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Becoming a Women: A Report on the 16 Days Campaign 2011
16 Days Anti Violence Against Women Campaign
Become a Woman Without Worries Report
By: Solidaritas Perempuan
Becoming a woman without worries became the message of positive campaign this year by targeting college students as agent of change to stop violence acts against women. The 16 days campaign of “Become a Woman Without Worries” opened on November 29th, 2011 with Parade and National Action on commemorating 16 Days Anti Violence Against Women Campaign. On that action, Solidaritas Perempuan brought the issue of impoverishment and violence against women as result of debt funding from ADB and World Bank, and pressing Indonesian government to immediately out of ADB and World Bank. Beside on national level, this action also performed on 7 SP communities, which were Aceh, Jabotabek, Yogyakarta, Sumbawa, Kendari, Makassar, and Palu. Action in Jakarta was performed on two locations; the first spot was performed via parade by marching from Indosat Horse Statue on to State Capital (10.00 – 12.00), and then the second spot of action was performed during mid-day (13.00 – 14.00) in front of IRM (Indonesia Resident Mission) ADB office at Jakarta. Action participants that in around 50 persons – mostly were grass root women that resided on Bojong Gede and Tanjung Priuk areas – were voicing for yells and oration about the rejection to ADB and World Bank, and the oppression experienced by women as result of projects and policies that funded by ADB and World Bank.
On the action in front of state capital, mass action voicing their protest, statement and experiences that experienced by women since the inclusion of Indonesia into ADB and World Bank. ADB and World Bank throughout debt project funding in Indonesia and also technical assistance for policy changing such as water privatization policy and Land Procurement for Development Draft already made Indonesia took a further step away from protection and fulfillment of women’s rights. “Beside the project that clearly destroying women’s livelihood, there’s so many ADB and World Bank that packed as if for women’s interest – such as Madrasah Education Development Project, funding for Direct Cash Assistance (Bantuan Tunai Langsung – BLT) and Remittance project for women migrant workers - were in fact increase gender injustice such as violence, discrimination, multi-burden, and marginalization that led into women impoverishment. Meanwhile, on the second spot – in front of IRM ADB office – 50 mass action stated their protest and disappointment related to the approval of regional road development project on November 24th, 2011. Regional Road Development Project is a debt project valued of USD 180 million that has the potency of massive impact, particularly related to community eviction on the project areas – which were on West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, East Java and Central Java. Eventhough there’s so many rejection from civil community in Indonesia, and found out so many violations against terms and conditions on ADB policies such as Protection Regulation, Public Communication Policy and Gender and Development Policy, however this project still approved by the Board of Directors of ADB.
Major problems that found out on this project was the absence of recognition to indigenous communities rights, meaningless consultation, lack of information related to social, economy and cultural status of women and lacks of document in Indonesian language that provided to affected citizens.
The series then followed up by We Can International flash mob on November 30th, 2011. Throughout various activities such as flash mob, dancing together and ended with declaration, We Can Indonesia invited various groups to contribute on the campaign of globally stopping violence act against women. Change can be started from the attitude, behaviors and action. It’s about time every individual, woman and man, became agents of change with the attitude that care more and not allowing violence against women actions persist. This was the important message of social movement of We Can Indonesia, that creatively and fun stated on Blok M Square, South Jakarta and participated by 30 participants. Article related to this activity then published on mainstream media such as Kompas.com with title of “Fight Violence Against Women, From Inside”  which already read by 824 reader with one comment and shared 21 times via Facebook.
Other activity was the media briefing on December 1st, 2011. Coincided with World Aids Day, Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) explored the issues of women circumcision as form of sexual abuse that in fact legitimated by state regulation to support medicalization of woman circumcision. Medicalization of woman circumcision by health workers actually prohibited via Circular Letter about the Prohibition of Woman Circumcision Medicalization for Health Worker Number HK.00.07.1.3.1047a that was released by Director General of Public Health, Ministry of Health on 2006. It’s only that 4 years later, Regulation of Minister of Health No. 1636/MENKES/PER/XI/2010 was published on the previous year. This regulation regulated medicalization of woman circumcision practices and by law valued higher compared to the previously released Circular Letter. Based on SP study, this regulation was issued in hurry so there’s legal flaws that can be seen on every element on the regulation.
That media briefing was held on the office of Solidaritas Perempuan and was attended by 5 media mainstream journalists, which were 2 person from Metro TV, 1 from The Jakarta Post, 1 from Tribun News, and 1 from Jurnal Nasional. Question asked by the journalists was related to negative impacts of a girl circumcision to her life during as she grow old as adult, and SP findings and studies on Aceh and South Sulawesi related to women circumcision that still performed and caused pain and damaging women medically, socially, culturally and politically. Women‘s loss caused by women circumcision then affected to the relation of husband and wife on the household. Physical violence always started from sexual abuse and sexual abuse was based from sexual pleasure that cannot be achieved by a wife. This issue then captured by the media on several articles and then published online. That news were in title of, “Woman Circumcision Violated Sexual Rights” that was published by Indonesia Today, and shared to 4 social medias, article with title of “Nasarudin: Circumcision for Woman was Personal Matters”  which already read by 36 people and released on Jurnal Nasional. This news talks about two perspectives of women from Solidaritas Perempuan who shouted that women circumcision, even as symbolic ritual must be stopped, and Nasarudin Umar, a man from Ministry of Religious Affair whom stated that women circumcision is a painful practice and denied that it was a symbolic ritual that must be performed. Other news was an article in title of “Woman that Circumcised Experience Difficulty to Have Orgasm”  that was published by Tribun Lampung and already read by 303 readers. Besides that, article with title of ”Circumcized, 80 percent Women Felt Unsatisfied” was published on Tribunnews and already shared in total of 55 times via Facebook and 9 times via Twitter. Other Tribunnews article, ”Women Circumcision Is Part of Violence”  was already shared 28 times via Facebook and 11 times via Twitter. Tribunnews also published article with title of ”SP Held 16 Days of Anti Violence Against Women” that already shared twice via Facebook. Other two news that was published online via Jurnal Nasional were ”Solidaritas Perempuan: Vulnerable to Infection, Stop Women Circumcision”  that already read by 34 readers and ”Solidaritas Perempuan Criticized Women Circumcision”  which read by 33 readers.
Besides that, SP also performed media analysis during November that published via Kompasiana as citizen journalism blog which was on the article in title of ”Nikita Raped by Image”  that read by 1235 readers and commented 19 times. Besides that, article in title of ”Sex and Wife Obligations”  already read by 999 readers and commented twice. Other article was that ”(Maybe) Better to Become A Stripper”  was read by 162 people and commented 6 times. Article in title of ”Irony: Suicide on Anti Violence Day”  was read by 75 readers and article in title of ”Hypocrite Example: Bikini Incident Became Popular”  was read by 709 readers and commented 7 times, and also considered useful and liked on Facebook.
Not only that, SP also performed radio talk via program “Student Speak Out to Stop Violence Against Women” on December 2nd, 2011. This program talked about the message for college students about the importance of stopping violence against women. This program was the form of collaboration between SP and RTC UI FM. This Students Radio of University of Indonesia was managed fully by UI students so that this radio that located on channel 107.9 FM can provide benefits to the people of Jakarta. This radio with tagline of “Your Student’s Radio in Town” and have the education and entertainment values then became perfect space for students to share ideas, thoughts, and values about the importance of stopping violence against women. During session “Afternoon Broadcast”, three college students were present on the studio, which were Anthropology student, post graduate Anthropology student, Economic Faculty student, and two broadcasters with the background of Chinese Literature and Psychology of University of Indonesia that also shared the importance of anti-violence against women values with tagline of “GIRL POWER”. These five students then articulated the message of anti-violence against women with their own popular language.
SP also held movie playing “The Day I Became A Woman” on the Solidaritas Perempuan office on December 5th, 2011. This activity participated by 10 persons, where amongst them were 4 college students present to discuss this movie with their own women knowledge and experiences, along with Irwan Matua Hidayana, a male feminist that worked as lecturer on Anthropology FISIP UI and also a researcher on Center of Gender and Sexuality Study FISIP UI. The movie discussion was actually became the entry point for forum to share stories that were so personal about their sexuality that women sexuality, since they were kid until they grow up as adult, were never free, and even became more imprisoned when they enter post menstruation age. Women’s life is never be free from values and considered as community symbol. That’s why women’s freedom became so expensive. Other participant told about her story how her parents shared values and messages to her after she had her first period. This story then became the beginning of other stories that women sexuality myth sometimes can control women’s body, however because this story sometimes considered as sharing medias, then the women that brave enough usually use this media to share stories or complaints related to her reproduction health. Different things were stated by male student. He talked that male space usually used to compete and compare of their genitalia instead of to complain. He also stated that “wet dreams” as marker that man entering reproduction age was often ignored and even never discussed on his family. Man on this age actually confused, where father that placed himself as respected head of family and mother that playing role as protector but also has no same experience with that man so in the end he will be too shy to talk about it. If woman usually talk about the period that was late, leucorrhoea, etc., man instead was too taboo to talk about his sexual dysfunction or sexual disease he suffered. This discussion then ended with statements that mostly man did not realize his sexuality role as a burden on patriarchal structure.
Discussion about sexuality wasn’t finished yet. Discussion then continued on the FISIP UI campus area. With title of “Sexuality and Islam”, this discussion discussed Ziba Mir_Husseini’s paper about Penalizing Sexuality: Adultery Law as Violence Against Women on Islamic context. This discussion that held in collaboration of SP and FISIP UI Center of Gender and Sexuality was participated by 30 persons, in which 23 amongst them where college students from various backgrounds. This discussion was guided by Neng Dara Affiah (member of Solidaritas Perempuan and Komnas Perempuan commissioner) and Guntur Romli (Muslim feminist writer and curator of Salihara community). Both considered experts of sexuality and Islam and became the right person to share about the mistake of sexuality dogma that already inculcated since childhood and together analyze about Ziba’s point of view of women sexuality, human rights and law. Marriage amongst them led into a writings that assessed well by Guntur Romli and also considered sharp on the form of dialogue between feminism and Islam by Neng Dara Affiah.
An anthropology student thought that Ziba that work as Anthropologist was nowehere to be seen on her writings that was in fact very textual. This paper is not showing any context and role of institutions on adultery law on patriarchal construction especially on Middle East, and even more on Indonesia. He considered this as the differences in context between Middle East community and Indonesian. If Middle East people wanted the Mahdi so they can re-establish world lead by Islamic caliph, then Indonesian people only need Ratu Adil whom came not from Middle East. This paper is a little bit forcing that adultery law as meta-culture and Human Rights as supra-culture, often does not apply to the lowest level of culture. This is then what made religion and law only became merely trend but not adhered by many. This student also stated that paper with dominant abstract language has no ontological status whatsoever. Whereas, if this paper can be brought down to earth and became a yellow book, then its ontological status became clear and has its chastity values so that pesantren as formal Islamic education institution not becoming a space for knowledge repetition but instead as knowledge reproduction.
Other discussion participant argued that this paper as knowledge source was missing the structural dimension. This paper maybe contained cultural dimension, religion, and state but unable to explain why all three of them then caused injustice. If Guntur Romli said that Ziba included the element of cultural strategy for advocacy against adultery law then actually the structural strategy was in fact scattered everywhere so deconstruction itself not becoming a habit that obliged on social change.
Other student was questioning about women position on Ziba’s paper and how Ziba articulated women on the language written on her paper. Was woman as victim of violence of adultery law or as a empowered subject. Male student that came from Technic Faculty questioned about the context of adultery law on the polygamy marriage. Other students doubted whether reconstruction of adultery law is actually brought change to women status. Was the significance of that legal reconstruction became the main point compared to women empowerment that is very grass root. He also disagree if it stated that hijab is considered as product of women limitation because the hijab considered as choices of faith product that can protects women from various media construction about women beauty image and perfection of women’s body. Student from Law Faculty argued that adultery law practices are often not on the punishment but instead on the safeguarding of honor itself, and there also student from Economy Faculty that questioning about the inputs of two speakers on this Ziba’s paper discussion. Neng stated that Ziba was putting Human Rights forward as something that was prioritized by using symbol and values present on Islamic tradition. However, Ziba forgotten that many of Islamic thinkers and experts and its religious leaders did not understand and were unfamiliar with the concept of Human Rights. Articulation of human right that was along her substantial fiqh explanation was not used by Ziba so it looks as if so biased to the western. Neng disagree this paper out of Indonesian Islamic context. She said that finding that still relevant to Indonesian context was her study about marriage. According to Guntur Romli, this paper has no critiques to be advocated. This paper successfully bridge the feminist and Islam issues, it’s just its too soft. This is what caused why Guntur finally found apologetic element from this paper that according to him not too courageous and less liberal.