JASS case study: PEKKA: Integrated approaches to movement-building and social accountability


"In Indonesia concerns over survival often consume women’s energy and leave them little time for extra activities around seemingly abstract notions such as rights, power, participation or social accountability. Yet as world poverty becomes ever more devastating, it is clear that little will improve in their lives without approaches that address women’s economic needs and build their individual and collective power. PEKKA, a grassroots women’s movement built on savings and loan cooperatives, is composed of some 26,000 widows, divorcees and single or abandoned women who essentially serve as head of their families. In organizing women around basic needs, it offers them an important stepping-stone to resources, well-being and a voice in community decisions. PEKKA’s very name, The Women-Headed Family Empowerment Program, asserts a personal and shared identity that helps them overcome stigma and marginalization, and foster a social movement to claim their rights and ensure public accountability. To be sustainable and effective, social accountability efforts must be rooted in such organized communities who both believe in their rights and take action on behalf of the common good."

Document Type: 
International article
Date of publication: 
Date of publication: 
Nani Zulminarni & Valerie Miller
Nani Zulminarni and Valerie Miller have written and adapted this case on PEKKA especially for the social accountability study led by Dr. Jonathan Fox, American University. It builds on previous writings by Annie Holmes, Alia Khan, Lisa VeneKlasen, Alexa Bradley and the authors.