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Nani Zulminarni

Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Nani ZulminarniNani Zulminarni has led and developed several initiatives on women’s education for empowerment, but her outstanding contributions have been in her leadership of an NGO in Indonesia. In 2001, Zulminarni founded PEKKA (Women Headed Family Empowerment), an internationally renowned organization that empowers female heads of family, the poorest of the poor in Indonesia. PEKKA has accompanied more than 100,000 women-headed families in more than 1,000 self-help groups spread across 20 provinces in Indonesia, fighting for their rights in education, economics, law, society, and politics.

By establishing PEKKA, Zulminarni highlighted the status and role of women heads of households as a key issue in efforts to eradicate poverty in a country like Indonesia. There are at least three things that Zulminarni pursued in this regard. First was to make women heads of households visible through statistics so the targeting system of poverty-reduction programs in the country could be more sensitized and effective. Second, she developed and promoted an affirmative action program to protect and fulfill the rights of women heads of family. And third, she ran programs that unleashed the collective power of these women so they could become important pillars for development and social change in their communities.

As an experienced trainer and organizer, Zulminarni has shaped PEKKA’s programs by applying a combination of feminist popular education and community-organizing processes to the building of cooperative forms of saving and microfinance. Emerging from this process are countless women able to make a difference in their villages and their own lives, both economically and politically. PEKKA created and built more than 60 community learning centers in different parts of Indonesia, providing a place for education and training for grassroots women, running programs on adult literacy, vocational training, and early childhood education.

Furthermore, through PEKKA, Zulminarni set up Academy Paradigta, a community-based grassroots women’s leadership development center. Every year, more than 500 women villagers graduate from Academy Paradigta and become grassroots women leaders in their respective villages.

Zulminarni has co-founded several national networks and NGOs in Indonesia that promote adult education as a strategy for implementation and as a core advocacy. Among them are an NGO working with women entrepreneurs, national education civil society advocacy networks, and a women's empowerment institution.

At the regional and global level, Zulminarni held leadership roles in regional and global networks promoting and strengthening adult education through involvement with the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) Executive Council, and she was recently elected as President of ASPBAE (serving from 2017 to 2021). She served as Chairperson of the South-East Asia Popular Communication Program (SEAPCP) from 2004 to 2008. She co-founded JASS (Just Associates) and JASS-South East Asia (JASS-SEA), a global and regional feminist organization network championing women's rights. Since 2013, she has been a member of the International Advisory Group member in Musawah, a global network for empowering Muslim women through family law reform.



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