Dewanto Samodro, Jakarta – International Women’s Day (IWD), which is commemorated every year on March 8 in Jakarta, was marked by a march from the Bank Indonesia traffic circle to the Aspiration Park in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta.
“More than 65 social organisations comprising some 2,000 protesters have joined the Joint Women’s Movement Demanding Democratic Living Space that is Prosperous, Equal and Free from Violence”, said IWD Committee 2019 spokesperson Mutiara Ika Pratiwi in a press release in Jakarta on Friday.
The main theme of the march, which took place between 12noon and 3 pm local time, was “An Independent Political Platform for Women”.
Pratiwi said that the commemoration of IWD represents a political momentum for women to call for an independent women’s political agenda.
“Women and marginal communities still face a situation of shrinking democratic space, impoverishment, social inequality, criminalisation and sexual violence”, said Pratiwi.
Taking up the momentum of the 2019 presidential and legislative elections, the IWD Committee staged an event to reflect upon “Politically Independent Women”.
The event was filled with speeches and art performances by women activists such as Gunarti, who has been fighting for living space and conservation of the environment against damage caused by the construction of a cement factory in Kendeng, Central Java, and Sumiarsih, the initiator of the Kamisan (Thursday) actions which are held every Thursday in front of the State Palace demanding a resolution to nine cases of past human rights violations.
The “Independent Women’s Political Platform” will be a movement that will not be supporting any presidential or legislative candidates in the 2019 general elections.
“At the same time the movement will seek to build an independent women’s political force as driving force for change which up until now has been sidelined and has failed to be articulated by successive governments which have come out of the festival of democracy [elections] held every five years”, she said.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aksi jalan kaki warnai Hari Perempuan Internasional 2019”.]