Sexual violence bill not a priority because doesn’t benefit lawmakers: Activists

Source – October 15, 2019
Arieska Kurniawaty speaking to Kompas at Walhi office – October 15, 2019 (Kompas)
Arieska Kurniawaty speaking to Kompas at Walhi office – October 15, 2019 (Kompas)

Deti Mega Purnamasari, Jakarta – The Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) has still not been ratified. The group Women’s Solidarity believes that this is because lawmakers in the House of Representatives (DPR) have no immediate interest in doing so.

“Our reading is that the RUU PKS is not a priority for the DPR and the government because indeed it isn’t something that will bring them any direct benefits”, said Women’s Solidarity National Executive Program Coordinator Arieska Kurniawaty at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) offices on Tuesday October 15.

Kurniawaty said that the attitude of lawmakers is different when they are deliberating draft laws that directly relate to them.

Lawmakers, she said, deliberate laws very quickly if they feel there is a direct threat against them, the example being the deliberation and enactment of revisions to [weaken] the Corruption Eradication Commission Law (UU KPK) or other laws such as the Legislative Institutions Law (UU MD3).

“[In the case of the UU KPK] they felt there was a real threat [from the KPK], but the RUU PKS isn’t a priority for them, [the issue of sexual violence] isn’t a threat [for them], but they forget that this will have a big influence on the social order”, she said.

The sexual violence bill which was initiated in 2016 will now be deliberated during the House’s 2019-2024 term. The DPR and the government have also agreed to establish a drafting team to discuss it.

The team is tasked with discussing the entire inventory draft of [alleged – JB] problems and articles in the draft law.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Solidaritas Perempuan: RUU PKS Tak Jadi Prioritas karena Tak Untungkan DPR”.]