Tiara Azzahra, Jakarta – On March 8 protesters held a long-march from the central business district on Jalan MH Thamrin to the State Palace in Central Jakarta to commemorate International Women's Day (IWD) 2021.
At around 10 am the demonstrators carrying banners taking up women's issues began to fill the roads in front of the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) building on Jalan MH Thamrin.
Holding banners with messages such as "Women are harassed, debased", at 11 am they moved off while giving speeches then stopped in front of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology building.
"Fight sexual violence!", shouted one of the participants. "Fight, fight patriarchy, fight patriarchy now!", they added.
A short time later at 11.30 am a group from the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) alighted from a bus and joined the IWD protesters. They wore red shirts and brought a banner reading "Reject the Draft Law on Family Resilience".
"I want to remind comrades today at this IWD that we will be putting up a fight!, so that there is no more violence against the ordinary Indonesian people, especially women", said a speaker from atop of a car.
Aside from women activists and minority groups, the long-march also included labour groups who took up the issues of the Job Creation Law who took to the streets articulating the problems that exist in Indonesia.
"Because if we act in unison the greater the unity will be then our movement will broaden and the impact will be bigger. So in the end, this year's Jakarta Women's March, which is usually held separately from International Women's Day, is being held together with the Jakarta Women's March so that the numbers will be really big, this year we decided to combine them so the movement will be bigger, can be heard and have even more impact", Jakarta Women's March spokesperson Metthew told the crowd in front of the Bawaslu building.
"Then to the government our principle hope is that the government will listen because in fact there are a great many people who support this issue and we have posters aimed at showing this, remember all the cases [of sexual violence] that are happing in society. And every year there are more and more victims", said Metthew.
The protesters then continued the march to the Palace View Garden on Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara which is located opposite the State Palace. (dkp/dkp)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Peringati Hari Perempuan Internasional, Massa Longmarch ke Depan Istana".]