Fighting for ecological justice

Civil Servant Who Become Social Activist

Only a few civil servants (PNS) are active in social issues around them. However, this is different from Sri Endang Sukarsih. This member of Kaoem Telapak from South Sulawesi chooses to be involved in the dynamics of social issues around her.

“I am a civil servant who is an activist,” said Sri Endang, laughing.

Sri Endang was born in Malino, Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi, and received her bachelor’s degree at Hassanudin University, Faculty of Forestry. Then She continued to graduate school, majoring in Agricultural Systems.

As a civil servant, Sri Endang served as Echelon II in the South Sulawesi Provincial Government. From 2011 – 2017, she served as Head of the Drugs and HIV/AIDS Bureau. Then 2017 – 2019, she served as Head of the Youth and Sports Service. Then in 2009 – 2020, he became an expert staff member for the Governor of South Sulawesi. After that, he transferred to the Agricultural Development Polytechnic in Gowa as a functional lecturer in 2020 until now.

Issues of Women’s Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and the Environment were issues that caught Sri Endang’s attention. She often researches the inequality experienced by women’s groups in land and forest management.

According to Sri Endang, the decision-making process related to land forest management still marginalises women. “Women play many roles, but many are reluctant to document them,” said Sri.

Sri also recounted the results of her research in 2000. In forestry management sectors, women played role from nursery to serving at the dinner table, but many people underestimated this role. “This research has reported a long ago, but the situation hasn’t changed much. The colour of our forestry sector is still very masculine,” she said.

TV Celebes interviewed Sri Endang

Sri, who is easy to get along with, makes it easy for her to mingle with many people. When She was the Head of the Bureau of Drugs and HIV/AIDS, many drugs user and people living with HIV (Odhiv) did not trust the government. However, she reached them regularly, and then trust began to build. Sri and her team and civil society network have successfully created Balata, a rehabilitation centre for drug users in South Sulawesi. Until now, Balata is still open and gives its services.

When Sri was the Head of the Youth and Sports Service, the South Sulawesi House of Representatives was working on a proposal for regional regulation about Youth Development. Sri was actively engaged until the proposal passed as a provincial regulation. “Youth are the nation’s hope, agents of change. South Sulawesi needs this regional regulation to deal with this demographic bonus,” he said.

Sri’s works made award her as a Bureaucratic Activist in 2017.

Sri hopes that there will be more great women who have more strategic roles and can become policymakers in the future. “That means making women aware of their rights, speaking out and not remaining silent,” said Sri.