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Jakarta Post

Rights activists concerned with lack of safe public areas for women

  • Aman Rochman

    The Jakarta Post

Malang, East Java   /   Mon, March 5, 2018   /   07:15 pm
Rights activists concerned with lack of safe public areas for women Standing for their rights: Women's rights activists stage a peaceful rally to commemorate International Women's Day in Malang, East Java, on March 5. (JP/Aman Rochman)

A lack of safe public spaces for women was among issues highlighted by dozens of women’s rights activists taking part in a march held to mark International Women’s Day at the Malang Monument Square in East Java on Monday.

Rally coordinator Maryam Jameelah said that during the event, activists had called on local administrations to play greater roles to ensure the safety and security of women who used public facilities.

“Public areas must be supported by adequate street lighting for the sake of women’s safety,” she said.

Maryam said marches were held in 12 cities across Indonesia to mark Women’s Day.

They were Bandung in West Java, Denpasar in Bali, Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Lampung, Malang in East Java, Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Salatiga in East Java, Serang in Banteng, Sumba in NTT, Surabaya in East Java, Tondano in North Sulawesi and Yogyakarta.

“Policies on women’s protection are different in each area,” said Maryam.

Seeking safer places: Women's rights activists call on the government to ensure women's safety and security in public spaces during the 2018 Women's March in Malang, East Java, on March 5.Seeking safer places: Women's rights activists call on the government to ensure women's safety and security in public spaces during the 2018 Women's March in Malang, East Java, on March 5. (JP/Aman Rochman)

Malang Women Crisis Center (WCC) coordinator Sri Wahyuni said the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence against women in Malang was high.

From January to March, the WCC Malang received 21 reports of sexual harassment and violence against women, which occurred both in domestic and public spheres.

“Public spaces are not safe for women. Local administrations must improve facilities so women can be more comfortable and safer in carrying out activities in public,” said Sri. (ebf)