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Abstract

Empirically, women's involvement in Indonesian politics still indicates a low participation level. This study aims to determine the political communication strategies undertaken by women and political parties which are considered to have a direct interest in women's representation in the legislature. The methodology employed included in-depth interviews, focus group discussion, and participant observation. The study was conducted in the West Java Parliament representing the dynamics of national politics. The study found that the current political communication strategies undertaken by women politicians involved alternative strategies such as mainstreaming gender, encouraging affirmative action to have at least 30% women's representation, and offering political education to women through women's organizations or civic education. The study revealed that political parties utilized various political and media strategies, including messaging and a mix of political marketing techniques. The data and findings from the current study can be significant for: (1) policymakers in encouraging literacy and addressing gender issues in all development programs; (2) politicians and political parties to recruit women as the members of the legislature, as specified in the regulation concerning women's representation; (3) political communication studies to recruit future Indonesian leaders with the orientation and focus on gender sensitivity.

Note on the Author

Zaenal Mukarom is a lecturer in the Communication Science Department, State Islamic University of Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung. He has published books and journals on the issues of political communication, gender, patriarchy culture, and more. He has contributed to various social activities and community empowerment activities such as in the Indonesian Women Empowerment Circle and Media Literacy Community. Currently, he also serves as the head of the postgraduate program of Communication and Islamic Broadcasting at the same university. Email: zaenal.mukarom@uinsgd.ac.id.

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