Fitri Mey Budianto, Surabaya – Around 100 or so people from various non-government organisations (NGOs) commemorated Anti-violence Against Women Day, which falls on November 25, at the Bungkul Park in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.
The sympathetic action, which is held routinely every year was joined by the Samitra Abhay Pro-Democracy Women’s Commission (KPPD), the East Java Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI Jatim), the East Java the HMI Women’s Corps (women’s arm of the Muslim Students Association), the Sidoarjo Water Users Farmers Association (P3A Sidoarjo), the Savy Amira Women Crisis Center, the Consortium for the Supervision of the Surabaya Budget (KPAS), the East Java Integrated Services Centre (PPT Jatim), the Surabaya Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras Surabaya), JASS Indonesia, WSM, the Center for Marginalized Communities Studies (CMARS), Sapulidi, Bhinneka (Diversity) and the East Java Women Empowerment and Family Planning Board (BPPKB).
Singing marching songs condemning violence against women, the protesters held a long-march around Bungkul Park. They also unfurled a banner with the message “Violence against women is a crime” as well as distributing flowers and leaflets.
It was not just women that took part in the action, but transsexuals also enlivened the event. They also read out poems and handed out flowers and leaflets to passers by.
“I strongly support this event, with this event I hope that men will not see women and transsexuals as weak. Women should be equal to men”, said one transsexual, Savy, when speaking to Detik Surabaya on Sunday November 27.
Event coordinator Erna said that the action was aimed at opening public perception to the idea that women must be protected not treated as slaves.
“I regret that there are still many women who are oppressed. Moreover cases of violence against women have been increasing by more than 200 percent every year”, she said. Yet, said Erna, the local government has issued Bylaw Number 9/2009 on the protection of women and children.
“I also don’t understand why women are always considered weak and always oppressed. Yes, hopefully with events such as this women’s eyes will be opened [to see] that they are not weak. Women are the same as men”, she asserted.
In addition to the sympathetic action, they also held workshops, activates and training for women and a seminar on reproduction. This was done to open up the women’s thinking to the importance of their position as women who will reproduce the next generation. (fat/fat)
[100-an Orang Gelar Aksi Simpatik Anti Kekerasan Perempuan – detikSurabaya. Minggu, 27/11/2011. Translated by James Balowski.]