Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – A large number of protesters have began gathering in front of the General Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) office on Jl MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta to take part in this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) rally.
Women’s Movement against Violence Alliance (Gerak Perempuan) Coordinator Lini Zurlia said that at 11 am the protesters will march from Jl Thamrin to the nearby State Palace after the Car Free Day has finished.
There will be several stops along the way, namely the International Labour Organisation, the Ministry for the Empowerment of Women and Protection of Children then the State Palace.
“Currently we are just gathering and waiting for others to arrive”, said Zurlia on Sunday March 8.
A banner reading “Women are harassed, debased and raped, FIGHT BACK!” had already been put up at the Sarinah shopping centre Transjakarta bus stop. Protesters also brought posters with various demands from statements on loving their bodies to calling on the government to ratify International Labour Organisation conventions.
Zurlia said that women and labour organisations from outside Jakarta such as the satellite cities of Tangerang and Bekasi will also take part in the event. Based on last year’s IWD rally, said Zurlia, the number of participants could reach 4-5 thousand people.
Zurlia said that IWD this year will highlight the importance of systemic reforms to abolish violence against women.
“Violence against women is systemic and we need systemic efforts to fight against it also, because we want systemic reforms. That’s what we’re highlighting”, she said.
Gerak Perempuan is taking up six demands at IWD 2020: Prosecuting case of violence against women; building a comprehensive protection system for women; the abolition of gender discriminative policies; enacting the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence and the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers; rejecting the Draft Criminal Code, the Draft Law on Family Resilience and; an end to development which only sides with investors.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringatan Hari Perempuan Sedunia, Massa Jalan Kaki ke Istana”.]