UGM Students Visit Rifka Annisa to Learn Development Planning

Written by  Kathleen Sherrin Jumat, 18 Mei 2018 12:01

On Friday the 20th of April, Rifka Annisa delivered a presentation on program planning, development and evaluation, to a group of University students from a social development planning class. Background information was provided to students regarding Rifka Annia’s history, organizational purpose, vision and mission, and the types of services and programs that are provided.

Students were then asked the question “is violence against women a myth or a fact?” One male student declared he believed this statement was a myth, justifying his response by suggesting women’s reports of violence are not necessarily fact, but rather a personal perception of a situation. He believes it is likely these women are over-exaggerating instances of violence, or misunderstanding what has happened to them, and that women should not be openly speaking of these types of problems as they are private issues. A few female students opposed this opinion, arguing they have seen both local and national data, which support this statement to be factual. Furthermore, through their research they are aware of, and understand the potential effects violence and abuse has on women, and its ability to impact them for their entire lives. They spoke of personal experiences, and experiences of friends, who have been subjected to toxic or abusive relationships, where they have been exposed to violence and not realized that it was happening to them. This point was expanded on by the presenter, explaining it is sometimes exceptionally difficult for women in abusive or toxic relationships to realize their relationship is unhealthy or damaging. They are often under the impression that their partner only treats them this way because they love them or they are trying to help make them a better person. Furthermore, women in abusive relationships often feel they are powerless to speak out about their situations, and are unable to make changes to fix their circumstances thus; they become stuck in the trap of toxic relationship violence.

The presenter encouraged students to approach the issue of gender based violence from a critical thinking perspective, informing students about the ecological framework employed by Rifka Annisa, which is used to help analyse and understand gender violence against women. Examining gender based violence through this framework requires examination and analysis of individual factors, family/intimate partner, community/society and the state system/global systems, and how each of these elements interrelate with one another, and contribute to our understanding of gender violence. This was done to demonstrate to students the importance of researching and critically thinking about social issues prior to designing or implementing programs intended to target them.

The presentation continued on to inform students about Rifka Annisa’s logical framework for planning, implementing, and evaluating projects to ensure they are meeting their intended objectives. At the end of the presentation, the university lecturer summarised the key learning objectives students should have taken away from the presentation, which was to understand how Rifka Annisa’s project development methods and procedures are relevant to their classroom learning objectives.

The student’s lecturer explained it is important students understand the significance of adequate planning, and implementation of effective measures for plan proposals, to enhance the likelihood of a successful program development. The lecturer also highlighted for students the similarities between Rifka Annisa’s planning methods and logical framework for program development, and the strategic planning models students have examined in class. Finally, the lecturer emphasised to students’ importance of strategic planning when developing programs or projects, especially those related to advocacy work or addressing social change.   

At the end of the presentation, students were asked if they had any questions or needed any clarification regarding content presented in the lecture. Questions asked by the students included:

  1. What type of women access Rifka Annisa’s services?
  2. When Rifka Annisa is something advocacy campaigns or movements regarding gender equality and women’s rights, are there women who don’t support the cause or oppose the work Rifka Annisa is doing?
  3. What happens when perpetrators of domestic violence are only committing violent acts because they are suffering from mental health issues?
  4. What methods does Rifka Annisa employ when approaching societies heavily influenced by patriarchal views?
  5. Are there instances of women trying to use their gender as justification for attempting to gain certain privileges or advantages in society?

The types of questions asked by the students indicated they had received sufficient information regarding program development and planning, and had additional curiosities regarding circumstances within their everyday lives and environments, relevant to the issue of gender violence. All those who attend the session at Rifka Annisa appeared to have enjoyed their visit, and took away key learning objectives, which will assist them with their future endeavours within the area of program development targeting advocacy and social change.

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Author: Kathleen Sherrin, intern student from Charles Darwin University, Australia

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