The Jakarta Post
In its previous term, the House of Representatives failed to pass a bill on the elimination of sexual violence even though it was included in its priority list.
However, hope was rekindled on Thursday when the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) and the government decided on 50 priority bills for the 2019-2024 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas), which includes the sexual violence bill.
“This is good news for us, but our hope is not only that it is included in the Prolegnas but that the bill is passed into law so it can protect and fulfill the rights of sexual violence victims,” Legal Resource Center for Gender Justice and Human Rights (LRC-KJHAM) operational head Witi Muntari told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The LRC-KJHAM is a member of the Service Provider Forum (FPL) for female victims of violence.
Activists such as Witi and victims have been waiting and fighting for three years for the House to pass the bill.
Meanwhile, Ratna Batara Munti, coordinator for the Network of Pro-Women's National Legislation Program (JKP3), said she appreciated the committee for including the bill on sexual violence elimination and a bill on housemaid protection in the Prolegnas.
"These two bills are very important. Every day, we keep seeing more victims, so it's becoming more and more urgent to pass them. We need more comprehensive legal protection,” she said.
Separately, in a text message sent to activists on Thursday morning, lawmaker and Baleg deputy chairman Rieke Diah Pitaloka from the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said she was glad that the two bills could be included in the Prolegnas.
“As part of our next step, these bills will be brought to a meeting of the House Steering Committee [Bamus]. Please pray [that] everything goes well until [the bills are] passed at the plenary meeting,” Rieke said.
Out of the 50 bills, 13 were initiated by the government, 35 by the House and two by the Regional Representatives Council (DPD).
By the end of the House’s 2014-2019 term on Oct. 1, the inauguration day of new House members, only four out of 55 bills in the 2019 Prolegnas had been passed into law, namely the Midwifery Law; Printed, Recorded and Digital Works Law; Hajj and Umrah Law; and the Science and Technology System Law.