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Women's March in Surabaya highlights discrimination against women
Detik News - March 4, 2018
The action, which was held for the first time in Surabaya, was an expression of concern and opposition to discrimination against women.
Although the action was not organised by any group or the government, those that took to the streets were genuinely concerned about articulating women's rights.
"This event was not held by an organisation, just volunteers from various groups in society. There were members of various communities, students and housewives", said Women's March action coordinator Poedjiati Tan (Poedji) when speaking with Detik.com at the Bungkul Park on Jl. Raya Darmo in Surabaya on Sunday March 4.
The 47-year-old woman added that there is a great deal of discrimination against women. Just take victims of rape for example, usually women feel afraid to report it to police because victims of rape are often stigmatised negatively by society.
"Usually, if they want to remarry, people will ask the bridegroom, 'Are you sure? She's been raped'. I deplore that such a thing can happen", said the Konde Community co-founder.
Poedji also said that the law still does not side with women. One example is in rape cases where men legally defend themselves with the justification that it was with "mutual consent", or judges who usually require witnesses to collaborate a rape. For Poedji this is wrong because rapes usually occur out of sight and there are no witnesses.
The effect of this is that women feel that they are victims for the rest of their lives and experience trauma and depression. In order to address this, during the action volunteers provided education to the public, particularly for women. This will be to furnish women with information and a little knowledge about how to defend themselves.
"First, we have to learn to shout as loudly as possible when faced with a threat", said Poedji who is also a Taekwondo martial arts teacher.
Poedji suggests women shout "thief" because this is more effective in attracting attention rather than calling for help. Poedji also recommends physically defending oneself by attacking the weak points on a man's body.
In addition to volunteers who took to the street carrying banners rejecting discrimination against women, the Women's March also held petition signings, speeches, declarations, self-defense classes and poetry readings. Merchandise was also on sale, the proceeds of which will go towards victims of sexual violence, particularly women. (iwd/iwd)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Women's March, Bentuk Kepedulian Terhadap Diskriminasi Perempuan.]
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