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Jakarta Post

Bengkulu drafts 'dress code' bylaw to curb sexual violence

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 20, 2017   /   03:33 pm
Bengkulu drafts 'dress code' bylaw to curb sexual violence Activists hold a protest on Jan. 29 at the Hotel Indonesia Traffic Circle, calling on the government and civil society to pay more attention to sexual crimes against children and women. (Tempo/Eko Siswono Toyudho)

The Bengkulu Provincial Legislative Council (DPRD) is drafting a regional bylaw on child protection and family resilience that stipulates proper dress and bans "sexy clothing" in public, reports

“The bylaw comes from concerns over sexual violence and rape against women and children in Bengkulu. This is one of our efforts to mitigate such cases,” the head of Commission IV overseeing health and education affairs, Muharamin, said on Tuesday.

Bengkulu caught national attention in 2016 for a sexual violence case. In the case, 14-year-old student YY was gang-raped and murdered by 14 male students in her hometown in Rejang Lebong regency. The case triggered a nationwide movement urging better protection of children and women, as well as a call to put an end to sexual violence.

Muharamin admitted that the draft contained a ban on wearing provocative clothing in public, especially for students. For example, female students should not wear skirt uniforms that rise above the knee or tight-fitting clothing. The draft bylaw also stipulates how people should dress in public spaces and at formal events.

Once the draft was completed, the Bengkulu DPRD would start the deliberations next year, he said, adding that most party factions and executives had indicated their approval of the draft.

The director of the PUPA community learning center for women and children in Bengkulu, Susi Handayani, criticized the draft bylaw, saying that it should not only stipulate a public dress code.

“Boys and girls must also be taught to respect each other. Female health reproduction must also be given attention,” she said.