9 March 2011

National news compilation on IWD 2011

Discrimination and violence against women on the rise: Komnas Perempuan

Kompas - March 8, 2011

Diskriminasi: Negara Kehilangan Kendali – Kompas. Selasa, 08 Maret 2011. <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/03/08/0444017/negara.kehilangan.kendali>

Jakarta -- The institutionalisation of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion and beliefs is causing women, particularly those from minority groups, to progressively lose their sense of security. The terror that they face includes threats to life.

"Since 1999 up until early March 2011 there were 195 discriminatory policies found at the national, provincial and regency level", said Arimbi Heroeputri from the Monitoring Division of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) during the launch of Komnas Perempuan 2010 Annual Report in Jakarta on Monday March 7. This, the 10th annual report by Komnas Perempuan marks the 100th commemoration of International Women's Day on Tuesday March 8.

Quoting from the report titled "Terror and Violence against Women: The State has Lost Control", Arimbi added that there are only 46 policies that support the implementation the constitution's mandate to end violence and discrimination against women by November 2010.

The number of discriminative polices as of early March 2011 has risen from 154 (March 2009) and are spread across more than 100 regencies and 25 provinces. The six provinces that are most fond of issuing discriminative by-laws, including the banning of the Ahmadiyah religious sect, are the provinces of West Java, West Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Sulawesi Selatan, West Nusa Tenggara and East Java.

"In all the conflicts that smack of religion, women and children are the principle victims", said Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Ninik Rahayu.

Spreading hatred

The state has lost control and not yet prepared mechanisms to respond to these policies. "The state fails to act firmly against perpetrators, on the contrary it appears [the state] is permitting it, even though victims pay with their lives. This represents a violation of human rights", said Komnas Perempuan Chairperson Yunianti Chuzaifah.

The report recorded that 863 cases of violence against women in 2010 were committed by state officials and public figures. In particular it noted statements by five pubic officials and four officials in the education sector that violated public ethics by promoting hatred and discrimination.

Ninik underlined that there is a recurring pattern of human rights violations against migrant workers (TKI). I Wayan Paga from the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Overseas Labor (BNP2TKI) commented that the according to the report, around 200 out of 1,000 migrant workers return home to Indonesia with problems.

No improvement

In addition this, attacks based on sexual orientation and gender identity also continued throughout 201. "The enactment of Law Number 44/2008 on Pornography also discriminates against female victims", said Ninik.

The report notes that 105,103 cases of violence were handled by 384 service agencies in 2010, a drop of 27 percent on the previous year. According to Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Yustina Rostiawati however, this does not mean that the situation is improving, but is because of a decrease in the capacity of service provider agencies that are operated by the state.

"The recorded figure is only the tip of the iceberg", said Yustina. As a comparison, Poppy Retnoadji from the Ministry Women's Empowerment and Protection of Children said that in Erom, Papua, one village chief resolves five cases of violence against women per day. (MH/IND)


Women activists in Makassar call for end to human trafficking

Okezone - March 8, 2011

Hari Perempuan se-Dunia: Aktivis Perempuan Desak Hentikan Human Trafficking – Okezone. Selasa, 8 Maret 2011 <http://news.okezone.com/read/2011/03/08/340/432568/aktivis-perempuan-desak-hentikan-human-trafficking>

Andi Aisyah, Makassar -- Scores of women activists held an action commemorating the 100th International Women's Day (IWD) in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar today.

The protesters, who came from a number of different organisations under the banner of the Indonesian Women's Front (BPI), took to the streets calling for an end to the sale of human beings or human trafficking, particularly women. Demanding equal rights and obligations between men and women, they also handed out brochures to pedestrians.

In a speech action coordinator Bunga Rosi said that the exploitation of women is excessive and is taking place in various sectors and in both the public as well as the domestic domain. She added that this was happening because the government has failed to protect women or fulfill their rights.

"Women often become the targets of physical, psychological and sexual violence. This must end, President SBY [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] as the leader of the country must accommodate this demand. SBY has failed to bring prosperity to women", said Bunga on Tuesday March 8.

During the demonstration that continued through to the afternoon, the protesters also brought banners with messages such as "Stop trafficking women laborers overseas", "Stop the exploitation of workers" and "Stop domestic violence".

IWD was also commemorated with a protest action at the Ratu Indah Mall organised by the South Sulawesi Indonesian Women's Coalition, the South Sulawesi Anging Mamiri Women's Solidarity and the Women's Issues Monitoring Forum (FPMP). The groups also collected funds for the empowerment of women. (ton)


Muslim protesters say 'gender equality is capitalistic empty jargon'
Detik.com - March 8, 2011

Hari Perempuan Internasional: Muslimah HTI Kritik Kapitalisme Global - detikNews. Selasa, 08/03/2011 <http://www.detiknews.com/read/2011/03/08/115905/1586722/10/hari-perempuan-internasional-muslimah-hti-kritik-kapitalisme-global>

Ari Saputra, Jakarta -- Commemorating International Women's Day today, global capitalism became the target of sharp criticism. Muslim women from the Islamic organisation Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) said that capitalism promotes the destruction of the family institution, violence against woman and murder.

"Women's political representation in the face of modern democracy is always accompanied by the destruction of the family institution, divorces, pornography and murder", said one of the speakers, Iffah Rohmah during a break in the action at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Tuesday March 8.

During the protest, a huge banner was unfurled. The protesters also brought small posters explaining their criticisms of capitalism. "Capitalist democracy fails to honor women", shouted the demonstrators, "Gender equality = capitalistic empty jargon".

Satisfied after giving speeches for around 40 minutes, the women demonstrators, all of whom were wearing veils, disbursed peacefully. The scores of police standing guard only appeared to monitor the action from a distance and were more focused on a workers' demonstration at the same location. (Ari/nwk)


Activists in Yogyakarta call for women to become active, organised and united

Detik.com - March 8, 2011

Sambut Hari Perempuan Internasional, Perempuan Yogya Tolak Poligami – detikNews. Selasa, 08/03/2011 <http://www.detiknews.com/read/2011/03/08/114308/1586711/10/sambut-hari-perempuan-internasional-perempuan-yogya-tolak-poligami>

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta -- Hundreds of woman activists in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta from the Indonesian Women's Movement (GPI) commemorated International Women's Day (IWD) with an action rejecting polygamy, unregistered marriages, contract marriages and underage marriages.

The action, which was joined by various different women's groups and organisation was held in the Malioboro area of Yogyakarta on Tuesday March 8 and ended at the central post office intersection.

During the action they called on Indonesian women to become active, organised and united. The also rejected the culture of patriarchy and neoliberalism, which they said harms women.

In a speech at the gates of the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD), action coordinator Arsih Suharsih said that they rejected neoliberalism because it marginalises the position of women. An example of this is working women, who are not provided with pregnancy leave, menstrual leave or maternity leave.

"Women workers' wages are extremely low and they become objects to be milked by companies and many women workers who are sick do not receive healthcare allowances", she said.

According to Arsih, the oppression of women is worsened by a fertile culture of patriarchy in society. Because of this, they said they would continue to fight for gender equality and reasonable wages for women.

"We also demand that legislation and bylaws which discriminate against women such as the anti-pornography and porno action law be revoked", she said.


Women workers ask 'after 100 years are women free from oppression'

Okezone - March 8, 2011

Hari Perempuan se-Dunia: 'Apakah Perempuan Sudah Bebas dari Penindasan?' - Okezone. Selasa, 8 Maret 2011. <http://news.okezone.com/read/2011/03/08/340/432517/apakah-perempuan-sudah-bebas-dari-penindasan>

Iman Herdiana, Bandung -- International Women's Day (IWD) was marked by a protest action by hundreds of workers from the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI) in the city of Cimahi, West Java.

Wearing red T-shirts and taking up the theme "There is no women's liberation without the liberation of the people", the demonstrators besieged the Gedung Sate building government offices on Jl. Diponegoro demanding the liberation of women from all forms of oppression.

KASBI action coordinator Srinarti said that although women have commemorated IWD for 100 years, women still face discriminative labour laws, low wages, sexual harassment, they are not given menstrual or pregnancy leave, face physical and verbal violence and are prohibited from forming unions.

"For 100 years we have commemorated this day, are women now liberated from oppression?" asked Srinarti during the action on Tuesday March 8.

Srinarti explained that the oppression of women occurred because of the oppressive economic system, so they are demanding an end to arbitrary dismissals, contract labour (outsourcing), decent wages, menstrual and maternity leave, an end to violence and discrimination and free education.

"It's time for us to take the lead, SBY-Boediono [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono] have failed to bring prosperity to the people", she asserted. (ton)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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