Jakarta – North Aceh Regent Muhammad Thaib and 28 mass organizations in the regency have called on women not to go out in the evening without their husbands or muhrim (blood relatives) accompanying them.
"Youth organizations, ulema and society have agreed that women who go out in the evening should be accompanied by their close relatives. This is only a request; there hasn't been a written prohibition put in an official regulation," Thaib said on Wenesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
The request also sought to prevent children under 17 years old from going out at night and during study hours without their parents or guardians, with Thaib suggesting that the students should focus on studying and make use of the study halls in the evening.
Thaib said that his office would consider turning the request into a regulation after deliberating with the North Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) and concerned organizations.
"We will be reviewing and analyzing it first. If it meets all the requirements, then we can turn the request into a regency regulation," he said.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that upholds sharia as allowed by its autonomous status.
In 2015, the provincial capital of Banda Aceh issued a mayoral instruction prohibiting women from being outside their homes after 11 p.m. unless accompanied by their husbands or close relatives.
The regulation aims to protect women from sexual harassment and abuse, but critics say it is discriminatory.