Fight against sexual violence, patriarchy taken up at IWD in Jakarta

Detik News – March 8, 2020
IWD march through Jl MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta – March 8, 2020 (Detik)

Tiara Azzahra – On Sunday March 8 protesters held a long-march to commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020 which began in the Jl MH Thamrin area of Central Jakarta.

Since 10 am, protesters had begun to fill Jl MH Thamrin in the Central Jakarta business district in front of the General Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) building bringing with them banners with messages about women’s issues which they wanted to raise.

Not long after this at 10.30 am, a group of protesters from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (KSBI) alighted from a bus and joined the IWD demonstrators. They wore red shirts and brought banners with messages such as “Reject the Draft Law on Family Resilience”.

At 11 am they moved off while giving speeches and carrying banners with messages such as “Women are harassed, demeaned”, then stopped in front of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) offices.

“Fight sexual violence”, “Fight patriarchy, fight patriarchy now” shouted the protesters during the march.

“I remind comrades here today on IWD that we will put up a fight, so there is no more violence against the ordinary Indonesian people, especially women”, said one of the speakers standing on a vehicle.

Aside from women activists who made up the majority of participants, the long-march was also joined by workers who took up the issue of the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The alliance of protesters which took to the streets took up a number of problems which exist in Indonesia.

“Because if we act together, become more united, then our movement will become broader and its impact bigger. So this year’s Jakarta Women’s March, which is usually separate from International Women’s Day is the same as the Jakarta Women’s March because the protesters are very much the same but this year we decided to join up so that the movement will be bigger, can be heard and have more impact”, said Jakarta Women’s March spokesperson Metthew in a speech in front of the Bawaslu.

“Then for the government itself the hope in the end is that the government will listen because there are in fact a great many people who support these issues and we also have posters whose aim is to show this, these cases [of sexual violence] which are happening in society. And every year there are more and more victims”, said Metthew.

The protesters then marched to the Palace View Garden on Jl Medan Merdeka Utara which is located opposite the State Palace. (dkp/dkp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringati Hari Perempuan Internasional, Massa Longmarch ke Depan Istana”.]