9 March 2012

Round up news: International Women's Day 2012 - Indonesia

Gepari in front of Regional Parliamentary House Yogyakarta. Foto: Rani DL
Women activists in Yogyakarta reject unjust, oppressive capitalist system

Suara Merdeka - March 8, 2012

Ratusan Aktivis Perempuan Tolak Sistem Kapitalisme - Suaramerdeka.com. 08 Maret 2012

Yogyakarta – The commemoration of International Women's Day (IWD) in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Thursday was marked by a protest action by hundreds of women from the Indonesian Women's Movement (Gerakan Perempuan Indonesia, Gepari) voicing their demands on the grounds of the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

The protesters said that the state has failed to protect and provide welfare to women. The indications of this can be seen from various things, from the numerous legal cases that have befallen women to the problem of low wages.

Action coordinator Fatum Ade said that although the number of women in parliament has increased, the enactment of laws that discriminate against women has grown in number. "Every year Women's Day is commemorated throughout the world. But in our country, women are still found that are victims of oppression and injustice", she said.

These conditions, which box women into a corner, are caused by a state that adheres to the capitalist system. There are many negative effects that in the end have to be shouldered by women such as violations against the right to leave for menstruation, pregnancy and giving birth.

"The capitalists take advantage of the situation to get women workers with low wages. They are also vulnerable to dismissals because women are not considered the main breadwinner [in the family]", she asserted.

When confronting the law, particularly in relation to cases of sexual violence, women are often boxed into a corner. Under the criminal code, rape is still covered in an article under the chapter on morality. Yet rape is clearly a crime.

"Meaning a rapist is considered as a person who acted immorally. Rape cases should be provided for under a separate chapter that contains articles and laws that are more explicit", she explained.

The action, which was joined by activists from a number of different groups, proceeded in an orderly manner. The demonstrators began the action at the Abu Bakar Ali Park then set off towards the central post office. There was little security apparent during the march and the flow of traffic in the Malioboro shopping area continued to flow smoothly. (Amelia Hapsari/CN34/JBSM)


Sexual violence against women in the workplace common

Republika - March 8, 2012

Duh, Kekerasan Seksual terhadap Perempuan Sering Terjadi di Tempat Kerja - Republika.co.id. Kamis, 08 Maret 2012

Jakarta -- The fact is that sexual violence against women often occurs in the workplace. Iswarini, the spokesperson for the Women's Justice Forum (Forum Keadilan Perempuan, FKP), says many women workers report being victims of sexual violence at work.

"Several said that they had to sleep with superiors if they wanted to be promoted, or there are even some whose underpants are examined to substantiate [if they are telling] the truth when they ask for menstrual leave", she said.

The worst thing is that not many victims of sexual harassment have the courage to report they cases to the appropriate party. "Only a few are brave enough to talk about it, and I'm sure there are still many more cases of sexual harassment that are not exposed because of the prejudices of the system", said Iswarini.

Thus in the context of International Women's Day, the FKP launched a demonstration with the theme "The state is complicit in the rape of women" at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on the morning of Thursday March 8.

"There are many things that cause a [culture] of 'silence' among victims of sexual violence, including the lack of impartiality in the legal system in Indonesia and our social outlook that still considers victims of sexual harassment as [people who are] immoral or soiled goods", said Iswarini.

Iswarini went on to say that 50 percent of incidents of sexual violence that are reported are rapes. "There were 400,939 cases of violence reported to police, 93,960 of these were sexual violence and 50 percent of these were cases of rape", she said.

According to Iswarini, socialisation to break open the silence of victims of sexual harassment needs to be conducted on a continuous basis in order to eliminate patriarchal views about women.

"To this day there is a perspective that women's bodies are an invitation to sexual harassment in our society, one of the concrete examples of this is the statement by [House of Representatives speaker] Marzuki Alie on mini-skirts not long ago", said Iswarini.

Holding a demonstration, according to Iswarini, is one of the most effective ways to overturn social awareness in order to develop a healthy view about sexual harassment against women.

"It's not a woman's body that is at fault when cases of sexual harassment occur, we want to see a future were women can walk the streets in safety even though they are wearing a mini-skirt", said Iswarini.*

[Translated by James Balowski.]  


Women’s Day Event Focuses On Workplace Harassment
The Jakartaglobe. Dessy Sagita & Markus Junianto Sihaloho | March 09, 2012

Sexual violence in the workplace aimed at women is just the tip of the iceberg because so few victims report incidents, a spokeswoman for the Women’s Forum for Justice told a rally in front of the State Palace on Thursday.

Iswarini told attendees at the rally, which marked International Women’s Day, that some women had been forced to have sex with their superiors to receive a promotion and others have been made to prove they were menstruating to be excused from work.

“Some have been forced to show their underwear when they asked for menstrual leave, but only a few reported it,” she said. “I’m sure there are many more abuses because it’s supported by an unfair system.”

Iswarini lamented the false perception that a woman’s body could incite sexual abuse that is held by such figures as House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie, who has criticized women for wearing miniskirts.

“Women’s bodies are not to blame when incidents of sexual abuse happen,” she said.

She said she hoped that staging a rally could help lead the public to the right perception on how to react to sexual violence against women. She said she would continue to campaign to encourage women to break their silence and to report sexual abuse so as to eradicate patriarchal perception on women.

Hundreds of women also demonstrated to commemorate the globally celebrated day in Bandung, where protestors demanded equal treatment and abolishment of discriminations at workplace.

“On this International Women’s Day, female labors are demanding a change of condition so that people can get social security and welfare, equal treatment and no discrimination,” said Dewi, the event’s coordinator.

She told the audience it was time for women to lead the changes in every aspect of life  and to fight for their rights.
“Sexual abuse will not stop unless victims have the courage to report what happened to them,” said Nina Tursinah of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo).

Many women keep quiet about sexual abuse experiences because they are afraid to lose their jobs or out of embarrassment, she said.

Nina said employers should brief both management and employees on what sexual harassment is and what they should do if it happened to them and issue a warning and punishment on the perpetrators.

 A survey of 22 countries by Reuters and Ipsos Global Advisory in 2010 showed that one in 10 workers experienced sexual harassment from their superiors.

Indonesia does not have data on sexual harassment at workplace, but it is widely believed that the figure is high.

Additional reporting from Antara


Women’s rights still denied
Rabby Pramudatama, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 03/08/2012 7:50 AM

With this year’s International Women’s Day around the corner, women in this country continue to struggle in a male-dominated world and efforts to protect their rights have been met with opposition from conservative groups.

Data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) said that 119,107 cases of violence against women took place in 2011, up 13 percent from 105,103 in 2010.

The commission had collected data from 395 partner institutions in 30 provinces and found that sexual harassment against women was one of the biggest problems.

Komnas Perempuan recorded 4,335 cases of sexual harassment in 2011, of which 2,937 occurred in public spaces including public transportation vehicles. The commission recorded 1,751 sexual harassment cases in public spaces in 2010.

“The core problems in violence against women remain unsolved and they are the lack of understanding and appreciation among government officials and policy-makers of how to uphold women’s rights and how to properly treat them when they become victims,” the commission’s chairperson Yuniyanti Chuzaifah said on Wednesday.

Yuniyanti’s assessment of the conditions women face in the country appeared to have been vindicated earlier this week when the House of Representatives’ households affairs body issued a regulation that bans female staff from wearing revealing attire, saying that the measure was taken to prevent immoral conduct.

House Speaker Marzuki Alie said that the regulation was intended to restore the image of the House by preventing sex scandals there.

Marzuki also said that by weaing revealing clothing, women encouraged men to make advances on them.

Marzuki’s statement echoed what Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said late last year when responding to a series of rapes committed against female passengers on public transportation vehicles.

Fauzi advised women against wearing provocative clothing while riding public transportation in order to avoid being raped.

Yuniyanti said that the statement was unfair because it placed the blame on victims of sexual violence, rather than the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, an effort to protect the rights of women by the Constitutional Court has been met with staunch opposition by a number of conservative outfits in the country.

Several Muslim groups including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and Nahdlatul Ulama’s Muslimat Women’s Group have lashed out at the Constitutional Court’s decision to guarantee that the civil rights of children born out of wedlock should be recognized by their biological father, saying that the ruling would only encourage adultery.

The MUI has said that the ruling could lead many to think that adultery was legal.

Firebrand group Hizbut Tahrir condemned the ruling, saying that the court’s decision was not based on sharia and could encourage adultery.

The Constitutional Court defended its decision on Wednesday in a press conference, saying that the decision was made to protect women from having to bear the burden of raising children, when men should also assume the same responsibility.

“Allowing men to shirk their responsibility would mean that the state is justifying legal injustice ... against women who have to raise and educate their children,” Constitutional Court judge Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi said.

Fadlil said that the ruling was clearly not an effort to legalize adultery, but a step toward upholding women’s and children’s rights.


Activists say government polices, laws discriminate against women

Krjogya - March 8, 2012

Nasib Perempuan Masih Memprihatinkan - KRjogja.com. Kamis, 8 Maret 2012

Danar Widiyanto, Yogya -- The ideals articulated during the momentum of International Women's Day (IWD), which is commemorated each year on March 8, totally contradict the reality of women's lives in Indonesia. Indonesian is also one of the few countries where the government fails to protect or provide welfare to women.

It is this phenomena that inspired scores of women from the Indonesian Women's Movement (Gerakan Perempuan Indonesia, Gepari) in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta to hold an action demanding equality and welfare for women on Thursday March 8. The action began in the vicinity of the Abu Bakar parking area in Central Yogyakarta then proceeded to point zero at the central post office.

Action coordinator Fatum Ade said that every year IWD is commemorated in many countries, including Indonesia. But women are still oppressed and experience injustice in many sectors. Moreover the incidences of sexual violence and harassment that befall women are increasing day by day.

"Women are the one's who are most vulnerable to violence and injustice. Moreover policies in a number of sectors, particularly the workplace, do not provide any support to women. Many companies do not permit [women to take] leave for menstruation, pregnancy or giving birth. Sexual harassment in the work environment still continues to take place", she said.

The quality of women's lives, continued Ade, is increasingly constrained by discriminative government policies. One of these is rape as regulated under the Criminal Code, where there is still only one article under the chapter on morality. Yet rape is clearly a crime.

"The other government policy that will worsen the quality of women's lives is the planed fuel price hikes [in April]. This move will automatically give rise to oppression and poverty for low-waged workers and employees, the majority of which are women who will suffer even more", she explained.

Gepari is demanding that IWD be used as a momentum for the government to provide legal guarantees and protection for women. The group is also calling on the government to revoke discriminative regulations and policies.

"Women have the right to obtain equality and prosperity in various sectors. Including guarantees of education, healthcare and protection at work, as well as opportunities to be involved in politics", she asserted. (Aie)


'It's not the skirt that's mini, but your mind that's mini'

Antara News - March 8, 2012

"Bukan salah rok mini" kata demonstran di depan Istana - Antara News. Kamis, 8 Maret 2012

Jakarta -- The proposed banning of mini-skirts in an around the House of Representatives (DPR) was one of the issues taken up in an action commemorating International Women's Day in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

"It's not the skirt that's mini, but your mind that's mini", read one of the banners brought by the Women's Justice Forum (Forum Keadilan Perempuan, FKP).

"People still have a patriarchal thinking, believing that if a person wears revealing clothing they want to be raped. This is a patriarchal thinking that has to be exposed", said FKP spokesperson Iswarini.

According to Iswarini, many women who are not wearing a mini-skirt have also been raped, even those wearing a jilbab (veil) and concealing clothing. The protesters also stated that the state has failed to fulfill women's right to protection and security as mandated by the Indonesian constitution.

FKP citied data from the Jakarta Metro Jaya regional police, which recorded 68 cases of rape in the Greater Jakarta area in 2011.

The victims of rape potentially experience being raped seven times, by the perpetrator, society, the victim's associates, religion both institutionalised as well as individual, the police, the courts and the media.

Iswarini asserted that the state's role should be to protect women. "If this doesn't happen, then the state is neglecting the conditional mandate to provide as sense of security and protection to women", she said.

Iswarini also raised the issue of the regulations in the Criminal Code that classify rape as an immoral act that disturbs social order and security, not as an attack on the integrity of a woman's body.

"Regulations such as this ignore the importance of the mechanisms of protection, recovery and rehabilitation of the victims", said Iswarini. (M047)


IWD protesters in Medan say capitalism curbs women's rights

Harian Orbit - March 8, 2012

Peringatan Hari Perempuan, Wanita Diperlakukan Tak Adil - Harian Orbit. Friday, March 9th, 2012

Medan -- The commemoration of International Women's Day on March 8 was enlivened by a demonstration by scores of women in front of the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Medan. The protesters said that women are still treated unjustly and subordinated in numerous ways.

The protesters, who came from the Women's Liberation Struggle Front (FPPP), called for an end to violence and sexual harassment against women.

Action coordinator Jumeida said that women are still treated as second-class citizens. One indication of this is that the state still does not give women the broadest possible access to jobs.

Jumeida also said that women invariably become the object of violence but the government has been unable to guarantee special protection for women.

Moreover the recent proposal to ban women wearing mini-skirts at the national House of Representatives gives the impression of undermining women's' rights as if what they wear can give rise to criminal acts. Yet, she added, women should have the right to be complete human beings.

"Women's expression [of themselves] should not be restricted", she asserted. Jumeida believes that the current enemy of women is the capitalists who attempt to curb women's rights.

Meanwhile, Syahfitri, a member of the North Sumatra DPRD Commission A and secretary of the women's empowerment caucus, attempted to hold a dialogue with the protesters. Syahfitri said that she herself as a member of the DPRD had never made any promises to the people.

Upon hearing this remark, the protesters refused to speak with Syahfitri saying that she is not competent to receive the aspirations of society.

The action, which continued for around five hours, resulted in the flow of traffic on Jl. Imam Bonjol becoming congested. Om-26

Women Justice Forum, IWD in Jakarta

Women Justice Forum, IWD in Jakarta

Women Justice Forum, IWD in Jakarta

IWD in Mojokerto, East Java
IWD in Yogyakarta


No comments: