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Valentina Sagala

Establishing the first women’s organisation in Bandung, Indonesia, was bound to create a wave of response from a community where social movements had previously been dominated by men.

Fast forward 15 years Yayasan Institut Perempuan (Women's Institute Foundation) is thriving and highly regarded. Rotua Valentina Sagala and the organization have been pushing for reforms to laws that “dehumanize women, and even create and perpetuate violence against women”, a situation which had in part enabled the mass rape tragedy of 1998.

The organization also advocates on laws to promote protection of women and children, monitors policy formulation and law enforcement, provides direct services to women and children survivors of violence, and also runs a school for feminist critical education.

It is a vital partner in national and international alliances, including Prolegnas Pro Women's Network (JKP3), Network on Advocacy on Domestic Workers Protection (JALA-PRT), CEDAW Working Group Indonesia (CWGI), and  Global Alliance against Trafficking in Women.

Sagala set up community-based groups to provide services to victims of human trafficking, and then linked rural community-based organizations through the West Java Anti-Trafficking movement Network.

Sagala is heavily involved in policy formulation and advocacy, from the drafting of the West Java Action Plan on Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labor, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons. She has become a key resource person, and she also works to prepare materials for the training of judges and court staff in Indonesia on issues of human trafficking, domestic violence and gender mainstreaming.

She has written widely, and has published or co-published many books.

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