Women in Politics
Empowering Female Legislative Candidates in Politics
The Political Education for Female Legislative Candidates took place in Semarang on 4-5 October 2023. The event was joined by 32 female legislative candidates from a number of political parties in Indonesia namely Gerindra, Nasdem, PPP, Golkar, PDIP, Perindo and Hanura. The event started with opening remarks from various representatives, including Mohammad Qunut representing the Institute of Empowerment Movement (LEGEPE), Ganes Woro Retnani the Program Officer of FNF Indonesia, Yusuf Romli representing the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Indonesia, and Haeruddin the Head of the Provincial Office of National Unity and Politics in Central Java (KESBANGPOL).
Haeruddin conveyed several messages related to the 2024 elections. Every political year, there is a tendency for the intolerance to increase. Haerudin highly appreciated this event and hoped that through this activity, prospective legislative candidates can fight intolerance and promote tolerance ahead 2024 election. He also underscored the persistent challenge of fake news and disinformation in our democratic society, urging participants to unite in their efforts to combat misinformation and ensure a fair and free election.
This event presented two guest speakers. The first speaker is Warsito Ellwein the coordinator of Institute of Empowerment Movement (LEGEPE) who shared his insights on campaign strategy. The second speaker is Dr. Ida Budhiati, former member of the Election Supervisory Board who delivered material on Female Leadership in Politics.
Warsito Ellwein explained some campaign strategies that must be beneficial for the participants who are legislative candidates in managing their campaign. As technology advances, Warsito emphasized that people can access information anywhere at any time. He encouraged participants to utilize social media as one of the tools in their campaign strategy. In his session, Warsito shared his 4 campaign strategies for legislative candidates to win 2024 elections:
- Creating Personal Branding
A strong personal brand helps a candidate stand out from the competition. In a crowded field, having a unique and compelling personal brand can be the deciding factor in capturing the audience's attention. Warsito believed that developing a personal brand is crucial to help voters recognize and remember the candidates.
Successful election campaigns require a strong and cohesive team. Collaboration is essential, and strategies should be data-driven and rational.
- Implementing Four Critical Phases Strategy:
These include "Kanvasing" (engaging with as many people as possible), "Konter Isu" (presenting arguments and showcasing a strong team), "Focus Area" (securing, competing for, and maintaining votes), and "Mobilisasi" (mobilizing voters, ensuring their safety, and safeguarding their votes).
- Understanding Types of Voters:
Voters can be categorized into four groups: loyal, rational, pragmatic, and non-voters. Rational voters, who consider a candidate's vision and programs, are particularly important to focus on.
Additionally Warsito also emphasized the need for a robust social media presence as the majority of young voters. He believed that particularly Gen Z and millennials, heavily rely on these platforms.
The second speaker Ida Budhiati provided a comprehensive overview of key elements related to governance and human rights within the context of election procedures. She emphasized the constitutional provisions that serve as the foundation for the formation of government institutions and the safeguarding of human rights. Ida delved into the responsibility of political parties to ensure a minimum representation of women within their candidate lists, discussing the quota system designed to boost women's presence in the parliament. She raised important concerns regarding the election regulations set forth by the KPU for the 2024 elections, particularly focusing on the potentially detrimental impact of rounding down candidate numbers on women's representation in politics.
Ida celebrated the unique strengths that women bring to the realm of politics, particularly their capacity for empathy and care. She highlighted how these attributes can be harnessed effectively in campaigns to connect with voters on a deeper, more personal level, reinforcing the value of diversity and inclusivity in political leadership.
To deepen participants' understanding of campaign strategy, group discussions led by facilitators were organized. These discussions explored topics like transitioning from being known to being liked and supported by voters, strategies to secure election victory, safeguarding votes until inauguration, and creating a strong online presence, especially for Gen Z and millennial voters.
The event successfully addressed critical aspects of political campaigning for female legislative candidates, equipping them with knowledge and strategies to navigate the dynamic landscape of Indonesian politics. It served as a testament to the ongoing efforts to empower and promote gender diversity in the political sphere. As the 2024 elections draw closer, the lessons learned in Semarang will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Indonesian democracy.