Tag Archives: mama-mama

Papuan mama-mama should attend the Papua Expo in Jakarta

JUBI,
2 March 2013
The director of the Ecology Papua Instutute, Titus Christoforus announced that a Papuan exhibition will be held at the Convention Centre in Jakarta from 3 April. He said that it should give priority to ensuring the attendance of Papuan mama-mama who use the noken (traditional string bag).He said: ‘I hope that the Papuan Provincial Government will give priority to the mama-mama and their noken at this exhibition.’

He went on to say that the exhibition would involve the Regional Work Units and Event Organisers from Jakarta. This means that in the weeks before the exhibition, special attention should be given to the involvement of the mama-mama.

He also said that this OTSUS exhibition should pay special attention  to the workmanship of people like the mama-mama who lack capital but are very eager to produce their handicrafts. He pointed out that the noken was identified by UNESCO.as a cultural object at a meeting in Paris on 4 December 2012. ‘This makes it all the more important that the mama-mama together with their noken should be involved in the exhibition,’ he said.

Such handiwork depends greatly on how we encourage it, which means that the mama-mama should be involved in the exhibition in Jakarta, he said.

He also said that the noken has become much better known and popular, and it should be presented to the public as a symbol of the identity of the Papuan people.

In conclusion he said: ‘I hope that this exhibition will provide the mama-mama with the maximum motivation and that they should be provided with the necessary facilities for the advancement of their craft.’

[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]

More capital assistance for Papuan women, officials promise

Financial help to Papuan businesswomen seriously lacking

The press in Papua has recently reported extensively on the allocation
of OTSUS funds to assist Papuans in their business operations, in
particular Papuan women referred to as ‘mama-mama’

On 11 June 2011, the JUBI tabloid newspaper reported that most of the
allocation of OTSUS funds is concentrated on public infrastructure and
government assets but insufficient attention is being paid to local
Papuan traders, including ‘mama-mama.’ The problem was raised in
particular by the head of the Oadate Major Clan, in the district of
Yapen-Waropen, Yulinus Kowela.

He said that OTSUS funds were being allocated almost entirely to
government officials, the government elite, as he called them.
‘Meanwhile, local Papuan traders and indigenous Papuan women continue to
be impoverished and on the margins, because of the nature of the
development according to OTSUS,’ said Yulinus.

‘For many years, we have been saying that OTSUS funds should be used to
combat poverty and improve the living conditions of indigenous Papuans.
But up to the present day, this hasn’t happened, people are asking about
this, including people living in the interior.’

He said that the allocaton of OTSUS funds should take account of the
fate of indigenous Papuan traders and not just focus on building
infrastructure such as road-building and building bridges in all the
districts. ‘The allocation of OTSIS money should be fairer and be used
to improve the conditions of women traders. They need help to be able to
obtain better facilities for their business activities,’ he said.

On 22 June, JUBI reported that the district chief of Merauke, Romanus
Mbaraka spoke of the need to pay attention to the little people and pay
greater attention to their need for capital. He said that the government
was planning to provide capital to groups of businesses, amounting to Rp
500,000 for each group.

At a ceremony in Gedung Negara, he symbolically handed over the money to
one group of traders. He said that the money was being allocated to
groups of businesses because past experience had shown that this was
better than allocating it to individuals. ‘In this way,’ he said, ‘the
monitoring process can be more easily managed.’

He said that the money was not being allocated for free but the groups
would be expected to repay the money but in this way, the groups would
have greater motivation to run their businesses well.’

‘If a business is successful, its earnings will increase, which means
that the government will be willing to help them again. He also said
that teams will be set up to monitor the businesses run by the women
such as those selling crabs or vegetables. This would motivate the
mama-mama to run their businesses well,’ he said.

[COMMENT: It remains to be seen whether this grand promise will bear
fruit in terms of promoting the economic interests of indigenous Papuans
in their never-ending difficulties to compete with the business acumen
of the thousands of Indonesians who flood into Papua and set up
businesses. TAPOL]

WOMEN SAY: DEPUTY GOVERNOR MUST KEEP HIS PROMISE

WOMEN SAY: DEPUTY GOVERNOR MUST KEEP HIS PROMISE

Bintang Papua, 8 February 2011

Hundreds of women traders (known as mama-mama) visited the office of the governor of the Papua province to demand that the deputy governor, Alex Hesegem keep the promise he made to give them assistance in the form of capital. The women stayed in the hall of the governor’s office, demanding to meet the deputy governor. After waiting for two hours, they were eventually able to meet him.

He said he was happy to enter into dialogue with the women but things became tense when they persisting in demanding that he keep his promise. He responded by saying that this would certainly be done, I can do it tomorrow.’

But he asked he women to draw up a list of their names because another official insisted that anyone receiving half a million rupiahs would have to pay a fee of five thousand rupiahs. This is reportedly the reasons why the capital has not yet been provided. Some women said that they had no objection to paying this fee.

‘This problem has been going on for two years, and we have been going back and forth to the governor’s office, but all the time they keep telling us to go somewhere else.’

She said that she hoped that after supplying the list of women, the
matter will be resolved because they were worn out, going back and forth about this.

The issue dates back to 2007 when the deputy governor held an open
house. When the mama-mama went there to meet the officials, they
requested help in the form of half a million rupiahs for each one of
them yet to this very day, they have not received anything.

[COMMENT: This just shows the problems Papuan people continue to
encounter in order to secure for themselves a role in engaging in trade
and business in Papua. TAPOL]

Complaints about market space for Papuan women

Bintang Papua, 7 September 2010

[Abridged in translation]

Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) Port Numbay has called on
the Papuan provincial legislative council (DPRP) to pay proper attention
to the needs of Papuan women – mama-mama – traders who have not been
provided with suitable space in the market, Pasar Hamadi to sell their
wares.

In a demonstration to represent the aspirations of the women, they
complained that the Jayapura municipal administration has failed to
promote the interests of the women and the customary rights of the
Ireuuw people to a decent place for stalls in the market. They said that
there were still quite a lot of the women without decent locations to
conduct their business.

This was in breech of the Special Autonomy Law 21/2001 which stresses
the need to take sides with the indigenous Papuan people. This is a
matter that needs the special attention of the government, especially
the provincial administration, they said.

Solidaritas Perempuan itself consists of eleven mama-mama. It insists
that the traditional rights of the people must be respected.

The chairperson of the organisation, Yosephine Hamadi, together with the
local coordinator, met a member of the DPRP and wants to meet members of
Commissions A and B.

A representative of Commission A, Hein Ohee, said that he felt unable
to respond to the demands of Solidaritas Perempuan because they did not
appear to be united among themselves on the matter.

He also said that the market’s location was still problematic following
a recent fire, and since the reconstruction of the market after the
fire, complications had arisen over the traditional rights of the Ireuuw
people and the compensation payments, all of which needs further
discussion, and the risk that anything done in the location might lead
to further problems.

The complaint by Solidaritas Peremmpuan that the decision about the
location for the women revealed a lack of justice and understanding,
reflects concerns not only of the Ireuuw people but of Papuan women in
other parts of Papua. They said that they would have further meetings
with the trade department to try to resolve the issue.