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Students in Palu commemorate Kartini Day with call for end to violence against women

Pembebasan - April 22, 2017

Aprianto Simon, Palu – Scores of students from the Women's Struggle Front (FPP) commemorated Kartini Day in the South Sulawesi city of Palu on Friday April 21 with a free speech forum and long-march around the Nusantara-Talise pavilion.

The front is made up of several organisations namely the Tadulako University Student Executive Bodies (BEM) from the faculties of agriculture and economics, the Association of Sociology Students (Himasos), the Association of Agro-technology Students (Himagrotek), the Association of Sociology and Anthropology Students (Himsa), the Vanguard of the People's Movement for Democracy (Gelora Demokrasi) and the Action-Study Circle for Indonesian Democracy (LS ADI).

The action began at 3.30pm. Demonstrators brought organisational flags, banners and pamphlets on which was written "End sexual violence and discrimination against women". Several protesters also had an opportunity to give political speeches and present poems.

The free speech forum by the FPP had the aim of again reminding and informing society, particularly the residents of Palu city about the importance of reflecting on the struggle of R.A. Kartini in fighting for women's rights to education and healthcare.

And it has not just been Kartini that has fought for the women's movement but there have been many other women figures and organisations that have taken part in the fight against the injustices suffered by women.

This is because in the current period many people have forgotten Kartini, forgotten her spirit and ideals, forgotten the Indonesian nation's struggle and it's heroes who fought against oppression.

In a speech one of the participants, Dandi Putra Perdana said, "There are so many cases of discrimination and violence against women that have not been able to be resolved, just for example the assault on a Faculty of Education and Teacher Training (FKIP) student that has yet to be resolved and appears to have been covered up by the Tadulako University rectorate, or the recent assault on a female labour activist by police in Tangerang [West Java]. These cases of discrimination portray how incompetent the police are in enforcing the law, the [root] cause of this discrimination is the patriarchal mindset and culture that is still implanted in people's minds who think women are weak. This is the reason we are making our voices heard so that we, as aware students, should erode cultural values such as this".

The FPP made eight demands, namely: ratify the law on the elimination of sexual violence, end discrimination against women in all spheres of life, provide menstrual and maternal leave for women, provide equality for men and women in the workplace, abolish contract labour and outsourcing, fully investigate all cases of sexual violence against women, provide equal rights to men and women in the legislator and provide free education and abolish the Single Education Fee (UKT).

The Kartini Day free speech forum ended at around 5.30pam after which the participants gathered to evaluate the action.


Raden Ajeng Kartini was an Indonesian regent's daughter during the Dutch colonial period who, through her letters home, outlined her dreams of a better life for women. She died aged 25 a few days after giving birth to her first child. A variety of myths have made the original Kartini a nationalist hero and feminist symbol. Hari Kartini (Kartini Day, April 21) is a public holiday dedicated to the memory of the turn-of-the-century hero.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service. The original title of the report was "Front Perjuangan Perempuan Peringati Hari Kartini dengan Aksi".]

Source: http://koranpembebasan.org/2017/04/front-perjuangan-perempuan-peringati-hari-kartini-dengan-aksi/.

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