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Women activists call on government to revoke discriminatory bylaws

Tribune News - March 4, 2012

Edwin Firdaus, Jakarta Ė Cases of rape and sexual harassment against women occur often and repeatedly in Indonesia.

These cases are not only ignored by the government, but also existing regulations, explained Free Women National Committee (Komite Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, KNPM) public relations officer Dian Novita, which appear to not to support the prevention or resolution of cases that involve women.

Such as Article 285 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, which Novita says covers these cases in general but is still to narrow. As a consequence, rape cases are not prosecuted adequately.

"In Article 285 of the Criminal Code, rape is defined as only forced sexual intercourse, (the penetration of the sexual organs), nothing else, and because of this it creates difficulties in the prosecution of rape cases by law enforcement officials", Novita told Tribune News during a protest action at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Sunday March 4.

In addition to this, continued Novita, many regional regulations have sprung up that discriminate against women. This she continued shows that the government still regards sexual violence as something that occurs because it is the woman's fault.

"Because of this therefore, we will continue call on the state to take responsibility for this. We are also pushing for discriminative bylaws to be revoked", she said.

[Komnas Perempuan Desak Pemerintah Cabut Perda Diskriminatif - Tribunnews.com. Minggu, 4 Maret 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]

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