt of coping with
poverty feminization.