The Jakarta Post
The capital of Aceh province has imposed a partial curfew for women that it says will reduce sexual violence but which critics say is discriminatory, the Associated Press has reported.
Banda Aceh Mayor Illiza Sa'aduddin Djamal ordered venues including restaurants, sport centers, Internet cafes and tourist attractions not to serve women after 11 p.m. unless accompanied by their husbands or other male family members.
The directive, dated June 4, also prohibits women from working in such establishments after 11 p.m.
Aceh hews to fundamentalism more than other areas in the Muslim-majority nation, and Indonesia's secular central government granted it the right to implement a version of sharia in 2006 as part of a peace deal to end a separatist war. A religious police and court system have been established and the new restrictions on women are a further strengthening of sharia in the province.
Last year, Aceh lawmakers passed a law that punishes gay sex by public caning and subjects non-Muslims to strict interpretation of sharia. People convicted of gambling, adultery and drinking alcohol already face caning, as do women wearing tight jeans and men who skip Friday prayers.
Ninik Rahayu from the Indonesian Institute for Empowerment of Women and Children said Tuesday that the directive was discriminatory and contrary to Indonesia's constitution. She said the policy showed the inability of the local government to provide adequate protection for residents.
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