Gender Action Learning System or GALS is a community empowerment method that focuses on promoting livelihood improvement and gender justice in both formal and informal sectors of the household. Since 2021, JALA has attempted to implement this method, both internally and in the community.
GALS’ principle aligns with JALA’s goal of encouraging inclusivity and diversity. As for the example, JALA continues to try to create equal job opportunities for men and women. In this case, JALA constantly provides possibilities for women to join the organization.
GALS aims to promote gender equality within the company and communities. The reason for this is that men tend to dominate the aquaculture industry. Furthermore, the role of women or housewives in the management of shrimp farming businesses is still thought to be less significant. Thus it becomes one of the reasons behind the initiation of GALS’ implementation.
JALA organizes GALS implementation in a learning program that is held once a month in each farmer group. A total of 129 farmers and their families will be invited to take part in this program.
JALA is now focusing on implementing the GALS method in three areas in Indonesia. These three areas are Cirebon, Cilacap, and Jembrana. These three areas were chosen after thorough research and surveys. According to the survey results, the groups of shrimp farmers in the three areas are projected to be in compliance with the GALS method.
JALA uses three tools of GALS in its implementation to assist farmer groups, which are as follows:
In the visioning journey, the father, as the head of the household, and the mother discussed one-year goals for their shrimp farming business. They also list the potential obstacles or risks, available resources, and key milestones to be achieved. JALA focuses on assisting families in attaining cultivation goals through this tool.
The main goal of this tool is to encourage gender equality in the family. The division of tasks in the family will be seen through a family tree, hence it is named Pohon Keluarga Bahagia (Happy Family Tree). The tool takes the form of a tree image with two sides, the father and mother sides. On the side of their respective trees, mothers and fathers will be asked to write down their daily tasks and responsibilities. Then, JALA will ask them to observe and evaluate the family’s division of labor. The outcomes will show the level of fairness and balance of responsibilities they carry.
JALA demonstrates how to calculate expenses and income using a financial calendar. This tool aims to remind farmers of the importance of recordkeeping and prudent financial management in the family. Furthermore, JALA encourages family involvement in the management of the pond’s finances and operations. That way, the expenses for pond staff can be minimized.
JALA has launched a pilot project in Purworejo, Central Java, in 2021, before starting the assistance program using the GALS method. JALA attempted to implement the visioning journey tool in this project. Participants were asked to project their shrimp farming business goals for the coming year over the course of two days.
Participants showed great enthusiasm for this pilot project. This is indicated by their presence and attention on the second day. They are also excited in discussing business achievement targets for the coming year.
Generally, JALA would like to see a comparison of pond productivity levels from past years following the implementation of the GALS method. JALA would also like to encourage farmer families to increase their productivity. Thus, cultivation success can be achieved together.
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