Susan Herawati

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Strengthening Indonesia's Fisherwomen Movement Through Solidarity in Facing the Climate CrisisIndonesia

Susan Herawati has been working at The People's Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) since 2010, with the current job title of Secretary General of The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA). Her educational background is in English Literature, and she worked at the Irish Red Cross in Aceh from 2006 to 2009. Susan is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and has worked previously on the issue of fisherfolk (both men and women).

Susan's work focuses on advocacy for fisherfolk to achieve the fulfillment of their constitutional rights by the state. She also works on issues related to recognition of the fisherwomen identity, and managing advocacy for fisherwomen in reclaiming their own space that should be acknowledged by the state, as well as on preserving the livelihood of fisherfolk.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Strengthening Indonesia's Fisherwomen Movement Through Solidarity in Facing the Climate Crisis

This project promoted and strengthened the solidarity movement for fisherwomen who are facing the climate crisis. The project brought together a total of 50 fisherwomen, 25 each from the communities of Tambak Polo and Timbulsloko, both in Central Java. Susan facilitated an exchange between the two communities which enhanced the fisherwomen's capacities and roles in addressing climate change, as well as identifying and bringing awareness to challenges they face. The two communities were able to visit each other, thereby building solidarity and networking in order to facilitate solutions to the economic hardships resulting from climate change. Specifically, women from Tambak Polo shared about the fisherwomen cooperative that they formed in recent years as a means of ensuring financial independence, which is an option the fisherwomen of Timbulsloko are now exploring as well.

Fisherwomen have a significant position in the fisheries sector, both as a support system for fishermen and as fisherwomen themselves who have an essential role in fishing activities. Women are one of the most vulnerable groups in facing climate change because their lives and activities have strong relation to and dependence on the environment. Therefore, this project embraced the knowledge and voices of women and generated solutions to overcome and deal with the problems of the climate crisis. For example, as a result of the project’s networking and awareness raising activities, project participants are looking into planting mangroves as a preventative measure for flood mitigation, as well as other measures to help curb the effects of climate change.

"I have learned a lot from the village meetings that have been held so far: that I am not alone, there are other great women who are struggling for their families and still protecting their sea." - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Susan was a participant in the IVLP Project Protecting Natural Resources at Maritime Borders, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

US Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Honolulu, HI; San Juan, PR; Corpus Christi, TX

"I believe the... genuine voices of [the] community from coastal village[s] will provide a better understanding about what fisherwomen [are] dealing with every day." - Susan Herawati

Country: Indonesia 

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