04 April 2009

East Timor Women's Network Presentation to the Donors Meeting 2009

REDE FETO TIMOR LESTE Rua Mascharinhas-Balide, Dili Tel. (+670) 3 317 405, email: redefeto@yahoo.com Presentation in the Timor Leste Donors Meeting


Rede Feto Timor Leste is a national network connecting, informing, and supporting people and organizations to improve the lives of women and girls, and advance gender equality and women’s rights for sustainable development in Timor Leste.

On September 5, Rede Feto spearheaded the conduct of the 3rd National Women’s Congress. The output was a Platform of Action of issues that concerns women. There were 7 thematic issues such as: Education, Health, Justice, Cultural, Economy, Media and Politic. We had already submitted the Platform of Action to the government and the ministries through the Office of the State Secretary for Promotion of Equality with the hope that they will integrate it into their development plans.

Rede Feto would like to highlight the priority issues that we hope the donor community will consider in preparing their development assistance for Timor Leste.

1. Promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights all stakeholders must promote gender equality and women's empowerment in all stages of their project planning, and implementation and the whole life cycle of a project. Additionally, there must be specific programs directed to enhancing the capabilities of our girls and women. More importantly, all programs must pay special attention to gender, and not include it as an afterthought. There is a range of approaches development professionals use to achieve gender equality and equity in their programmes, including: Promoting policy and institutional; Increasing support to women’s networks and organisations; and Including men as partners and allies in gender programming

2. Economic/Livelihood Creating employment and supporting livelihoods is critical to assisting local communities to emerge from years of conflict and social disruption. Timorese especially the women (young and adult) have shown a remarkable ability to survive in the face of disaster, but there is a need to invest in livelihoods programs to facilitate production of marketable products nationally and internationally and sustainable income for women who are involve in Tais weaving. It would be a dream come true to have a label “Made by Timorese Women” to enable women producers to realize the maximum from their work. It is hoped to link the women’s organizations producers to a number of market outlets. Another area of priority is vocational training combined with provision of credit and employment could become a major instrument of reconstruction and growth.

Support to micro, small and medium enterprises through the backing of micro-finance schemes and the provision of training in small business management is essential.

3. Education - Available data says that Timorese women especially those from the farthest village have the highest illiteracy rate compared to men. Hence there is a need to establish literacy program that can reach the far flung areas. There is a need to establish the number of literacy teachers who are actually engaged in teaching, provide teacher training, establish a system for evaluating the skills of teachers and their commitments and provide them support to enhance their literacy training skills. A monitoring and evaluation system should also be developed to know the impact of the literacy program.

4. Health - Two areas need particularly urgent attention: a) better obstetric care that will bring down the high levels of maternal and infant mortality rates and b) the need to implement an essential package of services that includes significant rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and to strengthen capacities in health centers and outreach clinics in the urban and rural areas that provides preventive and curative services especially with TB patients, an illness that is fast rising in number.

5. IDPs This was one of the new issues that came out from the congress. The return of our people from IDP camps marks a happy occasion. Their re-absorption into the economy and reintegration into the society and polity is, however, a formidable challenge. The measure of success is the integration of the family within a community with the assurance of the means to establish a secure livelihood and peaceful acceptance of the community people. We are therefore asking all stakeholders and donors engaged in the humanitarian arena to help us implement a program for a real reintegration of the IDPs. At Rede Feto we will continue with our Women’s Committee Project which we started in the IDP camps. The Women’s Committee Program is geared towards providing a space for women to discuss issues particular to their situation and serve as a link between their community and the government.

Finally, we are call attention from the international organizations and the donors to must build exit strategies into their program design and implementation in order to guarantee the outcome of building national capacity towards sustainability.

“As a women, we want to contribute our thinking and idea for the development of our country. We have a dream that the Timor Leste have peace, security and equality “

Dili, March 2009

Yasinta Lujina
Executive Director of Rede Feto

Note : Attach the Platform of Action (POA) from Women Congress. see http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/09TLDPM/PlatformWomenTL.pdf

Image added by ETLJB: The women of East Timor suffer a disproportionate burden of violence, disempowerment, sexual abuse and oppression from a patriarchy that is reinforced by the arch-conservative East Timor Catholic Church's doctrines that deny women's equality, their rights to conscience and control of their physical and psychological health.

East Timor Women - Raising awareness of the plight of women in Timor-Peste.

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