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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)
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.