6 March 2012

Toward International Women's Day 2012: From Home to the State Women Are Raped

'The state is also complicit in the rape of women'

Seruu - March 4, 2012

Negara Juga Memperkosa Perempuan - Seruu.com. Minggu, 4 Maret 2012

Jakarta -- International Women's Day (IWD) is commemorated every year on March 8. This afternoon, scores of demonstrators from the Free Women National Committee (Komite Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, KNPM) held a free speech forum at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta.

The action, which was joined by scores of workers and women activists, took up the key issues that are yet to be resolved by the government such as women's battle against rape and sexual harassment in Indonesia.Action spokesperson Dian Novita said that up until this day the state has neglected to resolve cases of rape and has allowed sexual harassment to continue unabated.

"President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has neglected the resolution of rape cases, likewise the parliament (DPR, House of Representatives) has allowed sexual harassment against women to occur", Novita told journalists on Sunday March 4.

Moreover, Novita explained, the problem of violence that has become widespread of late has occurred because the state is also complicit in the rape of women.

Novita explained therefore that on March 8 Indonesian women will be ready to take to the streets. "We will go to the State Palace and convey a message to the administration of SBY and [Vice President] Boediono that the state is complicit in the rape of Indonesian women", she said.

On March 8, 1917, women in Russia were for the first time given the right to vote by the Russian government. It was this milestone that started commemorations by women throughout the world or International Women's Day.

In Indonesia meanwhile, we probably know Raden Ajeng Kartini as the milestone of upholding gender equality for women, which we usually commemorate as Indonesian Women's Day on April 21. [simon salakory]


Raden Ajeng Kartini was an Indonesian regent's daughter during the Dutch colonial period who, through her letters home, outlined her dreams of a better life for women. She died aged 25 a few days after giving birth to her first child. A variety of myths have made the original Kartini a nationalist hero and feminist symbol. Hari Kartini (Kartini Day) is a public holiday dedicated to the memory of the turn-of-the-century hero.

[Translated by James Balowski.]


Women activists call on government to revoke discriminatory bylaws

Tribune News - March 4, 2012

Komnas Perempuan Desak Pemerintah Cabut Perda Diskriminatif - Tribunnews.com. Minggu, 4 Maret 2012

Edwin Firdaus, Jakarta -- Cases of rape and sexual harassment against women occur often and repeatedly in Indonesia.

These cases are not only ignored by the government, but also existing regulations, explained Free Women National Committee (Komite Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, KNPM) public relations officer Dian Novita, which appear to not to support the prevention or resolution of cases that involve women.

Such as Article 285 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, which Novita says covers these cases in general but is still to narrow. As a consequence, rape cases are not prosecuted adequately.

"In Article 285 of the Criminal Code, rape is defined as only forced sexual intercourse, (the penetration of the sexual organs), nothing else, and because of this it creates difficulties in the prosecution of rape cases by law enforcement officials", Novita told Tribune News during a protest action at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Sunday March 4.

In addition to this, continued Novita, many regional regulations have sprung up that discriminate against women. This she continued shows that the government still regards sexual violence as something that occurs because it is the woman's fault.

"Because of this therefore, we will continue call on the state to take responsibility for this. We are also pushing for discriminative bylaws to be revoked", she said.


Government ignoring upsurge in sexual violence against women

Pelita Online - March 5, 2012

DPR-Pemerintah Tidak Peduli Nasib Korban Perkosaan - Pelitaonline.com. Senin, 05 Maret 2012

Jakarta -- The House of Representatives (DPR) and the government are still not paying attention to the fate of victims of rape and sexual harassment. Moreover the impression given by the DPR and government is that they are ignoring the problem even though year by year the incidents of rape and sexual harassment of women continue to increase.

This was conveyed by the Free Women National Committee (Komite Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, KNPM) during a free speech action in the lead up to International Women's Day in Jakarta on Sunday March 4.

"Up until now, the government and parliament is still neglecting cases of rape and sexual harassment against women, it is even as if they are allowing it to happen", said action spokesperson Dian Novita. Yet, explained Novita, cases of sexual harassment and rape often occur in Indonesia and for women, this obviously makes them very anxious.

According to the KNPM's own records, there were 4,845 cases of rape and sexual harassment of women between 1998 and 2010. More than three quarters of these cases of sexual violence were perpetrated by people close to the victim such as fathers, husbands, older brothers, uncles, grandfathers and boyfriends.

"This makes us realise that even being with the people who are closest to us does not ensure that women can avoid incidents of sexual violence", she explained.

Moreover incidents of rape and the sexual harassment of women are not just occurring in places that are quiet but also in busy public locations. In addition to this, the perpetrators are diverse, from close relatives, public transport drivers, celebrities, government officials and politicians.

According to data from the Jakarta Metro Jaya regional police there has been an increase in rape cases on city public transport by as much as 13.33 percent. In 2010 there were around 60 cases, increasing to 68 cases in 2011.

In addition to this, Novita also gave the example of the Cakung Nusantara Bonded Zone (KBN) in North Jakarta, where the majority of workers are women, but there are frequent incidents of sexual harassment when women workers are traveling to and from work.

Moreover women often have to endure sexual harassment when they are attempting to find work or a good position in their offices. "These are only a few examples of the negative work environment that many women in Indonesia experience", she said.

Because of this, the KNPM will continue to call on the government and the DPR pay more attention to women's quality of life in the future. "In the context of commemorating International Women's Day, we will continue to call on the government and the DPR to address these issues", she asserted. (cr-14)


Women activists launch sticker campaign against sexual violence

Tempo - March 6, 2012

Stiker 'Stop Perkosaan' di Angkot - TEMPO.CO. Selasa, 06 Maret 2012

Atmi Pertiwi, Jakarta -- Twenty or so women from the Women's Justice Forum (Forum Keadilan Perempuan, FKP) distributed around 500 stickers on busses and city public transport vehicles at the Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in East Jakarta on March 6. Written on the yellow stickers was, "Stop rape and sexual harassment".

The stickers are intended as part of a campaign demanding an end to sexual violence against women. The activists are calling on the government to be firm in fully investigating cases of sexual harassment and violence against women. "Cases of sexual violence such as the May 1998 [riots in Jakarta] have still not been explained to this day", said campaign field coordinator Dian Novita from the Free Women National Committee (KNPM).

Novita said that the campaign intentionally targeted the Kampung Rambutan bus terminal because it is one among several points for the departure of busses and city public transport vehicles to the outskirts of Jakarta. According to Novita, it is in the areas on the outskirts of Jakarta that most of cases of sexual violence have occurred on public transport vehicles.

Quoting from KNPM data, Novita said that there were 93,960 cases of sexual violence out of a total of 400,939 cases of reported violence. "Accordingly, every day there are 20 women who fall victim to sexual violence", said Novita.

The data also shows that rape is the most common type of sexual violence that is occurring, accounting for more than 50 percent of all documented cases or 4,845 cases. Last year alone, the Metro Jaya regional police recorded 68 cases of crimes involving rape.

Cases of rape on public transport vehicles meanwhile have occurred on at least six occasions in the last six months. One of these was the case of Livia Pavita Soelistio, a Bina Nusantara University student and R, a housewife from the Jakarta satellite city of Depok. "Unfortunately, to this day there is yet to be a full resolution of these cases", said Novita.

The sticker campaign is also being conducted in the lead up International Women's Day that falls on March 8. Tomorrow, they plan to conduct a sticker campaign in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta. "We will hand them out to drivers who pass in front of the Palace", said Novita.


[Translated by James Balowski.]

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