The Women’s March on Washington on January 21 brought an estimated 500,000 people to the streets of the US capital and an estimated 4 million throughout America to protest to advocate not just for women’s rights but issues ranging from immigration and healthcare reform to LGBT rights and the cause of human rights in general. Sister marches throughout the rest of the US and the world have seen millions of protesters taking to the street to make their cause heard.
This Saturday, the Indonesian capital will add to that number with Women’s March Jakarta, which is starting at 9 am in Sarinah, Central Jakarta followed by a March to the National Palace.
— Women's March Jkt (@womensmarchjkt) February 28, 2017
The Women’s March on Washington might have been sparked by the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who is notorious for his sexist remarks, but it was a reaction to much larger and more systemic inequalities facing women and other minorities.
Indonesia certainly has many of those same problems as well, and others that are unique to our country. Women in Indonesia are still very vulnerable to gender-based violence, with Komnas Perempuan (the Indonesian Commission on Violence Against Women) documenting 321,752 cases of it in 2016 alone including rape, sexual abuse and harassment. Female genital cutting and virginity testing are still allowed by the government, a government which is also resisting efforts to implement better education for women and better protection for minorities, including LGBT individuals, due to fears of disturbing the country’s conservative cultural norms.
The organizers of the Women’s March Jakarta, which include individuals, feminist discussion groups, students, young people, activists, workers, and artists, plan on delivering eight demands for an equal society at the event, including demands for the government to protect tolerance and diversity while also developing programs to promote pro-gender justice and reduce gender-based violence.
Selamat pagi kawan2 pejuang! Pagi ini kita lanjut membahas tuntutan Women's March Jakarta ya. Karena ini 2 Maret, kita bahas tuntutan #2 pic.twitter.com/E4LtAVqsRL
— Women's March Jkt (@womensmarchjkt) March 2, 2017
In addition to the march to the National Palace, the event will also include speeches from the leaders of organizations like Komnas Perempuan and Aliansi Damai Tanpa Diskriminasi (Peace Without Discrimination Alliance), music performances by Sisters in Danger, Melanie Subono and Mutiara Malika, dances and poetry readings.
Those attending the march are asked to wear either pink or purple to show your solidarity with the cause. All people, men and women, are welcome to join.
Hopefully, we’ll see you all there!
Women’s March Jakarta
Saturday, March 4
Starting at Sarinah [Map] at 9 am, followed by a march to the National Palace where speeches and performances will take place starting at 10 am
For more information, you can go to the Facebook event page.