Activists say sexual violence bill delays show lawmakers don’t value women

Detik News – September 22, 2019
Dinda Nur Annisa Yura speaking at press conference in Jakarta – August 15, 2019 (Kompas)
Dinda Nur Annisa Yura speaking at press conference in Jakarta – August 15, 2019 (Kompas)

Yulida Medistiara, Jakarta – The Draft Law in the Elimination of Sexual Harassment (RUU-PKS) is still being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR). Women’s Solidarity Chairperson Dinda Nur Annisa Yura believes that this shows character of DPR members who are tolerant of sexual violence.

“The DPR’s lack of seriousness about the RUU on the Elimination of Sexual Violence actually shows what the character of the DPR is like. The character of the DPR members is one of tolerating sexual violence, not considering sexual violence to be something important, not respecting women as human beings and seeing women as being less than men in the context of human life”, said Yura at the National AIDS Commission (KPA) national secretariat in Pancoran, South Jakarta, on Sunday September 22.

Yura said that the urgency of enacting the RUU-PKS is because cases of sexual violence are sill widespread. She believes that the DPR is not prioritising women by failing to ratifying the RUU-PKS.

“I think that everyone should already agree with this, sexual violence isn’t allowed against anyone. Both against women as well as men. The reality today is that the majority of victims are women. Why don’t they consider this important, because the DPR doesn’t feel that women are important and women aren’t valued the same as men”, continued Yura.

She also highlighted the DPR’s prioritisation of other draft laws which are seen as being pro-investment. She has already communicated with the Ministry for the Empowerment of Women and Protection of Children to push for the enactment of the RUU-PKS. There is concern that if the RUU-PKS is not ratified the number of cases of sexual violence will continue to grow.

“There are many cases of sexual violence that can’t be dealt with. We do indeed have laws like the Law on the Elimination of Domestic Violence. But what about sexual violence that is committed in the home?”, she said.

The RUU-PKS is still being deliberated by the DPR. Commission VIII Deputy Chairperson Marwan Dasopang from the National Awakening Party (PKB) faction says that the RUU-PKS cannot be ratified until the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) is finished. This is because there are articles where the RUU-PKS must refer to the RKUHP, particularly the transitional articles on rape, indecency and adultery.

Meanwhile President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has asked the DPR to postpone the enactment of the RKUHP – which was scheduled to be ratified on September 24 – because Widodo wants to hear input from various groups on the law. (yld/gbr)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “RUU P-KS Belum Disahkan, DPR Dinilai Toleran Kekerasan Seksual”.]