Women’s Parade Urge to Stop Discrimination, Violence, Intolerance, and Impoverishment

Alliance on March 8th International Women's Day. Photo: Raisa
Alliance on March 8th International Women's Day. Photo: Raisa

JAKARTA — The national situation is yet on the side of the marginals and women’s wellness and welfare in society. This situation enforced some civil groups to join in Parade Juang Perempuan Indonesia (Indonesian Women’s Struggle Parade) to make a movement together and voice their resistance against discrimination, and impoverishment of women and the marginals.

Some civil elements such workers, fisherfolks, indigenous group, disables, victims of Human Rights’ assault, LGBT group, and other groups stand up in the Parade Juang Perempuan Indonesia. These groups will initiate their movement together on March 8th, 2018. This movement will voice their concerns and advocate the importance of addressing the oppression issues of women and the marginals. Parade Juang Perempuan Indonesia is also marking the celebration of International Women Day.

Historically, on March 8th, 1910, women manufacture workers along with women activists took women issues to the bigger political ground. Parade Juang Perempuan Indonesia carries the same spirit and calling out to the element of society to join the movement and resist any political acts which marginalizing women and vulnerable groups.

The Indonesian Women’s struggle has been undergoing for a very long period of time to actualize democracy that stands on women and the marginals’ side. However, instead of stand up for women and the marginals, the states and Representative Council create policies and bestir themselves on the opposite political acts, and taking away the democracy from women and the marginals. For example, Constitution of MD3 that placed the People’s Representative Council as state institutions that is invincible from critics.

Other discriminative policies can be found in the regional policy. Until 2016, Komnas Perempuan (The National Commission on Violence Against Women) counted approximately 421 policies that regulate women’s body and discriminate women, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders (LBT). The LBT group are the most vulnerable during reformation era. Not only they’re being treated poorly, they are also banned to stay in Indonesia.

Threats to the citizens are getting more serious and it’s shown in ‘Rancangan Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana’ (R-KUHP/ Draft of Criminal Code). Some regulations in Criminal Code Draft are contradicting to the spirit of child protection, especially in Child Protection Act and The Juvenile Justice System Act. RKUHP is yet to consider the long-term effect of institutional to the women and the marginals welfare. If the Draft of Criminal Code is passed, it will broadly affect the tranquillity, safety, and the Indonesian well-being regardless of their age, sex, religion, ethnic group, and class.

Meanwhile, policies that could potentially be protecting women and the marginals are ignored. This can be found in 2017 Draft Law on Domestic Workers Protection (RUU PRT) and Draft Law on Gender Equity and Equality (RUU KKG). The two Draft Laws are not being prioritized in National Legislation Program 2018 and have been postponed for a long period of time, whereas the two Draft Laws are strategically potential to embody gender equality and empowering women.

The discussion of RUU PRT has been long awaited since 13 years ago. The postponing has caused the domestic workers of not being protected by proper law in resolving their vulnerability to violence, exploitation, and modern slavery. The low rate of wage, an uncertainty of day off and leave, and one-sided work termination are still experienced by domestic workers nowadays.

The discussion on policies that stand on victims of violence also yet to come. In Draft Law on Abolition of Sexual Violence, the definition of the act of sexual violence is ruling out facts of the distress that the victims are suffering from. In the post-discussion by The Representative Council, some acts of violence were abolished, such sexual threat or intimidation (e.g rape threat) and sexually punishment (e.g being nude paraded), when such crimes are real and happening in Indonesia.

Sexual abuse is one of real crime that happens in society. Therefore, the acts of sexual abuse, sexually intimidation or threat, and sexually punishment are urgently needed to be addressed in Draft Law on Sexual Violence.

In the chaotic national political situation, other vulnerable groups such workers, fisherfolks, farmers, and urban poor are still struggling hard. Women workers are still experiencing sexual harassment. Their resistance to the low rate of wage is a long fight. Women manufacture workers are facing precariousity. The low rate of wage, abusive working conditions, and hard labour that is not taking the side of pregnant women, along with sexual harassment in the workplace still shadowing women workers. The same situations also experienced by disable and LBT group workers.

On agricultural sector, President Joko Widodo firmly stated about food sovereignty as one of his ‘Nawacita’ program. However, the reality is far from the ideal. Women farmers are losing their lands due to transfer function or looted for plantation, cement manufacturers, airports or other development projects.

On coastal areas, fisherfolks are threatened by reclamation project and sand miners. On one side, the government does have policies that protect the fishers, but on the other side, the government is getting aggressively approaching the international agreement which taking away the government sovereignty in protecting its food producers. Indonesian people sovereignty on its own food is slowly disappearing.

Meanwhile, women migrant workers are still experiencing violence and layered injustice. The majority of women migrant workers are experiencing multiple acts of violence and their rights being violated, starting from the exploitation of working hours, wage severance, constantly being transferred to different users, physical, psychological, and sexual violence, criminalization, to trafficking and being killed. Other issues under the spotlights is recruitment and migrant workers placement that indicates human trafficking.

The heartbreaking situation rarely being noticed by the press, which supposedly functions as ‘watchdog’ of the state. Journalism is taken away by the media owner’s political interest. Other than that, market interest makes online media prefer to sell sensational news about women and the marginals for the sake of clicks.

The neglecting turning into banal when the year of politics is being used as an excuse in legalizing everything: the act of intolerant, criminalization against LBT, low freedom of expression, policies that are not in women and the marginals’ favour. We foresee this condition and situation will get worse in the coming national election in 2019.

Due to the condition mentioned above, we, collective organizations joined in Indonesian Women’s Struggle Parade organizing a protest to The House of Representative of The Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian State Palace on Thursday, March 8th, 2018. We declare:

  1. Asserting state to immediately abolish policies and regulations that are discriminating women, the marginals and vulnerable groups and citizens in general. Stop the RKUHP legislation process; withdraw the MD3 draft law; abolish PP 78 of 2015 on Wage.
  2. Abolish persecution, discrimination, violence, and criminalization of LBT group, indigenous belief groups, victims of Narcotics Psychotropics and other Addictive Substances, indigenous groups, arts groups, and other marginal groups.
  3. Asserting government to immediately resolving heavy violence against Human Rights in the past through both judicial and non-judicial mechanism. Strengthen Human Rights Court Law Act 26 of 2000, whereas this law amendment includes in the list of National Legislation Program 2015-2016, and resist heavy violence against Human Rights in RKUHP.
  4. Immediately embody state laws in abolishing sexual abuse and conducting laws that are stand up to the victims of sexual abuse.
  5. Immediately pass Law on Domestic Workers and ratify ILO convention 189.
  6. Embody public health facility, including decent reproduction health free from discrimination to victims of Narcotics Psychotropics and other Addictive Substances, women, disables, and other marginal groups.
  7. Embody freedom of rights to be part of organization and union. Assurance of working certainty to labour and workers and protection to the implementation of workers maternity right.
  8. Embody Political Election and Local Leaders Election free from politics of SARA (ethnicity, religion and race).


Parade Juang Perempuan Indonesia consist of various groups, among others: Perempuan Mahardhika, FBLP (Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik), JALA PRT, Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Jakarta, Serikat SINDIKASI, LPBH FAS, FBTPI (Federasi Buruh Transportasi Pelabuhan Indonesia), Forum Istri-istri AMT Pertamina, FGSBM (Federasi Gabungan Serikat Buruh Mandiri), FSUI (Federasi Serikat Umum Indonesia), Sanggar Swara, Jaringan Muda Melawan KS, Konfederasi Serikat Nasional (KSN), KontraS, Sanggar Anak Harapan, LBH Jakarta, SBMI (Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia), Pelangi Mahardhika, Serikat Pekerja Bank Permata, Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI), Persaudaraan Korban Napza Indonesia (PKNI), Institut Perempuan, Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group (JFDG), Galeri Leo La, Kafkaf, Arus Pelangi, Barisan Perempuan Konfederasi Persatuan Buruh Indonesia (KPBI), Semar UI, Aliansi Remaja Independen (ARI), Aliansi Laki-laki Baru, PurpleCode Collective, Federasi Mahasiswa Kerakyatan (FMK), Serikat Student Demokratik (SSDEM), Popular Youth, LBH Masyarakat, www.konde.co, Institut Perempuan, LIPS (Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane), KPJKB Makassar, Kalyanamitra, iLab, Generasi Melek Politik, Kaukus Hijau Nasional, Partai Hijau Indonesia, LBH Pers, Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia (SPRI), Jaringan Radio Komunitas Indonesia (JRKI), Keppak Perempuan, Sapa Indonesia, Lembaga Studi Pers dan Pembangunan (LSPP), YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) Indonesia, Yayasan Peduli Sindroma Down Indonesia, Yayasan Desantara, Rumah Perempuan dan Anak (RPA), Solidaritas Perempuan, Migrant Care, Lentera Sintas Indonesia, JSKK (Jaringan Solidaritas Korban untuk Keadilan), Federasi Serikat Pekerja Media (FSPM) Independen, Cherbon Feminist, Perkumpulan Pendidikan Pendampingan bagi Perempuan dan Anak (PP3M), Biro Hukum, Perempuan dan Anak – Negeriku Indonesia Jaya (NInJa), Resister Indonesia.


Translator: Irfie Herlinda (volunteer)


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