Violence against women remains rampant in Indonesia

A person dressed as Darth Vader from the Star Wars movie franchise takes part in the 2018 Women's March rally in Jakarta on March 3, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 March 2018
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Violence against women remains rampant in Indonesia

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women, or Komnas Perempuan (KP), recorded last year an increase in violence against women, mainly in private domain, by 25 percent from 259,150 reported cases in 2016 to 348,447 in 2017.
A KP commissioner, Thaufiek Zulbahary, told Arab News that the commission also recorded a rising trend of incest and cyber-based violence against women, in which women fell victim to bogus work recruitment, cyber harassment, malicious distribution, online defamation and infringement of their privacy, among others.
“Cyber-based violence has emerged massively but there’s a lack of reporting and handling of the cases. Cyber-based violence degrades women’s lives. They can fall victim to it more than once and the case affects them for the rest of their life,” Zulbahary told Arab News.
The KP released its annual report on violence against women on March 8 every year since 2001 in conjunction with the International Women’s Day. The commission recorded cases of violence against women that occur at private, community and state level.
“Cases of abuse against women are increasing in varied forms while response from the authorities remains slow. The trend also shows that the perpetrators are those in the productive age bracket,” Zulbahary said.
Another KP commissioner, Mariana , told Arab News that husbands being abusive to their wives constitute the largest part of the reported cases occurring in private domain, with 5,167 cases, followed by 2,227 cases of violence against daughters or young girls and 1,873 cases of abusive dates.
The report also recorded 1,210 cases of incest committed by older males.
Human trafficking cases involving women tricked into bogus recruitment by men in their community also marked violence against women at community level.
Most of these women were lured into recruitment with the promise to work as a migrant worker in neighboring Malaysia or Middle Eastern countries, where domestic workers from Indonesia are in high demand, despite a government-imposed moratorium on placement of Indonesian domestic workers to 21 countries in the Middle East since 2015 following a string of abuse cases of Indonesian migrant workers by their employers.
Tyas Weningsih Putri was a victim of trafficking when she tried her luck to work in a bird’s nest cultivation factory in Malaysia. It was her second time to work as a migrant worker in Malaysia so she was able to sense that something was wrong when her local ID bears an address that is different with the location of the factory where she worked.
She told Arab News that she did not receive the 900 ringgit salary that was promised to her and when the police raided the factory in March 2017, she wasn’t immediately freed but had to endure another two months in jail on immigration violation charges. She was freed in May and had returned to her hometown in Kendal, Central Java now.
The KP urged the Parliament to pass the Violence Against Women Bill into a law while ensuring it has a gender perspective of human rights and protection to victims.
“The police also has to start thorough documentation on femicides so they can have a map on what causes the problem and determine steps to prevent and deal with the cases,” said KP Deputy Chairwoman Yuniyanti Chuzaifah.


Pakistan and China push for peace in Afghanistan

Updated 15 December 2018
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Pakistan and China push for peace in Afghanistan

  • Trilateral talks also focused on boosting trust and security between the three countries
  • FM Qureshi extends the olive branch for a new chapter with Kabul

KABUL: Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China held a trilateral meeting in Kabul on Saturday where they discussed measures to boost political trust and join hands for a regional war against militancy which would facilitate the Afghan peace process, even as Taliban insurgents stepped up their attacks.

The meeting was the second one to take place after Beijing had initiated the talks in December last year in order to ease the rising tension between Kabul and Islamabad whose relationship is highly critical for Beijing’s growing economic and political clout in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In recent years, China has deepened its economic and political ties with Afghanistan and is actively using its influence to bring the two South Asian neighbors closer.

Pakistan has long been accused by Afghanistan and the US of providing safe havens for Afghan Taliban leaders, by funding and arming them since their ouster in late 2001.

Islamabad has denied the allegations.

After the meeting on Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi pushed for a new chapter with Afghanistan, adding that the ongoing blame game would not help in achieving peace or building trust between Islamabad and Kabul.

He said that the Daesh and militants from Central Asia and eastern China were against the peace process in Afghanistan, urging for joint efforts to tackle the extremism.

“I am here to engage with Afghanistan. Let us not stick to the past and stop pointing a finger on Pakistan… I came here to build trust and bridges and reach peace and stability. Any improvement in Afghanistan will benefit Pakistan,” Qureshi told a news conference.

The three countries signed an agreement pushing for joint efforts in the war against militancy with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, saying that the coming weeks and months will be highly crucial in evaluating Pakistan’s intentions and its role in supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Officials from both Afghanistan and Pakistan have held a number of meetings in recent years to mend bilateral ties and work towards measures to fight militancy. However, those talks were an exercise in futility as they were followed by the two countries trading accusations and resorting to the blame game. Rabbani said that “the time has come (for Pakistan) to practically show with genuine steps” that it will fulfill its pledges.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described both Afghanistan and Pakistan as its strategic partners, adding that China had great political trust in the two. He asked both the countries to resolve their problems in a peaceful manner and backed the US’ efforts to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, urging the militant group to get involved in the process. 

“We support Afghanistan and Pakistan’s efforts for peace and we call on the Taliban to join the peace process. Cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China is important to bring peace to Afghanistan.” 

The three sides emphasized the importance of regional connectivity and economic development between them. 

Saturday’s meeting took place at a time when Washington is stepping up its efforts to hold talks with the Taliban by meeting with regional powers on how to end the US war in Afghanistan which began more than 17 years ago.

Mohammad Nateqi, a former Afghan diplomat, said that a deciding factor for Saturday’s agreement to work depended on building mutual trust between Pakistan and Afghanistan given the fact that similar conversations have taken place between Kabul and Islamabad earlier as well, without bearing any fruit.

However, at the same time, he was optimistic about positive results, reasoning that the situation had changed when compared to the past with the US increasing its efforts for talks with the Taliban.

“Such meetings can be helpful in mending ties between the countries and in helping them come closer to achieving a peace plan,” he told Arab News.