Wednesday, 02 May 2018 11:22

Visit of UN WOMEN in Gunungkidul Regency

On Thursday the 25th of the January, UN WOMEN visited Gunungkidul district with the intention of observing the Men Care Plus program, facilitated by Rifka Annisa. Various nations represented UN WOMEN at the visit including Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Egypt. The original meeting was held at the Office of the Regional Secretariat of Gunungkidul, attending the meeting were representatives from Gunungkidul, several local government agencies in Gunungkidul, and Rifka Annisa as the program organizers of Men Care Plus. The discussion lasted for two hours, starting from 10:00 until 12:00 pm.

During the discussion, the representative of the bupati of Gunungkidul shared information regarding recent changes occurring in the community, including awareness surrounding the importance of women being represented within the government. The discussion continued with an explanation from the representative from P3APMKBD (Women Empowerment, Child Protection, Community Empowerment, Family Planning and Village) of Gunungkidul Regency, Bu Rum, who spoke about the socialization of policies regarding the protection of women and children in the Gunungkidul District.

At the end of the discussion a question and answer session was held, in addition to providing an opportunity for the representatives of UN WOMEN to share their experiences with the group. The involvement of men within women’s empowerment program has also begun in the Middle East region. Interestingly, the involvement of men within programs in Palestine has also taken on a similar approach to those implemented by Rifka Annisa within the community. While there was only a brief chance to share these experiences, it provided valuable insight for all participants who attended the discussion.

After the discussion at the Regional Secretariat of Gunungkidul, the group went to visit the community in Ngalang Village. Local people were very enthusiastic at welcoming the presence of UN WOMEN in the Village Hall at Ngalang. They welcomed the guests from UN WOMEN with regional dances, the dancers wearing brightly coloured costumes, indicating their identity as a region of excellence within tourism. All of the guests were given a locally made necklace to wear. After the dance, the guests were welcomed to eat dished made by the residence of Ngalang. The guests from UN WOMEN appeared to be very happy to have received a warm welcome from local residence.

Afterwards, the event started again with discussions and sharing of knowledge regarding the Men Care Plus Program. The local village chief also gave a speech, and spoke about the experiences of local residents who have followed the Men Care program. Followed by this was a presentation from Rifka Annisa, delivered by Nurmawati, as the program manager of the Men Care Plus Program.

Throughout the presentation of the program, enthusiasm from participants began to arise, with many questions being asked at the end. Participants were very interested in the presentation, and appeared to be very curious about the Men Care Plus program. Participants wanted to know about the types of activities undertaken in the program, as well as the efforts that need to be undertaken to change the value of masculinity, which is one of the goals of the program. However, when comparing the situation to their home countries with that of Indonesia, it is clear there are many differences, and it may be difficult to implement the program within their country. 

On the other hand, participants did not feel the greatest challenge would concern the implementation of this program; the greatest challenge would more likely be for the men aiming to follow the program, as it requires them to change an ideology they have followed for their entire lives which is not an easy task to do.

Questions regarding program challenges were answered by the Men Care Plus Program alumni, Siswanta and Jatmiko, who shared the story of the changes that took place for themselves and their families. Siswanta explained about the activities that were undertaken in the Men Care Program, and how they measured changes through a reflection at the end of each session.

Jatmiko added that the changes he experienced took a very long time. He admits that he grew up in a very strong patriarchal culture; it was difficult to change his outlook, which was formed from this very strong patriarchal culture. Especially when his parents and in-laws do not support this change, however Jatmiko and his wife remain committed to participating in the program, and still want to make changes. Although the change is felt slowly, his family is becoming more harmonious, and he is becoming closer with his children. At the end of his explanation, Jatmiko said "That small change can change the world." Jatmiko's story received a lively applause from the discussion participants.

Whilst the meetings and sharing of knowledge and experiences from UN WOMEN, the government, community of Gunungkidul, and Rifka Annisa were only brief, the information received contributed effectively to increased insight for all participants who attend the discussion.

At the end of the meeting session at the Village Hall, the participants from the discussion and local residents took pictures together and said their farewells. Unfortunately, at the last session at the village hall, time restrictions prevented UN WOMEN from being able to share their experiences with the participants. It is hoped that in the future they will be able to share their experiences, in order to increase the knowledge of citizens, and assist citizens’ organizations to learn about actions that can be taken in order to create a gender-just and gender-sensitive society.



Translated by Kathleen Sherrin, intern student from Charles Darwin University, Australia

A harmonious home life is everyone's dream. However, not all married couples can maintain the integrity of their household. Quite commonly, both sides decide to divorce. Divorce may be the last option for married couples who will only continue to hurt each other if they remain within the marriage. If divorce is inevitable, it is important to prepare everything to minimize the negative impact that may occur.

Of particular importance is ensuring children are prepared. Not all children understand why their father and mother need to separate. If it is necessary that divorce becomes an option, it is imperative children are prepared to cope with the circumstances that may arise from the separation of their parents, in an effort to reduce the trauma or long-term adverse effects that may arise for children. 

It is fundamental children are supported and assisted to deal with this process, and the impact of parental divorce. Here are some steps that can be undertaken:

Firstly, invite the children to talk. Regardless of the age of the child, tell them that the divorce process is taking place. Use words and language appropriate for the child’s age, and simply explain to them that in the near future there will be a separation between the two parents.

It should be emphasized that informing the child of the divorce should only be done when both parents have agreed the divorce will definitely happen thus, minimising the occurrence of prolonged anxiety. Be sure to explain to the child that it is not their fault that the divorce is happening, and that they are in no way responsible for this divorce. 

Secondly, explain the reason for divorce honestly. If children ask why their mother and father are getting a divorce, answer the child’s question clearly and honestly, without delving into information about the parent’s personal lives that are unnecessary or inappropriate for the child to know.  

Thirdly, inform and discuss the child’s life plan for the future. Informing children of divorce plans should also be accompanied by providing details of what the child’s life will be like in the future. For example, whether they will need to change schools, and when and how often they will see their father/mother, depending on which party is leaving the family home.

Fourthly, give the child time to digest this information. After informing the child about the divorce, allow them to have some time to process and understand the situation. It is possible the child may not immediately understand what is happening while the parents are explaining the divorce, as they may be feeling upset and anxious. After informing the child about the divorce, it is important parents allow their children to have the opportunity to ask any questions, or comment on their understanding of the information they have just received.

Fifthly, communicate actively with the child. Commonly, children will need a chance to express grief or anger, it is important they are given the opportunity and room to be able to communicate these feelings. Allow the child to pour their heart out. If the child asks, or pleads the parents to reunite and stay in the marriage, be sure to provide honest and clear answers about the conditions of marriage. 

Not Disgusting

In addition to the above five steps, it is also important you are mindful of the following factors when preparing your children for their parents’ divorce. We recommend husbands and wives do not vilify the other person, nor should they speak ill of their children or other family members. This is highly important, as if it does occur, it is likely it will only exacerbate the divorce and make the whole situation more difficult for the child. Often, in some cases of divorce, anger towards a spouse encourages parents to speak negatively, or detail the partner’s wrongdoings to the child. Defaming a partner in front of the child will only hurt the child's feelings. If you feel the need to say the real thing, it's better to do so with minimal judgment. For example, "He often behaves in a way that hurts others when he is angry," rather than saying "He just wants to win by himself, his behavior is like a bouncer".

Next, be cooperative with your partner. This could be a difficult job for married couples who are in the process of divorce. Make an agreement and commitment that divorce process can be faster and easier when husbands and wife are able to work together. Talk about who will tell the child about separation, how to deliver it, with whom the child will live after the breakup, and how to arrange a meeting with the child when they are living separately to their mother or father.

Sharing Feelings

If parents need to share their feelings with children, wait until you are at an emotional level you are able to control. Parents can share their feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or others, whilst encouraging children to be open about their feelings.

Anxiety about losing a parent may come to the child after the realization that they will be living apart from one of their parents. This anxiety often increases when children have to meet with their school friends or play communities. Parents should respond promptly by informing the child they will always have two parents, regardless of the fact that one parent may live separately from the child. Both the father and mother of the child will retain the same level of responsibility as they did when they were still living with the child. Parents should be open and willing to listen to any complaints from the child regarding this situation. They should be ready to hear complaints, to provide support, ready to provide direction and demonstrate consideration towards the child’s feelings and comments, and so on. This explanation is intended to demonstrate and explain to the child that everything will remain the same, aside from one parent living at a separate residence to them.

Furthermore, the family should always try to keep the atmosphere positive. Creating a positive atmosphere will help to assure the child everything will be okay. The minimum effort that should be done is ensure everyone who lives at home is comfortable.

The steps above may not be easy to do, but if attempted, we are hopeful this will minimise the impact of the divorce for children.


Author: Defirentia One, Program development officer at Rifka Annisa

Translated by Kathleen Sherrin, intern student from Charles Darwin University, Australia

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 21:25

How to donate

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 16:20

How to Apply for Internship



  1. No later than one month before the commencement of the internship, the student must submit an official internship letter from his/her university or another institution (letter of introduction) supplemented with an internship plan proposal addressed to the Director of Rifka Annisa
  2. Proposals submitted should include the following items:
    • The purpose of the internship
    • Benefits for students, universities, and institutions
    • Plan for activities to be carried out, including time frame and output
    • Design of measuring tools or other tools that will be used
  3. HRD coordinates with the intended Division, also to determine Supervisor (SPV) for the interns.
  4. Each intern will have SPV (supervisor) in the intended division. SPV will be determined by mutual agreement in the intended division. The job of SPV are:
    • Assisting the interns to perform their internship and achieve their internship objectives in accordance with the agreed purposes.
    • Review the intern at the end of each week and the end of the internship with HRD.
    • Conduct an evaluation with HRD and Manager (if any assessment from the University is required)
  5. Students must fill in an Internship Application Form accompanied with a photocopy of an ID card, student card and passport (3 x 4); one sheet is needed on the first day of internship.
  6. The HRD and the division in question will hold an institutional orientation session for interns for one day.
  7. Interns will follow the internship process in accordance with the agreed upon plan between the student and the division in question, as well as work within the procedures and regulations of the concerned Division.
  8. Interns are required to report activities that have been conducted for one week to the SPV, Division Manager, and HRD.
  9. Interns must consult SPV, Division Manager, or HRD about material reports.
  10. Interns must submit a report of proceedings no later than one month after the completion of the internship.
  11. The duration of an internship is a minimum of two months, except in some cases where such a two month duration is not possible.
  12. Once the report is submitted to Rifka Annisa, the intern may request the issuance of an Internship Certificate.
  13. Interns must follow the rules that apply in the organization of Rifka Annisa and must uphold the professional ethics.

Rifka Annisa reserves the right to limit the number of interns accepted, considering their potential effectiveness and the potential workload of each division.

For further information, please contact:

Rifka Annisa Jl. Jambon IV Komplek Jatimulyo Indah 55242

Phone/Fax. 0274-553333 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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