IWD rally in Yogya demands 'Wash your feet, brush your teeth, try Jokowi'

Tempo – March 8, 2024
International Women's Day commemoration at UGM traffic circle in Yogyakarta – March 8, 2024 (Tempo)

Rachel Farahdiba Regar, Jakarta – On Friday March 8, the Jogja International Women's Day (IWD) Committee held an action in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta to commemorate IWD with the theme being the call "Let's take it back".

The call meant an invitation to take back independence for women and groups that are discriminated against by all forms all oppression. In addition to this, The IWD Jogja Committee also said that the 2024 festival of democracy (the elections) exhibited fraud by those who support oppressive policies against women and gender minorities.

One of groups participating in the action came with demands for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. They were the Zine Think group, a zine collective of women and queers in Yogyakarta that brought the national demand "Wash your feet, brush your teeth, try Jokowi".

"This demand is present because we see that the recent political dynamics have gone backwards in an extraordinary way. Although in Jogja we do not directly criticise practical politics, which is different from our IWD friends in Jakarta whose theme was 'Women occupy the Palace', but we want to join in speaking out", Zine Think representative Anggun Munan told Tempo.co, on Friday at the Gajah Mada University (UGM) traffic circle.

According to Munan, Widodo never listens to the voices of women in realising government regulations.

"From the start with the RUU PKS (Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence) to when it become the RUU TPKS (Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes) there was still a great deal of homework. Even though it's it was worth celebrating [when the TPKS was enacted into law], we did not appreciate the (Jokowi) government because we had been calling for it for years and years", she said.

Munan sees that many of Widodo's government regulations do not provide protection to adult women who are not married. Because, marriage is still a transaction for buying and selling women. As a result, the law only prioritises married women.

In addition to this, there are the problems of reproduction, abortion and other problems that are not resolved by prioritising women's perspectives.

"For us, there is not one thing about the Jokowi government that sides with women", Munan said.

Through the demand "Wash your feed, brush your teeth, try Jokowi", Munan also criticised the fraud that occurred in the 2024 elections.

"The latest problem was excessive because the politics of the elections the other day were blatantly fraudulent, it was so nakedly on display, but there were still many people who supported it. It shows how dilapidated our knowledge is about the political situation of Indonesia", said Munan.

In addition to these national demands, Munan demanded rights for women and queers in Yogyakarta and for a minimum regional wage (UMR). This is because up until now the government views these groups as important, but only to be destroyed, especially queers.

With this 2024 Yogyakarta IWD action, Munan actually does not expect the government to hear every demand brought. However, she and the Zine Think group will continue to play a role in building collective power.

"During this International Women's Day action, the hope that the government hears it is number 700 or 7,000. Actually gathering like this, is so that we are stronger, we have mitigation or preventive [action] to fight, we know where to go when we are repressed or experience violence. The goal here is not always about the government, but building collective power", she said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "International Women's Day 2024 Jogja Serukan: Cuci Kaki Gosok Gigi Adili Jokowi".]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1842670/international-womens-day-2024-jogja-serukan-cuci-kaki-gosok-gigi-adili-jokowi