Indonesien: Lily Djenaan

It is uplifting to see that people are starting to become aware of violence against women. The women no longer feel they deserve it, and they now know what to do.

— Lily Djenaan

As a student, Lily Djenaan (born 1966) was a volunteer at a legal aid organization, but she began her professional life as a journalist for a local newspaper in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. After two years, she joined Kelola Manado, a non-governmental organization dealing with environmental issues. In 1998, she founded Suara Parangpuan Sulut (The Voice of North Sulawesi Women), which works mainly on the issue of violence against women. She also works for Sabuah Parangpuan, a crisis center in North Sulawesi.

Lily Djenaan comes from a family of teachers and social activists. During her student years, she was involved in study clubs and volunteered for an NGO doing legal aid. In 1996, she founded Kelola Manado, an NGO working on environmental issues, providing information on and advocating for the right of coastal communities to their natural resources. She also supported local communities against the unfair appropriation of their lands by a multinational mining company, by warning them about the dangers of hazardous industrial wastes. The mining company was alleged to have caused severe pollution in Buyat Gulf, North Sulawesi in 2004. The political upheaval in Indonesia in 1998 claimed many women casualties. Lily and her colleagues sought to continue the long history of the women’s movement in the area and founded Suara Parangpuan Sulut (The Voice of North Sulawesi Women), the first women’s NGO in the region. Lily’s work involves raising public awareness of violence against women through the media and policy advocacy. Suara Parangpuan Sulut helps the local government draw up regulations to prevent the trafficking of women and children. Lily’s dream is to organize public support for women survivors of violence. With her colleagues at the NGO, she has called for public fundraising, which she calls Dompet Perempuan (Women’s Wallet), to build a shelter for battered women called Sabuah Parangpuan (Women’s Hut). She maintains that it is only right that the shelter be built using publicly-raised funds and that it is publicly accountable so that the people will have a real sense of responsibility for the care of survivors of violence against women.

Suara Parangpuan Sulut