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    Communication FISIP USU Organizes Another Training to Empower Women of Medan City

    The Communication Science Study Program of Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) again organized a dedication program. This time dedicated to empowering urban women. Led by the head of the Communication Science Study Program, Mrs. Dra. Mazdalifah M.Si., Ph.D., this dedication targeted female traditional herbal medicine (jamu) sellers, the majority of whom originate from Java and now reside in Medan City.

    Amidst the hustle and bustle of Medan City, there exists a group of female jamu sellers who lead lives full of dedication. They not only strive to supplement their family incomes but also inherit family traditions in making and selling jamu, a traditional beverage rich in health benefits. The majority of them hail from Java, choosing to migrate to Medan City to improve the economic status of their families.

    However, in 1998, Indonesia was hit by an economic crisis that saw a sharp increase in prices of essential commodities, including those needed to produce jamu. This posed a significant burden for the female jamu sellers, who were forced to face even greater economic difficulties. In response to this issue, Mrs. Dra. Mazdalifah M.Si., Ph.D., a communication lecturer from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at USU, was moved to assist them by providing business capital through the Medan Urban Women’s Foundation, Yayasan Perkotaan Perempuan Kota Medan (YP2M), which she leads. This collaboration not only offered financial assistance but also empowered these women economically and socially.

    Every year, the female jamu sellers regularly receive business capital assistance from YP2M. Mazdalifah and her team, supported by students as field assistants, periodically meet with them. These meetings serve not only as a platform for providing assistance but also as an opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge. During each monthly meeting, they are given counseling on business management, health, religious education, politics, and other relevant topics.

    On October 13, 2024, a series of empowerment activities were conducted by channeling business capital assistance to a group of female jamu sellers on Halat Street, Medan City. With 12 recipients in total, each received business capital assistance amounting to 2 million Indonesian Rupiah. This was done as part of a sustainable effort to support and develop their jamu businesses.

    In addition to providing financial assistance, Mazdalifah also actively conducts political participation counseling for these women, considering the upcoming General Election on February 14, 2024. Through this counseling, they are given an understanding of the importance of voting wisely, understanding candidate track records, and avoiding the spread of fake news. This aims to increase their political awareness and active participation in the democratic process.

    The collaboration between YP2M and the female jamu sellers has been ongoing for 24 years, and both parties are deeply grateful for this. As the chairperson of YP2M, Mazdalifah feels proud to continue accompanying them on this long jouey. Meanwhile, the female jamu sellers feel supported and motivated to continue developing their businesses to remain sustainable and independent.

    With ongoing collaboration and continuous support, the hope of seeing these women develop into intelligent and independent individuals in various fields becomes increasingly achievable. This is a tangible example of how empowering urban women can create a wide-ranging positive impact on society.

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