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Women activists widen their network and rally support to ratify the Sexual Violence Eradication Bill. A number of women ulema made a breakthrough by organizing the first Indonesian Ulema Women’s Congress in 2017 to support the elimination of sexual violence, promotion of gender equality, and prevention of child marriage. Intensifying its online campaign, the women activists seek support from influential mass organizations, some of whom are still at odds with the activists.
THE Sexual Violence Eradication Bill returned to the national legislation limelight on 23 March. This is the fruit of the labor of women’s rights activists who have been tireless in realizing legislation to protect women from sexual violence. But the struggle is far from over. Since it was first proposed by the National Commission on Violence against Women in 2012, the draft regulation has been in limbo. After entering the national legislation program in 2016, the bill remained unpassed. Women’s rights activists have gone through a winding road to convince the House of Representatives and the government so that the draft regulation can be immediately discussed and passed.
Supporters of Sexual Violence Eradication Bill are tirelessly lobbying political party leaders and parliament members. They mapped the legislators who could help accelerate the deliberation and passing of the bill into law. The activists switched their approach from hard-line to political lobbies. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is still standing in their way.
Deliberations regarding the Sexual Violence Eradication Bill encountered problems while at the government level because 102 crucial articles disappeared. Women activists are trying to convince the government to put these articles back in, as in the original draft they formed the core of the bill.
Workers renovating Sarinah building last year found a relief from Sukarno’s era, 3 x 12 meters in size, hidden in the building’s electrical room. The relief depicts the atmosphere of the old market: women in traditional kebaya strolling the market and men in conical hats carrying wares. Records of the relief could not be found, leading to speculation from enthusiasts and experts regarding the origin of the relief and how it was abandoned in the building's generator room. Was the relief deliberately hidden by the New Order because it was deemed 'leftist' or did someone decide the depictions of the relief did not fit with the more modernized Sarinah?
Tempo interviewed children of famous artists from the 1960s to explore the possibilities of who made the relief. Tempo also interviewed the minister of manpower during the New Order era, Abdul Latief, who was an employee at Sarinah at the beginning of its establishment.
Land of the Rakyat Penunggu customary community in the Langkat Regency of North Sumatra was taken over for the sugar self-sufficiency project carried out by Perkebunan Nusantara II. Residents were intimidated and promised lands and employment in order to go along with the plan.
Some major infrastructure development plans of President Joko Widodo, as described in over a dozen Strategic National Projects in several provinces, have been accused of leading to some human rights violations. Land conflicts could have been avoided if the government did not place the economic agenda above the fundamental rights of the populace.
President Joko Widodo once again received the red card from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) for failing to live up to his human rights commitments.
NUTMEG, the main commodity of the Banda Naira islands, had its heyday in the 16th century. The Dutch, through the Dutch East-Indies Company (VOC), even sent 37 perkeniers (plantation owners) from the Netherlands to Banda to manage the plantations, in order to cover the nutmeg monopoly supply for Europe’s market. Only one descendant remains of the 16th-century perkeniers: Pongky Erwandi van den Broeke, who manages 12.5 hectares of land. He was the victim of unrest in 1999.
For over three decades, the tradition of planting upland rice had disappeared in the villages of Samo, Posi-Posi, and Gumira, all located on the outer edges of Halmahera Island in North Maluku. The people of those three villages prefer to buy rice to be consumed as a variation rather than take the effort to grow it themselves. Some left this practice after going to work for a lumber company which cut down forests in their area, and they began using their daily wages to purchase rice. Others initially stopped farming rice to raise funds to rebuild a mosque which had collapsed in their community. The PakaTiva Association, with the support of the EcoNusa Foundation, has been working to revive this tradition, not only for local food self-sufficiency, but also for the purpose of maintaining the forest. Tempo joined the Maluku Expedition, an activity organized by the EcoNusa Foundation, which among other things visited those three areas.