Nur Aida Duwila, INDONESIA

About Nur

Nur is the Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK) Jayapura, Papua. With 20 years of experience assisting women and children, she has gained insight into how the legal system mistreats individuals due to a lack of understanding of gender perspectives. She emphasizes the importance of educating law enforcement officials on how to manage cases involving women and children appropriately.

The Challenge

The number of cases of violence against women and children is alarmingly high in Indonesia, particularly in the Papua region. Nur believes a critical factor contributing to this issue is a lack of understanding of gender issues throughout the judicial process. Papua’s patriarchal culture views women solely as housewives and denies them the professional opportunities available to men. Consequently, women and children are financially dependent on men and have limited resources if they become victims of domestic violence.

Gender discrimination is also prevalent within the Indonesian legal system. For instance, female law enforcement officers are often considered incapable of handling cases involving women or children. Additionally, there is a widespread belief that female officials lack the ability to work effectively with criminal law.

The Innovation: “Freedom for Women”

Nur’s project aimed to increase the presence of female officials within the police, public prosecutor’s office, and courts to foster a better understanding of the needs of women and children. The project also sought to enhance the transparency of the legal process from the police and prosecutor’s offices to the courtroom, ensuring that female and child victims or perpetrators receive legal protection in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Nur initiated her project by collaborating with a group of paralegals and female lawyers to provide legal assistance to women in conflict with the law. Together, the team offered legal consultations to 12 girls, including victims of sexual violence, trafficking, and domestic violence, as well as to 20 children at the Jayapura Children’s Development Institute (LPKA) in Keerom, and an additional 10 women. Throughout the project, Nur and her team conducted five visits to the Child Special Guidance Institution and the regional police office to discuss the rights of the defender. Despite the unstable political conditions in Papua in 2022, Nur successfully organized a workshop for a diverse group of criminal justice stakeholders, including the police, service providers, the government, and NGOs, which produced several legal reform recommendations. A legal rights awareness campaign reached 105 individuals in three different villages in the region.