Wardah Hafidz

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Wardah Hafidz
Wardah Hafidz as main protagonist in the documentary "Jakarta Disorder" (2013) by Ascan Breuer
OccupationCoordinator for the Urban Poor Consortium
Known forHuman rights work
AwardsGwangju Prize for Human Rights (2005)

Wardah Hafidz (pronounced [ˈwardah ˈhafɪdz]) is an Indonesian activist lobbying for the rights of the nation's urban poor. She currently serves as coordinator of the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC)[1] and was formerly its head.[2] She is protagonist in the 2013 documentary Jakarta Disorder[3] about gentrification and democratization in Jakarta.

She raised controversy in 1999 after announcing that numerous groups had misused social security funds during the elections, calling it "money politics". The accused groups included the Public Participation Center, Women's Participation Cooperative, the People's Sovereignty Party, and Suharto's former ruling party Golkar. Hafidz said that she was "terrorized" after the disclosures and told to vacate her office as it was located in a residential zone.[2]

For her work in promoting human rights in Indonesia, Hafidz won the 2000 Yap Thiam Hien Award,[4] an annual human rights prize named for Chinese-Indonesian activist Yap Thiam Hien.[5]

In 2002, Hafidz accused the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (BBF) of accepting payment for rallying at Jakarta City Hall after the BBF chased flood-victims organized by UPC with swords and sticks. In response, the head of the Betawi Brotherhood Forum, A. Fadloli El Muhir, publicly threatened to have her arrested, beaten, and escorted to Monas (the National Monument) to clarify her statements. Hafidz ignored the threats, stating that the military and authorities should not use the masses to protect their own interests.[4]

Hafidz alleged in 2003 that the Indonesian government had unclear mechanisms for the distribution of subsidized rice. She stated that the lack of a clear mechanism left the program open for misuse, with the public distribution "mere window-dressing".[6]

In 2005, she won the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, awarded by the South Korean May 18 Memorial Foundation to recognize "individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace through their work."[7]

In 2009, Hafidz organized and presided over a mock trial of the Asian Development Bank for its policies on agriculture, debt, water, gender, the environment, and indigenous people.[8]


  1. ^ "Wardah Hafidz: Urban Poor Consortium / Up Link Awarded in Korea". achr.net. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b "More groups complain over Wardah's findings" The Jakarta Post. 3 June 1999.
  3. ^ Ascan Breuer. "Jakarta Disorder (documentary)". Golden Girls Filmproduktion. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Protesters threaten to arrest, beat Wardah". The Jakarta Post. 3 March 2002.
  5. ^ "Pluralist activist awarded Yap Thiam Hien Award". The Jakarta Post. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  6. ^ Simanjuntak, Tertiani ZB. "Wardah upset by absence of mechanisms for cheap rice" The Jakarta Post. 15 January 2003.
  7. ^ "Gwangju Prize for Human Rights". May 18 Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  8. ^ Niken Prathivi (3 May 2009). "Asia-Pacific NGOs sue ADB through people's `tribunal'". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2 June 2011.