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'Women and the people fight capitalism, militarism and the culture of patriarchy'
Solidarity Net - March 8, 2016
The KPPR, which was formed by groups that make up the Indonesian People's Centre of Struggle (PPRI), rallied under the theme, "Women and the People Fight Capitalism, Militarism and the Culture of Patriarchy".
Indonesia's economic development which follows the dictates of the market has had a terrible impact on the ordinary people, particularly women. Only 28 percent of women have access to job opportunities in developing countries. Meanwhile according to the World Bank, some 117 million out of a total population of 231 million people live in poverty.
"Today we fight poverty which is also the enemy of women", said Indonesian People's Union of Struggle (SPRI) chairperson Marlo Sitompul. The culture of patriarchy sidelines and provides a basis for the exclusion of women from productive social labour and the discrimination that follows this.
In addition to the KPPR, a group of protesters calling themselves the Women's Movement Against Inequality also joined the action. The group highlighted the discriminative policies implemented by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) which bans the appearance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television. They protested this policy by going to the offices of the KPI and the Ministry of Communication and Information. (Kominfo).
"I represent women without vaginas, who are often referred to as waria [transsexuals], whose voices are often not heard, except in relation to HIV... stop controlling us", said one of the speakers from atop the command vehicle.
When they had almost reached Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara in front of the State Palace, the KPPR protesters were blocked by police and a water cannon. The police prohibited the demonstrators from protesting near the Palace and only allowed them to give speeches in front of the National Monument gate some 100 metres from the Palace.
The police used Article 9 of Law Number 9/1998 on Expressing an Opinion in Public which only allows for protests to take place 100 metres from the State Palace gates.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was KPPR Peringati Hari Perempuan Sedunia 2016.]
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