Protest in Medan calls for law reform, strengthening of gender perspectives

Detik News – November 25, 2011
Women protest against sexual violence in Medan (Kompas)
Women protest against sexual violence in Medan (Kompas)

Khairul Ikhwan, Jakarta – Around one hundred women from a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) held a demonstration at the Jl Gatot Subroto traffic circle in the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan this afternoon. The action is part of a 16 day campaign on violence against women and children.

In addition to bringing posters condemning the widespread violence experienced by women, the protesters also gave speeches. One of the demonstrators, Ramida Sinaga, said that even though the United Nations issued the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1993, the Indonesian government had still not enacted a specific law to protect women from violence.

“[The number of] Women who experience violence continues to grow from year to year. There is still no specific law that can protect women against violence, either physically or psychologically”, said Ramida.

According to the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) there were 91,311 cases of [sexual] violence against women between 2008 and 2010. Of these cases, only 0.5 percent have been dealt with while the remainder have been left unresolved.

“This not to mention violence as a consequence of gender injustice, customary law and in the political world”, said Ramida.

In a statement the protesters urged the government, particularly the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment, to strengthen gender perspectives among law enforcement officials.

In addition to this, the government must revise laws and regulations that put women in a subservient position, specifically those that lead to domestic violence, such as articles included in the Marriage Law and Law Number 7/1984 on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. (rul/anw)

[Seratusan Perempuan Gelar Demo Anti Kekerasan di Medan – detikNews. Jumat, 25/11/2011. Translated by James Balowski.]