Rahmadhani, Padang – Scores of women activists in Padang, West Sumatra, commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) with a “silent” action at Jl. Khatib Sulaiman on Friday March 8.
The aim of the action was to attract government attention about the serious need to ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) which is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).
During the action, the activists lined up along the side of the road holding banners and posters with messages condemning sexual violence against women. They also covered their mouths with coloured cloth and no speeches were given at all.
During a break in the action, Illuminated Women (Nurani Perempuan) Director Yefri Heriyani said that the protest was held to commemorate IWD which falls on March 8 each year.
“Today is the commemoration of International Women’s Day. We are asking that the government and the DPR immediately ratify the RUU on the elimination of sexual violence against women”, she said at the protest on Friday.
Heriyani said that they are pushing hard for the RUU PKS to be ratified because currently there is no legal umbrella strong enough to address sexual violence against women.
“If it’s ratified, then there will be powerful legal umbrella to address acts of sexual violence against women”, she asserted.
The silent action was also held, she said, to remind the government and the DPR to uphold its pledge to eliminate sexual violence against women.
“We are intentionally being silent and covering our mouths so that the government and the DPR RI will remember its promises. We hope that the RUU will be ratified immediately”, she said.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Puluhan Aktivis Perempuan di Padang Gelar Aksi Tutup Mulut Tuntut Penyelesaian RUU Penghapusan Kekerasan Seksual”.]