Jakarta – Our House of Representatives (DPR) members are truly hilarious. For the sake of "improving family resilience," five politicians from four parties proposed a bill. When the bill's articles triggered controversy, one of the five politicians claimed she has not read the draft bill.
The bill is called the family resilience bill. Those who proposed the bill were Ledia Hanifa Aaliah and Netty Prasetiyani from the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), Sodik Mudjahit from the Gerindra Party, Endang Maria Astuti from Golkar, and Ali Taher from the National Mandate Party (PAN). The bill is one of 50 in the national legislation program this year.
The bill's articles caused the masses to shake their heads. If passed, the bill would allow the state to enter too deep in governing the households of its citizens. Several articles even propose turning the state into a peeping Tom as they regulate the bedroom affairs of married couples.
Government intervention in the private life is also contained in an article governing the obligations of a husband and a wife in a family. Articles 24 and 25 state that a husband is the head of the household while a wife is the homemaker. The state does not have the right to regulate such affairs.
The bill is extremely patriarchal and ignores the principles of gender equality. Articles that govern a wife's obligation to manage the household would limit a woman's movement in social activities, economy, and politics. Women and men have equal right to share and exchange roles in domestic affairs, such as in various other fields outside of household.
The bill is truly outdated as it attempts to govern the affairs of the family, a unit that has undergone sociological transformations. The view that the man is the primary breadwinner is expired. Now women are more independent and working in public sectors.
Furthermore, the bill is discriminative against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The bill mentions that the LGBT are sexual deviants and they are required to report in and undergo rehabilitation. This regulation would perpetuate stigmatization and cause the group to frequently fall victim to discrimination.
Lawmakers should not insert religious views in legal products because such views may fertilize the seeds of discrimination and neglect the equality of citizens in the eye of the law. DPR members should not transform Indonesia into a country that is based on religion.
Public pressure is needed to prevent the bill's deliberations and passing. Such pressures have successfully caused the Golkar Party faction to withdraw. Golkar claims that its member who proposed the bill had not even read the entire draft.
DPR factions should withdraw the bill and instead focus on much more important issues, for example, the speedy legislation of the bill on sexual violence, still owed from the House in the 2014-2019 period. The government does not need to send its representatives to deliberations in Senayan – unless it wishes to peep into the homes of its citizens.
Read the Complete Story in this Week's Edition of Tempo English Magazine: https://magz.tempo.co/read/36420/private-interference