Surabaya (Bangsaonline.com) – As many as 20 women from various communities joined the women’s parade or 2019 Blitar Women’s March in the East Java city of Blitar where they held a long-march at the Blitar City Square on Sunday April 28.
Action coordinator Mershinta said that they were conveying a number of demands at the march, one of which is calling on the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS).
The protesters also brought posters with messages such as “Mind your common sense, not my clothing”, “Revise the outdated marriage law”, “I’m beautiful as I am, stop body shaming”, “There’s no absolute standard of beauty” and “Stop underage marriage, we still want to go to school”.
“We’re calling for the RUU PKS to be ratified immediately. Because there are many cases of sexual violence where the investigations stall because there are no clear regulations”, explained Mershinta.
Mershinta said that the peaceful action by the Women’s March community was the first to be held in Blitar and that their aim was to raise public awareness about sexual violence.
According to Marshinta, there are still many young people in Blitar do not even realise that they are victims of sexual violence. They go on dates and make out but it goes too far but they see this as normal.
“Yet they have become victims of sexual violence in casual relationships. They aren’t aware of this and think that’s its normal”, she said.
The Jakarta Women’s March is a movement which emerged to commemorate International Women’s Day which falls on March 8 each year.
This year however, the march was held in April in order to coincide with the commemoration of the life of Raden Ajeng Kartini or Kartini Day – making the birthday of the turn-of-the-century feminist hero on April 21. The movement is also pushing for social, cultural, legal and economic reforms for women. (ina/rev)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Women’s March Blitar 2019 Gelar Aksi Damai Tuntut Pengesahan RUU PKS”.]