Ahmad Yunus, Bandung – Around 100 women and farmers from the People’s Struggle Front (Front Perjuangan Rakyat) held an action commemorating International Women’s Day. In their action, the demonstrators who originate from Pengalengan in West Java, also opposed fuel price increases.
The action was held in front of the Sate Building on Jalan Diponegoro in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Tuesday March 8 at around 11.10am. As well a Kuda Lumping1 artistic performance, demonstrators also brought dozens of posters and issued 10 demands.
The demands included ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women, rejecting polygamy, rejecting contract labour and opposing fuel price increases. They also brought dozens of young children to the action.
“I was taken to Japan in 1942-1945, I was broken hearted [because I was] violated and coerced by the Japanese”, said 75-year-old Emah Astimah, a form comfort women during a speech.
From data contained in the leaflets which were being handed out, in 2001 as many as 300,000 Indonesian children were victims of human trafficking to Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan while 650,000 women were trapped in prostitution.
Police officer were visible but did not guard the action very tightly. One woman was seen to faint and was carried to the shade to recover.
1. Kuda Lumping – Horse made of plait work with which men dance themselves into a trance.
[Translated by James Balowski.]