Hans Kapisa, Manokwari – The Manokwari Papuan Women’s Forum (FPP) held a silent action on March 8 to commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD).
During the action, the protesters handed out flowers and leaflets as a sign of the grief over the injustices against Papuan women who often fall victim to violence.
FPP coordinator Yohana J. Kafiar said that government institutions, the private sector and non-government organisations (LSM) which are active in protecting and empowering women always prioritise the numbers (data) obtained by each institution but never show any concrete support to address high level of violence against women in West Papua.
“Data and the number of cases are always their main consideration at any particular moment, but that’s not what we want, because evidence and concrete actions through policies are what we expect from the government and those interested in women’s issues”, said Kafiar.
Kafiar believes that stakeholders active around the issue of violence against women just collect data while only a small number provide services to protect victims of violence.
“We are concerned about the existing situation, because there so many institutions which have legitimacy when it comes to women’s’ issues, but what are their solutions, we never see them”, she said.
Meanwhile Yuliana Numberi, a gender perspective activist in Manokwari, said that the silent action held by the FPP was evidence that Papuan women are “exhausted” from shouting for help.
“This is a concrete action which shows that they are exhausted with the government and other stakeholders which have yet to respond to the issue of protecting Papuan women from violence”, she said.
Numberi said that they are urging the government to take concrete steps and educate men through legislation which has legal certainty and is binding. In addition to this, development policies must also consider the involvement of women so that they can access resources.
She also said that government programs for Papuan women must accommodate the potential of Papuan women themselves. Not just putting forward program in accordance with the government’s wishes.
“I would give as an example the pondok pinang program for Papuan mama-mama [traditional Papuan women traders] provided by the West Papua government, this was not want the Papuan mama-mama wanted, they [should have] been given more such as food retail cooperatives or other business cooperatives which could be more than just selling pinang [areca nuts]”, she said.
Papuan women should be empowered through government programs, such as providing business capital, prioritising healthcare and providing safe houses for victims of violence.
“For the moment we are putting forward several things for the president’s attention, including providing business capital, prioritising healthcare for Papuan women and providing safe hoses for victims of violence”, said Numberi.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aksi bisu FPP Manokwari bukti belum ada solusi bagi kekerasan perempuan”.]