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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Women's Issues
Kestaun hosi Feto
Perempuan Timor Lorosa’e:

Part 1: context & initiatives

A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news relating to East Timorese women (and consequently men).


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Part 1 up-dated: Jan 16, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout



Contents:

Part 1: context & initiatives  [this page]
* Strengths
* 'Development' & Reconstruction
* Women and elections / Partisipasaun Politika hosi Feto
    * Quotas for Women / Kuota ba Feto
* Law

Part 2: violence against women




Part 1: context & initiatives


Strengths:

Jan 12 ETDF: Ruak on occasion of Offering of 2 Patrol Boats  Speech added Jan 16
"My closing words are directed to the two godmothers - Birali and Fernanda Borges - of our patrol boats Oecussi e Ataúro. The choice of godmothers is not an easy task particularly when in East Timor, the women have played and continue to play an unquestionably major role in determining the future of our country. However, the ETDF had to make a well founded choice. Our two sisters represent two fronts of our struggle and two generations in our history. ... This historic diversity is the basis of our greatest wealth. We have before us two women with almost opposite backgrounds whose added experiences further increase the riches of East Timor. Thank you Birali and Fernanda for having agreed to be the Godmothers of our two patrol boats, Oecussi and Atauro." Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, Força de Defesa de Timor-Leste

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"In the last 25 years 96.6% of East Timorese experienced trauma. With the assistance of UNTAET’s Gender Unit and the leadership of Mr. de Mello, women obtained 26% of the seats in the recently elected Constituent Assembly. This remarkable achievement occurred despite the mixed messages from UN departments and ultimate rejection of the proposal that would have required 30% of each party’s political candidates to be women. The will of the East Timorese must be celebrated by continued efforts at expanding women’s roles within a patriarchal society. Among several other successes, the formation of Timor Loro Sae’s Women’s Political Caucus, and the “Women’s Charter of Rights” mark an historical milestone in women’s commitment to peace, security, and justice." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

Sep 3 CIIR: Listen to East Timorese women’s voices, urges CIIR  Release added Sep 6
"It is clear that women in East Timor want to play a full role in shaping the future of their country. ... the women we have spoken to, both in the capital and in the countryside, are adamant that in order to exercise their responsibilities in building a new East Timor they need to be able to establish their rights as equal citizens. Whether or not they achieve this will depend on the continuing support of the international community: both to East Timor and specifically to its women." Catherine Scott, spokesperson for the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) delegation

August 2001 LHB: Catholic Women’s Conference in Rome  Article added Aug 22
"Earlier this year, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) held a conference of members in Domus Pacis, Rome. Two East Timorese women, Sr. Maria Dias of PAS Clinic and Laura Abrantes of Fokupers attended the conference. Both women are also active with the East Timorese Women’s Network. ... At the WUCWO meeting in Rome, international representatives approved a list of 15 resolutions, which they have since forwarded to Pope John Paul II, the United Nations and many other influential individuals and organizations." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 12 TP: Garcia: International Women’s Day  News from ETimor
"To commemorate International Women’s Day in East Timor, women’s organisations such as Et-Wave, Fokupers, OMT, OPMT and youth organisations joined in a long procession." Rosa Garcia

Nov 17 2000 LHB: Vision for a People-Centered Health System in East Timor  Report
"Preventative [health], rather than curative, strategies are at the center. Local involvement and empowerment is the key. Village women are the number one health resource of East Timor. They, more than anyone, exhibit concern for health in the community."
Dan Murphy, Bairo Pite Clinic, Dili

REDE: Feto Timor Lorosae Timorese Women's Network
* REDE: Feto Timor Lorosae was established in March 2000 and currently encompasses more than 15 women’s organisations. These organisations are representative in themselves of a broad cross section of society as there are mass based organisations with national membership -  down to the village level, cultural, income generating/small business and rights based organisations and organisations affiliated with political parties.
* REDE and each of the network’s members have been accompanying the political developments in our country [ETimor]. REDE advocates on a rights based approach to development, justice, social inclusiveness and gender equity and equality. REDE is also participating in and contributing to the reconstruction as well as working directly with Timorese women through amongst others, literacy and income generating and poverty alleviation projects to help them break away from the debilitating ties of illiteracy and poverty.
* Although there have been achievements, progress is slow. Women’s lives in East Timor, as with the rest of the population continues to be arduous. For women this is more so because of the situation of women in Timorese society, cultural perceptions of women, the absence of clear laws which protect women and women’s limited participation in decision making.

Bahasa Indonesia:
OPMT: Organizacao Popular de Mulher Timor / The Popular Organisation of East Timorese Women
Sejarah Pendek: Organisasi ini muncul pada tahun 1975 begerak di bidang sosial dan emansipasi perempuan Timor di segala aspek eksistensinya sesuai dengan evolusi perang di Timur Timor.
Kegiatan Sekarang lsm dan Kebutuhan Utama: Kebutuhan sekarang adalah mengadakan aksi sosial seperti memberikan bantuan kepada yang membutuhan.
Kegiatan Sekarang: Aksi sosial (periodik).
Rencana: Akan mengadakan kegiatan di tiga kabupaten.

Portuguese:
25-27 de Maio de 2000 Mini-Conferência Da OPMT, Dili  Link to documents added Sep 6
FRETILIN site: http://www.geocities.com/alextilman/conferences.html
" ... A  Mini-Conferência da OPMT, reunida de 25 a 27 de Maio do ano 2000, considerando os vários entraves sócio-culturais a emancipação da mulher, dentre os quais, se destacam o elevado grau de analfabetismo e a dominância dos valores patriarcais da sociedade timorense, decidiu propor a UNTAET:
- Para que crie mecanismos rápidos de alfabetização das mulheres. Saliente-se que numa população de aproximadamente 800 000 habitantes, 63% são mulheres. Desta percentagem da mulher, 64% é iletrada;
- Para que conceda facilidades de treino e formação técnico-profissional às mulheres da OPMT e, em particular, as viúvas de guerra;
- Para que conceda recursos e meios que permitam a OPMT educar e mobilizar a comunidade, a juventude e o homem na defesa dos direitos humanos da mulher;
- Para que introduza leis específicas na Constituição que protejam os direitos da mulher;
- Para que crie os mecanismos que promovam a criação de centros de apoio às vítimas de violência doméstica .... " OPMT: Organizacao Popular de Mulher Timor / The Popular Organisation of East Timorese Women

OPMT: The Popular Organisation of East Timorese Women / Organizacao Popular de Mulher Timor
OPMT (FRETILIN's women's organisation) emerged in 1975, to promote the emancipation of women in all aspects of life, appropriate to their evolving role in East Timor. As an East Timorese women's organisation OPMT has been dealing with the impact of Indonesian rule that has dominated their lives for the past 25 years culminating in the violence around the UN sponsored Popular Consultations in 1999. It is these women who have been dealing with those who have been severely psychologically and/or physically traumatised. They have been helping address the needs of women who are the main carers of children (many of whom are orphans), the injured, sick and the elderly.

Bahasa Indonesia:
Fokupers - Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae
Maksud Umum: Fokupers didirikan pada tahun 1997. Organisasi ini membantu korban politik dan juga memberikan nasihat atau ‘counselling’ dan lain lain kepada perempuan yang menderita sebagai bekas tapol, atau yang menjadikan janda karena perang, atau isteri tapol. Selain dari itu, Fokupers mendorong hak asasi manusia, pada khususnya untuk perempuan, dalam masyarakat setempat.
Kegiatan Sekarang: Sudah mengadakan bengkel untuk mendiskusi bagaimana perempuan akan diikuti atau menjadi lebih aktip di masyarakat Timor Loro Sa’e. · Pada saat ini, kami memusatkan perhatian atas latihan ‘trauma counselling’ untuk pekerja Fokupers.

Fokupers - Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae
Women's Development and Advocacy
Fokupers was founded in 1997. It focuses on political victims and gives counselling and other forms of assistance to women victims of violations, including ex political prisoners, war widows and wives of political prisoners. Its mandate also includes promoting women’s human rights among the local population, especially the East Timorese women. Fokupers is conducting workshops discussing ways to enhance or develop further women’s participation in Timorese society. Fokupers is focusing on receiving trauma counselling training for their staff in order to provide counsel to women victims.

Bahasa Indonesia:
ET-WAVE - Perempuan Timor Loro Sa’e Yang Menentang Kekerasan
Perempuan Timor Loro Sa’e Yang Menentang Kekerasan, Dan Memajukan Hak2 Anak-Anak (Ex Gertak)
Maksud Umum: Organisasi ini didirikan untuk memberikan perlindungan dan kesamaan hak terhadap perempuan dan kepedulian terhadap anak.
Sejarah Pendek: Berdiri dengan nama Gertak pada 25/11/1998. Dalam kurun waktu satu tahun telah melakukan beberapa pekerjaan antara lain: mendata korban kekerasan dan membantu penyelesaian beberapa majalah perempuan.
Kegiatan Sekarang lsm dan Kebutuhan Utama: Sangat prihatin karena telah kehilangan gedung kantor, alat/peralatan kerja, data dll. Tinggal hanya semangat. Kebutuhan utama adalah: 1. Kantor/tempat kerja 2. Kendaraan 3. Peralatan kerja
Kegiatan Sekarang: Mendata korban kekerasan dan memberi pertolongan seperti perawatan medis dan mendampingi korban memberikan kesaksian di depan komisi HAM PBB. Selebihnya belum bisa karena kesulitan/keterbatan operasi kami.
Rencana: Segera turun ke daerah karena banyak perempuan korban kekerasan saat ini yang butuh pertolongan. Di samping itu segera mencari solusi untuk para korban.

ET-WAVE - East Timorese Women Against Violence
East Timorese Women Against Violence, And For The Rights Of Women And Children (Formerly Gertak)
* ET-WAVE was established to provide protection and equal rights for women, and to care for children. The organisation was originally established under the name Gertak on 25/11/1998. Over the past year it has undertaken several projects, including data collection from victims of violence, and has assisted in the organisation of several women’s magazines.
* ET-WAVE is collecting data from victims of violence and offering assistance, such as medical nursing. Also, assisting victims in giving evidence before the UN Commission on Human Rights. Beyond this we are constrained by operational difficulties.
* ET-WAVE plans to begin immediate work on the ground, as so many women who are victims of violence need urgent help and to immediately seek solutions for the victims.

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'Development' & Reconstruction:

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"Widows and single mothers in East Timor have received little to no aid in the last two years. Currently, women who care for children with disabilities receive little to no support. A lack of support for women contributes to social ills already visible in Dili’s streets, such as prostitution, street children and child labor. ... East Timorese women call upon the UN to provide resources for cost effective and community managed health promotion projects that cover reproductive health, communicable disease control and environmental health. Similarly, mental health programs must be included in health policies and funding allocation." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

August 2001 LHB: Women and the Reconstruction of East Timor  Bulletin intro added Aug 22
"Unfortunately, women’s liberation is not a natural outcome of national liberation. In East Timor, as around the world, women face pervasive violence, both in public and private life. Women face higher rates of illiteracy, malnutrition, and overall poverty. Women as a group lack access to resources and power to impact public policies and development strategies. And while, since 1975, the United Nations has played an important role in international efforts to improve the status of women globally, economic globalization and international militarism continue to disproportionately impact women’s lives in severe and negative ways." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: Women’s Participation at the Rural Community Level  Article added Aug 22
"Present development practices often reinforce these patriarchal and urban-centered structures. In turn, poor women in rural communities are often left out of the development picture. ... Development planning, therefore, often focuses disproportionately on urban development, leaving rural communities neglected and leading to a flux of rural youth to cities in search of work. Instead, we should envision development from the perspective of people’s daily lives and with a focus on the most basic of needs, ... Development policies must focus on the most marginalized people in society  poor girls and women in rural communities - and women must be involved in development planning." Mana Micató, aka Maria Domingas Alves Soares, one of the founding members of Fokupers

August 2001 LHB: Childbirth: A Major Health Concern for Women  Article added Aug 22
"Three newborn babies recently died in our village, ... It is not uncommon for either the mother or child to die during childbirth here.” a village chief
"East Timor faces many serious health problems; for women, childbirth is one of most pressing. ... Health workers identified the following practical steps as necessary to ensure safer childbirth: * General reproductive health education in villages. * Training for traditional birth attendants. * Establishment of networks and support groups. ... It is critical that these programs empower women as well as reduce heath-related problems. And it must always be understood that women’s health problems are deeply related to their socio-economic situation." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Jun 15 ET NGO Forum: Donors’ Meeting Discusses Key Issues  Final release added June 18
“I hope that efforts will continue to strengthen the role of East Timorese women in the nation’s development, and that essential investments in education and health will not be jeopardised when hard budget choices are being made. These are a long-term investment in our nation,” Ms Ajiza Magno, Member, East Timor NGO Delegation to the Donors’ Conference June 2001

Jun 15 ET NGO Forum: Economic and Social Development Issues  Comment added June 18
"Such a vision would need to include access to appropriate education for excluded groups, particularly many children and adults in rural and remote areas. With 64% of our women unable to read and write, non-formal education is very important for them. There must also be guaranteed access to schooling for girls so that education contributes to more gender equity in our society." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Jun 13 ET NGO: REDE: Donors’ Conference: Women's Issues in East Timor  Paper added June 15
"All policy making must be done on the basis of gender mainstreaming. The government must ensure that there is a mechanism which guarantees the rights of women and gender justice in operational funds. This must be done in parallel in the allocation of programs which strengthen civil society and organisations within it which promote women’s issues so as to ensure the effectiveness of advocacy and measures to progressively bring about changes in the lives of women." REDE Feto Timor Lorosa’e (Timorese Women’s Network)

Jun 13 ETNGO Forum: The voice of Civil Society calls the Donors  Statement added June 14
"There is a great need for increased district level consultations with young people, women, rural communities are essential in this next phase of transition. Administrative decentralisation in decision making and service provision will assist in this process. We call upon the International Donor Community to support the formation and strengthening of community groups and national NGOs that are linked to local communities." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Jun 7 ETNGO Forum: Donors Meeting must be for Rural People  Release added June 14
“The planning of development programs in East Timor must be gender-sensitive, providing guarantees for women’s active involvement in all political and economic processes, including decision-making. Now is the time to give serious attention to women’s issues, especially in rural communities and in education and health, two fields that could greatly contribute to improving the lives of East Timorese women.“ Ajiza Magno, REDE: Feto Timor Lorosae Timorese Women's Network

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jan 25-31 KPB: Dokumen berikut adalah ringkasan hasil-hasil lokakarya  Article added Aug 3
"Keikutsertaan wanita dalam semua tingkat pengambilan keputusan, dan jaminan bahwa wanita mendapat akses ke pendidikan dan kesempatan, juga penting sekali untuk mencapai pembangunan ekonomi secara berkelanjutan." Konferensi Pembangunan Berkelanjutan di Timor Lorosa'e

Jan 25-31 2001 CSD: Program for Conference on Sustainable Development  Summary up-dated Aug 3
"Involvement of women at all levels of decision-making, and ensuring women have access to education and opportunities, are also vital to achieving sustainable economic development." Conference on Sustainable Development in East Timor


Women and elections / Partisipasaun Politika hosi Feto:

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"In the last 25 years 96.6% of East Timorese experienced trauma. With the assistance of UNTAET’s Gender Unit and the leadership of Mr. de Mello, women obtained 26% of the seats in the recently elected Constituent Assembly. This remarkable achievement occurred despite the mixed messages from UN departments and ultimate rejection of the proposal that would have required 30% of each party’s political candidates to be women. ... A problem with the election process was voiced by several rural women who stated that: “they had been told who to vote for by their village chiefs.” This indicates a need for election observation efforts to be gender sensitive to women as voters and candidates." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

Sep 10 UNDP: 24 Women in 88-Seat Constituent Assembly  News added Sep 11
"Results of last week’s elections in East Timor indicate that the territory’s new 88-seat Constituent Assembly will have a total of 24 women members. The full breakdown on female representatives gives the Fretilin party 17, the PSD three, the ASDT one and the PST and PNT one apiece. The party with the lowest female representation is the second- placed PD, which elected no women candidates." UNDP

Sep 3 CIIR: Listen to East Timorese women’s voices, urges CIIR  Release added Sep 6
"CIIR’s delegation in East Timor looked at women’s participation in the 30 August elections, met political parties, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies and voters in Dili and in the districts and concluded:
- Women were represented in party lists but this doesn’t mean that women will automatically be elected. ...
- Most parties have not prioritised the needs of women in their programmes. ...
- There is a severe lack of understanding of the objective of the elections among the rural women. ...
- Violence against women is endemic, amplified by the post-conflict situation. ...
- Women have energetically organised to address these issues through organisations ... " Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)

Sep 3 IFET Preliminary Election Observations  Report added Sep 4
"Recommendations to Make the Constitutional Process More Democratic ...
4. Particular efforts should be made to involve constituencies who may be marginalized from this process - such as people outside Dili, the rural population and women. We urge the Assembly to incorporate the Women’s Charter of Rights in East Timor into the Constitution." International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Aug 29 Oxfam calls on the Constituent Assembly to listen to the people  Statement added Aug 31
“With women making up a quarter of the candidates in East Timor’s first democratic election, it is vital they are supported to achieve office. Women from all over East Timor have collected 10,000 signatures on a petition from both women and men, to promote rights of women in the future constitution of East Timor” Solange Rosa, Oxfam’s Advocacy Manager & supporter of the Gender and Constitutional Working Group

Aug 24 UNIFEM: Participation of women as candidates for the elections  Info update added Aug 25
"We have made an important update to the East Timor page of the UNIFEM East and South East Asia web site ... Almost all of the page content has been changed, with the highlight being an all new section about the participation of women as candidates for the 30th August 2001 election, including an assessment of the support they will need to be elected. " Geoff Corner, UNIFEM

Aug 21 CIIR: Where are East Timor's women leaders?  Article added Aug 23
"As the people of East Timor prepare to elect the country’s first national assembly since independence CIIR is sending an all-women team of observers to focus on women’s participation. ... Three women candidates are standing as independent candidates in the districts, Olandina Caeiro, Teresa Carvalho, and Maria Domingas Fernandes. The election of one or all of them ... ‘ ... would be a step towards dealing with unreasonable discrimination in East Timorese society, which is profoundly conservative and traditional, and in which women occupy a position of subjugation, if we succeed in changing it just a little bit.’ [Caeiro said]" Catherine Scott, Asia Policy Officer, Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)

Aug 21 CIIR observer mission to East Timorese elections  Release added Aug 23
"Women campaigned for a minimum 30 per cent quota for female candidates in party lists, as agreed by the CNRT Congress and the first East Timorese women’s conference last year. But in March the National Council blocked the proposal. Women have since been developing alternative strategies designed to ensure adequate participation by women in the elections, and have been urging political parties to place female candidates high on their lists so that women can enter the assembly." Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)

August 2001 LHB: Campaign to Support Women’ Rights in the Constitution  Article added Aug 22
"In March 2001, the National Council rejected a proposal that would have ensured that 30% of Constituent Assembly members’ seats would be for women. ... The defeat, ... has not slowed women’s activism on constitutional issues. A campaign is underway to collect 10,000 signatures in support of “the Women’s Charter of Rights” before 15 August, to present to the Constituent Assembly." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
"We want all people in East Timor to understand the importance of women’s rights in East Timor. The Constituent Assembly must listen to the voices of men and women and write a constitution that includes the rights of women,” Maria Angelina Pereira, Gender and Constitution Subcommittee of the Constitutional Working Group, a coalition of national and international organisations.

August 2001 LHB: The United Nations, Gender Affairs, and East Timor  Article added Aug 22
"In the East Timorese Women’s Network’s Briefing on Women’s Issues (June 2001) for the East Timor Donors’ Conference, there is a call for “the prompt realization of a Gender Unit within ETTA (East Timor Transitional Administration) both now and after independence, and both in Dili and in the Districts administration. This is an urgent requirement so that women can be involved in dialogue so as to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by administration policies.” Whether this office is created will depend largely on the new elected government. If created, its effectiveness will depend on its location in the new government structure, the mandate it carries, and the degree to which its staff understand and commit to that mandate." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

August 2001 LHB: The Employment of Women in ETTA  Article added Aug 22
"Recently, ETTA led a large-scale effort to recruit and hire East Timorese for civil service positions. These positions will help lay the foundation for the new East Timorese government. The data below show the number of women employed as a percentage of total employment for different departments. ... Education 29%; Police 18%; Health 32%; Judicial Affairs 17%; Border Control 20%; Water and Sanitation 3%; Agriculture 10%; Labor and Social Services 4%; Land and Property 3%; Foreign Affairs 39%" La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Tetum:
Junho 2001 BLH: Lia Badak: Partisipasaun Politika hosi Feto  News from ETimor added Aug 26
"Iha loron 1 fulan Maiu, UNTAET sira nian “Gender Affairs/Urusan Gender” Unit hamutuk ho Nasoes Unidas nian Fundus ba Feto sira (UNIFEM) komesa halao treinu potensial ba kandidatus feto sira. Treinu ne’e hala’o iha fulan Maiu nian laran to’o prinsipiu fulan Junhu no fokus ba partisipasaun politika, halo desizaun no konhecimentu baziku konaba oinsa bele sai kandidatu iha eleisaun oin mai hanesan membru konstituanti." La’o Hamutuk, Institutu Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun

Jun 18 CAA-OA: A step at a time in East Timor  Interview added June 21
"The overall goal is to ensure active participation—particularly for women—in the reconstruction, development and political process. So some of the organisations we work with are predominantly women’s organisations. ... We’re working quite a lot on a women and leadership programme, looking at how legislation is being developed, how to draft a constitution, why it’s important for women be involved, why their vote counts, what they might feel is important." Keryn Clark, Country Programme Manager, Oxfam Australia (Community Aid Abroad)

Jun 13 ET NGO: REDE: Donors’ Conference: Women's Issues in East Timor  Paper added June 15
"- There must be a guarantee that East Timor women are actively involved in the political process, especially after the rejection of the minimum 30% quota system. This particularly applies to the process of preparation for the first General Election for the Constituent Assembly in East Timor.
- There should be improvement of the capacity of women to take part in political processes, such as the training for political candidates, which has been already carried out by the Gender Unit.
- Support for women’s political activities needs to be increased for instance by providing the infrastructure for women’s activities to develop their capacity to take part in each process.
- Recruitment of women to occupy positions within the government must be increased to meet the minimum standard of 30% in each sector.
- The Timorisation of administration as announced by UNTAET has not yet been carried out in the Gender Unit. Even as the General Election approaches the majority of staff in the Gender Unit are International staff.
- Women urge the prompt realization of a Gender Unit within ETTA (East Timor Transitional Administration) both now and after independence, and both in Dili and in the Districts administration. This is an urgent requirement so that women can be involved in dialogue so as to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by administration policies."
REDE Feto Timor Lorosa’e (Timorese Women’s Network)

May 20 FRETILIN: Electoral Commitment 2001  Position statement added July 5
"FRETILIN believes that Women share the same rights as men; such rights give them the capacity to participate more actively in the organisation of our society, in political life and in social and economic development." FRETILIN: Frente Revolucionária Do Timor-Leste Independente

Quotas for Women / Kuota ba Feto

NOTE: Mar 20 Dear BACK DOOR, The petition [for women's quotas] is over, the battle lost! for now ... Best wishes, Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations

Feb 8 CIIR: Women's Representation to ETimor's Constituent Assembly Petition
"East Timorese women have been politically marginalised for long enough. They have made it clear that they want to have a much stronger voice in the new East Timor. ... CIIR calls upon individuals, NGOs, solidarity groups and East Timor networks everywhere to add your support to REDE's concerns and to lobby the United Nations in New York, your governments, and UNTAET to take into account the legitimate aspirations of East Timorese women." Catholic Institute for International Relations, CIIR

Feb 24 CIIR: Update on Women's Quotas Campaign  Update
"The UN Electoral Assistance Division in New York refuses to set what they regard as a precedent for UN supervised elections in the future by allowing women's quotas to be a feature of the forthcoming election in East Timor, and are threatening to pull out of supervising the elections if the quotas are pursued." Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations

Mar 1 ETAN/US: Letter on women and upcoming election  Letter
"Although they have made many contributions to their society through the independence movement, literacy campaigns, and other community service efforts, East Timorese women remain one of the most marginalized segments of the population. ... We hope that UNTAET will, at the behest of the East Timorese society it serves and in keeping with the United Nations’ commitment to women’s empowerment worldwide, rule in favor of a requirement for at least 30 percent women candidates in the upcoming elections in East Timor." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network

Mar 16 LUSA: National Council Members Explain Rejection of Quotas for Women  News
"Members of East Timor’s National Council transition legislature justified Friday their rejection of quotas for women candidates on party election lists. ... Simultaneous to the press conference, a group of several dozen protesters from East Timor’s most prominent women’s rights organizations demonstrated in front of the Government Palace in Dili." JBC

Mar 17 TP: The Dynamic Of ‘Quota Politic’  Editorial from ETimor
"We have spoken many times on women’s demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion. ... REDE has shown the correct political path for our country.  We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country." Timor Post Editorial

Mar 20 Dear BACK DOOR, The petition [for women's quotas] is over, the battle lost! for now ... Best wishes, Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations

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Law:

October 2001 LHB: Women and Justice  Article added Nov 9
"Ensuring that the law itself protects women and complies with international human rights standards is only the first step. In addition, there must be effective community education about women’s rights and sensitive administration of the laws. It is the responsibility of all those involved in the justice system law makers, police, prosecutors, lawyers and judges - to ensure that women achieve full equality before the law." Kate Halliday, Australian-based lawyer & recent volunteer with FOKUPERS (East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) in Dili

August 2001 LHB: Domestic Violence: A Part of Women’s Daily Lives in ETimor  Article added Aug 22
"The law must also give protection to women facing violence. ... All of us must understand violence against one’s wife as a crime. There must be clear laws against domestic violence, marital rape and the treatment of women as property. And the authorities must enforce these laws. The law must also provide for assistance to victims of violence, assistance to men who are prone to acts of violence, appropriate medical services, and police who are sensitive to violence against women and who care and understand the key issues around the violence." Manuela Leong Pereira is the Director of Fokupers

August 2001 LHB: International Security Forces and Sexual Misconduct  Commentary added Aug 22
“It is absolutely essential that all UN forces are held to the same standards of international human rights law as are nation states…To do otherwise creates a climate of impunity in which offences proliferate.” Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
"Within the UN’s international security forces, there must be zero tolerance for attitudes and behaviors that objectify or degrade women. And when crimes are committed, there must be a clear, thorough, and transparent procedure of justice." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Aug 9 SMH: Widows who share a legacy of murder  Article added Aug 10
“We want the militia brought to justice, ... We want the militia tried and punished. Reconciliation means justice and a trial. ... A 10-year old boy was killed right in front of me. His name was Francisco Barreto, ... My husband was dragged into another room. He was stabbed and managed to walk as far as the Junior High School and collapsed there and died from his wounds,” Filomena Fereira da Silva, widow of pro-independence leader murdered during the Maliana police station massacre

Jul 29 TAPOL: Dili Court Flouts Women's Rights in Releasing Surgeon from Prison  Release added Aug 1
"In granting the appeal, the court is sending out a message that appears to condone domestic violence, which is known to be fairly widespread in East Timor. Such practices should be firmly condemned, not tolerated. ... TAPOL believes that this case also raises questions about the independence and impartiality of the presiding judges and in particular the question as to whether their decision was influenced by Dr Lobo’s prominent position in East Timorese society." TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Jul 27 JSMP Comments to the Sergio Lobo interlocutory appeal  Comments added July 28
"Panel A of the Dili District Court decided to conditionally release Dr Sergio Lobo, ... from detention in Becora prison and place him under house detention until his forthcoming trial. ... JSMP is concerned that this interlocutory decision has the potential to seriously undermine the equally important rights of the victims of crime and violates international human rights law aimed at ensuring the safety and security of every person. Furthermore, the decision seems to reveal a prejudicial attitude, even within the justice system, against respect for women’s rights in East Timor." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jul 25 TMP: Pernyataan Keprihatinan Atas Sidang Naik Banding  Statement added Aug 1
"Bahwa kami sangat menyesalkan hasil  keputusan Majelis Hakim Panel A pengadilan distrik Dili untuk mencabut penahanan sementara atas tersangka dr Sergio Lobo. Dasar pertimbangan yang dipakai hakim maupun pihak pembela untuk melepaskan dr Sergio Lobo, tidak menunjukkan aspek pembelaan dan keadilan terhadap korban GG. Ernawati." oleh Tim Monitoring Persidangan: Fokupers (Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae); Tim Kuasa Hukum G.G. Ernawati Legal Aid Ukun Rasi’An

Jul 25 CMT: Statement of Concern Regarding the Appeal Hearing  Statement added July 28
"We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision of the High Panel of Judges in District Dili Court to overturn the temporary detention of the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo. The reasoning for the judgement presented by the judges as well as by the defense for the release of Sergio Lobo does not point to concern for justice for the victim, GG. Ernawati." The Court Monitoring Team: Fokupers (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) ; Legal Aid Team of Ukun Rasik An

Jul 12 STL: Luis Carrilho: The law does not recognize ‘public figures’  News from ETimor added July 17
"All people are equal in the eyes of the law and no one is above it, regardless of whether he or she is a renown public figure, ... I understand that he [Dr Sergio Lobo] is an intellectual and a medical doctor. But I stress that no one is above the law ­ and the same applies in Timor Lorosae, ... The judiciary is independent and it will not bow to pressure from any institution or influential people.” Civpol spokesperson Luis Carrilho

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Tokoh Masyarakat Ditahan Lagi Untuk Kekerasan Rumah Tangga  Pernyataan Pers (added Juli 13)
"Kasus ini akan dijadikan preseden untuk kasus-kasus kekerasan rumah tangga berikutnya dan untuk semua kasus yang melibatkan pejabat masyarakat tinggi ... Sistem pengadilan kita harus memperlakukan semua orang dengan cara sama.” Filomena Reis, Staf Advokasi di NGO Forum Timor Lorosa’e

“Banyak orang Timor percaya bahwa kekerasan rumah tangga adalah masalah pribadi dan tidak patut disidangkan di hadapan umum, ... Kejahatan adalah kejahatan, baik dilakukan di jalan atau di rumah." Laura Abrantes dari Jaringan Perempuan Timor Lorosa’e
...
Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Public Figure Detained Again for Domestic Violence  Release July 13
“This case will set a precedent for future cases of domestic violence and for any cases that involve a high-level official, ... Our legal system must treat all people equally.” Filomena Reis, Advocacy Officer, East Timor NGO Forum
“Many East Timorese still believe that domestic violence is a private issue and is therefore not fit for a public courtroom, ... A crime is a crime, whether committed on the street or in one’s home.” Laura Abrantes, East Timor Women’s Network
...
Jun 13 ET NGO: REDE: Donors’ Conference: Women's Issues in East Timor  Paper added June 15
"- In the process of making the constitution there must be a guarantee that women are involved and consulted within each process and in the substance of it so that the problems, hopes and concerns of women can be guaranteed in the constitution of East Timor.
- An International Court is the most pressing demand in the interests of justice. Of all the victims of Indonesian military violence the greatest suffering was borne by women, which up to this time has not yet met with the justice that victims hope for.
- In the year that has passed since separation from Indonesia, cases of domestic violence have been common, one half of cases of violence heard by the courts have been of domestic violence." REDE Feto Timor Lorosa’e (Timorese Women’s Network)

Dec 7 2000 CapT: Village Women of East Timor have great hope
"In their quest for economic empowerment, East Timorese women are fighting more than their country's current poverty -- under customary law, women cannot inherit or own property." Jen Laakso

Dec 5-6 2000 REDE: Women's Network statement to Brussels donor conference
"Although there have been achievements, progress is slow. Women’s lives in East Timor, as with the rest of the population continues to be arduous. For women this is more so because of the situation of women in Timorese society, cultural perceptions of women, the absence of clear laws which protect women and women’s limited participation in decision making." Filomena Reis, REDE Feto Timor Lorosa’e (Timorese Women’s Network)

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* Domestic Violence

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* Sexual & related Violence as a weapon of war

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* Other Violence against women


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