In 2018, 171 regions in Indonesia will carry out simultaneous regional head election -PILKADA. This is the third simultaneous election, after the ones in 2015 and 2017. The implementation of the election which will be held on 27 June 2018 seems different from the previous two elections as this year’s election is adjacent to the holding of the 2019 Presidential Election -PILPRES.
Chairman of the General Election Commission -KPU, Arief Budiman remarked that there are 158 million voters who will participate in the 2018 election, almost 80% of the total national voters. This quantity is far greater than the 2015 election with a total of 96 million voters, and the 2017 election with a total of 41 million voters.
This year’s simultaneous election is followed by not only male candidates, but also female ones. However, many say that women's political participation in the election is paid less attention by political elites. Political parties pay more attention to the electability and capital strength in nominating their cadres. They tend to use the 2018 election as a barometer for success in the 2019 Presidential Election. These electability and capital requirements are applied equally between male candidates and female ones. As a result, women's candidacy opportunities in the election are smaller because women politicians are generally less well-known and they do not have huge financial capital.
A discussion entitled "Opportunity of Women Candidates in 2018 Regional Election" was held in Jakarta on Sunday (January 7th). A politician from the United Development Party -PPP, Lena Maeyana, who was present, views that the political condition increasingly overlook Indonesian women. Indonesian law No. 7 of 2017 states that 30% of women's representation must be applied at the central level. In fact, in the previous General Election Law, 30% of women's representation is also regulated until the regency/city level.
Article 28D Paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution states that every citizen has the right to have equal opportunity in government. However, in the context of the 2018 regional election, the involvement of women has not been materialized as expected.
According to the Coordinator of Civil Society for Women and Political Alliance (Ansipol), Yudha Irlang Kusumaningsih, the participation of women in the 2018 election will simultaneously produce many policies that show women's partiality, especially if the candidates are elected as head of the region. A policy that shows women's partiality is necessary, given that women's empowerment is one of the 17 global sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the 2016-2030 period. That is to improve welfare evenly. The fifth point in the goal of sustainable development is to achieve gender equality and empower women. One way is by ensuring full and effective participation, and equal opportunity for women to lead at all levels of decision making in political, economic, and social spheres. Yudha also views that the empowerment of women at the regional government level is also considered urgent, because women are currently considered not equal to men. A number of studies have shown that poverty rates, school dropouts, income, and women's nutrition are still poor compared to men. It is important for women to advance in the election as representatives of their regions such as governors, mayors, regents, or deputy governors, deputy mayors and deputy regents. Thus, if there is a problem concerning women, this will be addressed by women as well.