Denpasar – The commemoration of Kartini Day in Denpasar on Sunday April 21 was enlivened by a protest action by the Balinese Women and Children’s Social Network of Concern (JAMPAP).
The group gave speeches and held a theatrical action on the theme of ending violence against women and children in front of the Balanese People’s Struggle Monument in Renon, Denpasar city.
Interestingly, the demonstration was joined by scores of transvestites from the Kuta Transvestite Community (Ogawata) who took part in shouting slogans opposing violence against women and children.
JAMPAP action coordinator Yastini from the Bali Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) said that the action was held to build an understanding in society about the importance of ending all forms of violence against women and children. “We want to promote awareness that violence and discrimination is still taking place and this violence must end”, said Yastini.
Ogawata activist Jovan added that the transvestite community was inspired by and wanted to be involved in the action because they also felt concerned about violence against women and children. According to Jovan, they too want to build awareness in society that transvestites are also venerable to and experience discrimination and violence. “We want this violence to stop”, said Jovan during a break in the action.
Raden Ajeng Kartini was an Indonesian regent’s daughter during the Dutch colonial period who, through her letters home, outlined her dreams of a better life for women. She died aged 25 a few days after giving birth to her first child. A variety of myths have made the original Kartini a nationalist hero and feminist symbol. Hari Kartini (Kartini Day, April 21) is a public holiday dedicated to the memory of the turn-of-the-century hero.
[Waria juga Menolak Kekerasan pada Perempuan dan Anak – Tribunnews.com. Senin, 22 April 2013. Translated by James Balowski.]