Sasmito Madrim, Jakarta – Jakarta Women’s March chief executive Fahmia Badib says that around 50 groups and communities took part in the annual parade in Jakarta on Saturday April 27. Among others they included Amnesty International Indonesia (AI), the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) and the National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (Jala PRT).
According to Mia, as Badib is known, they will be making 10 demands at this year’s march, one of which is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS).
“We also want there to be derivative [laws] and [policy] implementation from legislation which has been ratified. Including in relation to domestic workers. And we are also pushing for access to and equal rights for all women’s groups, including [groups concerned with] disabilities, indigenous women and other minority groups”, said Badib at a rally held following the march at the Aspiration Park at the National Monument in Central Jakarta on Saturday.
The parade was also joined by actress Hannah Al Rasyid who said that there is a need for women’s groups to work together to fight rampant sexual violence in Indonesia, for example through raising concern for women in their immediate environment.
“I want to you all to look around you, look to your right and left. This is one way to support [each other]. I want you throughout this event to please meet with and talk to new people. And form organisations”, said Rasyid.
Aside from women, men also took part in the parade, one of which was film director Joko Anwar. Anwar said that the women’s movement is not just important for women but also for men and society in general.
According to Anwar, social advances will be more progressive if a society respects gender equality. Because of this therefore, said Anwar, he always includes values of gender equality in all his films.
“The thing that can be done by male colleagues, is first of all start with yourselves. Because there are still many [men] to feel that the gender equality movement is a movement just for women, but it’s also for men. If a society becomes gender equal, this will make the society more powerful, more advanced and progressive”, said Anwar.
Speaking in the same vein as Anwar, Jakarta resident Bimo Aria Fundrika who also took part in the Jakarta Women’s March said that aside from providing support to women, the action is also important for men.
“Because I think that the current social construction which demands that men be masculine also hurts men themselves, so this kind of construction must be changed. It was because of this that I joined the Women’s March”, said Fundrika.
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. (sm/em)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Women’s March Jakarta 2019 Tuntut Pengesahan RUU PKS”.]