Qadri Prartiwi, Jayapura – Commemorating International Women’s Day (IWD), women activists and organisations in West Papua took to the streets in the Abepura area of Jayapura city and surrounds.
The action was marked by the handing out of flowers as a sign of love and affection and betel nut as the symbol of peace. The protesters also carried banners with the message, “Kalau Ko Laki – Laki Sejati Ko Tra Pukul Perempuan”, which means, “If you are a real man, you don’t hit women”.
The coordinator of the Jayapura Network Against Gender Based Violence, Fien Yarangga, said the aim of the rally was so that the public, government officials and women parliamentarians can see and follow up on the problem of violence.
“It is hoped that this action can inform the public, and those who experience violence must report it to it, if not to the police, at least to someone who understand about violence, such as the Integrated Women and Children’s Service Center (P2TAP), the Jayapura Women’s Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Apik) or LP3 Apik Papua”, explained Fien during a break in the action on Thursday March 8.
Fien also said that the action was taking up the issue of violence because the levels of violence against women and children in Papua is quite high and will worsen if there is not anticipation or firm action on the part of the government. This is the question.
“This is what has to be asked, why in Papua is the level of violence quite high and how should it be specifically dealt with, we need to know. This is the big question for us, why is it like this”, asked Fien.
LBH Apik Jayapura director Nur Aida Duwilah said that between January and March there have been eight cases of violence against women and children.
“But currently only two cases of violence against children are being dealt with, while one case of domestic violence (KDRT) has just been reported”, explained Nur.
In this most recent case, said Nur, they found a small child that been a victim of violence but the police said they cannot obtain a testimony from them because they are too young.
“This is what we must change, small children can also be witnesses. Don’t say that that their [testimonies] are not evidence. With the KDRT case meanwhile, we have only just been given the case and the perpetrator is being detained by the North Jayapura sectoral police”, explained Nur.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Hari Perempuan Internasional: ‘Kalau Ko Laki – Laki Sejati Ko Tra Pukul Perempuan’.]