PEKKA is showing that women across Indonesia are formidable leaders who are not only able to lead a family but conquer insurmountable challenges. Through capacity-building programs, PEKKA highlights how most women already exhibited leadership skills in their experiences as mothers, transforming struggles into overcoming obstacles.
But, to convince policymakers, they trained legions of women across Indonesia to collect data and stories from communities to prove how many women-headed families existed and what resources and support they were lacking as a result of being excluded from the system. The power of listening and collective storytelling paid off.
Policy reform that officially recognized women as the leaders of their families is the clearest sign that Nani and her team at PEKKA were able to shift dominant mindsets about women and their ability to lead; it was single women’s testimonies that Nani gathered across Indonesia that fueled policy reform and tailored it to address their complex needs. At Ashoka’s Women’s Initiative for Social Entrepreneurship (WISE) this form of impact is “scaling deep”—where ideas, patterns of behavior, and attitudes are altered. Unless limiting definitions of power are upended, trailblazing women like Nani could continue being excluded from the conversation on pressing issues, such as women’s legal recognition as heads of their families.
On a larger level, it is vital to redefine how success is measured to include the profound impact Nani has achieved over the past decade of fighting for women’s rights in Indonesia – impact where mindsets are shifted and patterns of behavior are transformed. After almost two decades of work, the collective impact Nani has led in Indonesia is profound. Her achievements are rooted in the strategies of aiming for system change through policy reform and organizing at a grassroots level to shift dominant mindsets.
“I am a rebellion,” Nani confidently concluded.