Indonesian Media in Brief: International Women’s Day
Posted on March 9, 2018By Ella Nugraha
Womens March, Jakarta. Credit: Garry Andrew Lotulung, Kompas
Indonesians joined the world to commemorate International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March 2018. Women and men participated in rallies held in the capital of Jakarta in front of Merdeka Palace to demand gender equality and fight against discrimination.
Approximately 2,000 people joined the ‘Women’s March Jakarta’ the weekend before, using the hashtag #LawanBersama (Fight Together) as their motto. Similar events were held in other major cities in Bandung, Denpasar, Kupang, Lampung, Malang, Pontianak, Salatiga, Serang, Sumba, Surabaya, Tondano, and Yogyakarta.
Jakarta was also host to the ‘HeForShe Run 2018’ event where 5,000 people participated to invite men to work together as allies and become agents of change in the struggle for gender equality.
Legal Aid Institute activist, Naila Rizki Zakiah, said the movement’s mission is to demand Indonesia embrace tolerance and diversity again, and demand the government and society protect the environment and female workers.
Participants from various organisations, including representatives of domestic workers, sex workers, victims of violence and the LGBTQ community voiced their aspirations.
Participants had eight demands, including the abolition of discriminatory policies, ratification of laws ensuring rehabilitation access for victims of violence, prevention of state intervention on private affairs, and eradication of the roots of gender-based violence.
While the march highlighted women’s issues, several men were also seen participating in the march, holding their own signs to show support of the movement
The peaceful movement was also enlivened by people wearing unique accessories. Some of them are carrying chicken coops, dressed in traditional clothing, even in Star Wars outfits.
While the Women’s March began as a protest about the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the Indonesian community holds this event to highlight urgent issues that are relevant in different contexts in Indonesia.
This year, the Women’s March Jakarta (WMJ) specifically highlighted the issue of gender-based violence. The theme is based on high rates of violence, discrimination and persecution against women and other marginalised groups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, indigenous peoples and people with disability in Indonesia.
Among the demands made in the rally are the abolition of child marriage, the prevention of criminalisation of moral issues proposed in the RKUHP, the ratification of the Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence, the ratification of the Bill on the Protection of Domestic Workers, and the enforcement of Supreme Court Regulation Number 03 Year 2017 on the Regulation of Trials of Women’s Issues.
Specific demands were addressed to the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, and Ministry of Health to “eliminate state and community intervention on the people’s private affairs and sexuality”, including the issue of female genital mutilation or female circumcision.
Communities are also required to actively participate in voicing the importance of the fulfillment of the right to work, including the right to a decent wage, social security, freedom of association, and reproductive rights for women workers – including factory workers, domestic workers, migrant workers, creative workers and farmers.
On the eve of the International Women’s Day, UN Women along with Indonesia Business Coalition For Women Empowerment, held the ‘HeForShe’ Run 2018 at the Epicentrum Walk, Kuningan. This running competition is also a campaign for gender equality.