[Marxism] International Women's Day in Jakarta

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Mar 16 14:55:33 MST 2004

I just received this: 


Thousands of women poured into the streets in Jakarta  for the
commemoration of International women day, March 8, 2004. This rally was
organized by Pokja Perempuan Mahardika (Independent women Working group).
The main issues in this IWD are Oppose neoliberalism, militarism and end
the patriarchy. 
Independent women working group is the embryo of women organization which
try to organized poor and oppressed women in fighting for their rights.  It
generated by FNPBI (National Front for Indonesian Worker struggle), STN
(National Farmer union) LMND (Student National League for democracy), PRD
(People’s Democratic Party) , LS – ADI (Group of student for action and

This rally were participated by the peasant women of Cimanggis and  50 of
their children. The children are not able to enter the school. There are no
education and health facility provided in their neighborhood. The only
school available are the school which established by the democratic
movement and only two teacher are available. 

The protestors were gathered in front of Hotel Indonesia and yield the
Slogan “ Revoke martial law in Aceh, give the democracy back to Aceh.”; The
people united - defeating Mega-Hamsah – Akbar tanjung  (President Megawati
and vice President hamsah Haz, Akbar Tanjung represent the ruminant power
of new order / Suharto dictatorship) ;  The people united – opposed the
imperialism-build the people’s government”. “ Free education and health –
Now !

The protestor than march to the ministry of defense office. They carry the
poster ; “Stop killing people in Aceh, “ Stop discrimination on women”. 

Reihan, The leader of ORPAD (Aceh women Organization for democracy) state
that since the martial law implemented in Aceh, thousand of women live in
the misery. Hundreds are misplaced, living in indecent tents, and hundreds
become a victim of sex abused. There will be no democracy in Aceh as long
as the military occupied the Aceh. That’s why we are here demanding them to
responsible, force them to withdraw the troops from Aceh and demand
democratic rights of the people of Aceh to campaign the alternative and
determine their own lives. 

The protestor then march to the People’s welfare ministry than to the
presidential palace. The children of the farmer perform their choir and
sing a lot of struggle song for the audience. On her Speech Dita Indah sari
The coordinator of Perempuan Mahardika asking the participants whether it
correct that this is our nation? If it is our nation, what is the rights of
the Megawati government to privatized the water. What is their rights to
seize the farmer from the land. What is our answer if they keep rob what we
have now? And the participant responded enthusiastically “ resist”. 

This mass action also livened up by the children choir who present the
struggle song. Another performances were presented by the women dancer who
try to present the story about the oppression toward women as well as the
effort to defeat the oppression. 

The mass action were not only taken place in Jakarta, but in another place
of Indonesia. There were the rally in Jogjakarta, West, east and central
Java, North Sulawesi etc. The women in all region are fighting to defeat
neoliberalism, militarism and struggle to end the patriarchy. 


Statement released by POKJA PEREMPUAN MAHARDIKA-
Working Group For Independent women Organization
On march 8, 2004

Women unite!!

Resist Foreign imperialist, resist neoliberalism, GOLKAR, MILITERISM,

It almost six years since the process of reform,  the major aims of
people’s movement in overthrowing new order dictatorship; the improvement
on democracy as well as people’s living condition showing no improvement.
In fact, in many aspects like people’s welfare and the abolish of
militarism are deteriorated. In the era of “reform” the women were not gain
any benefit at all, in fact all aspect of lives are worsening. 

Because of the crisis women become the victim of massive lay off , women
are registered as biggest member of the unemployment. Moreover the
government of President Megawati – Vice president Hamsah has produce
numerous draconian policies to serve the interest of foreign capital ; cut
to subsidize, privatization, market liberalization has deepening the
poverty of the Indonesian women , both in the city and the rural. 

This situation mobilized more women into the informal sector and increase
the number of migrant workers not to mention the poor women who trap into
the prostitution. While the migrant workers contribute to the national
economy, government do not provide any security for them, Many of migrant
workers become the victim of violence and the sexual abuse. 

The massive attack of neoliberalism make more difficult for women to get
the chance to work. The cut to subsidize lead the rise of education fee,
and again more women could not access it. How this country will be develop
if government left the majority of the people without education.  

Cut to the health subsidize make the cost of health service become much
more expensive, as a result majority  of the people could not access it.
The cut to subsidize also lead to the rise on the basic goods, malnutrition
are spread in the poor people, in particular women and children. This
factor also contribute the cause of the high figure of the mortality rate. 

The abortion are criminalized , lead to massive spread of the illegal
abortion services, and to be obvious it is unhygienic abortion. The option
of abortion or to carry on their pregnancy, supposed to be the free choice
for the women and the state must provide the health facility. Save and free
facility as well as access to the other health facility and nutrition for
the baby. 

All the fact has proven that the women are the victim of new imperialism.
Imperialism which get the fully support from the government and other
Indonesia political power. The imperialism and its agent: Megawati
government, other political power are the enemies of Indonesian women. They
must be defeated and eliminated. 

State’s militaristic-policy such as the martial law in Aceh has bring the
misery to the thousand of the women, they are misplace and live in tents,
bring the fear million of the people and kill hundreds of civilians. Now
tens of democratic activist are kidnapped and arrested illegally.  The case
of Human Rights violation previous military operation (1989-1997) or the
slaughter of progressive women in 1965 -1967 do not consider as a problem 
which need to be investigated. Militarism is women enemy

On contrary  Megawati government release a corrupted politician like Akbar
Tanjung who has rob the people’s money 40 billion rupiah. 

Moreover women must face all the discriminative-Social perspective which
try to be legalized, facilitated by the ruler in the name of tradition and
religion. Discrimination now exist in the family, workplace, political
institution and Society by maintain the social perspective as a old
heritage. These are waste of old civilization. The women are not allowed to
be state leader ; the discrimination as it state on  marital bill, 
discrimination on salary, criminalization of the abortion, criminalization
of  prostitute, the restriction for women to go outside at night promoted
to  be legalized in several regions (padang, Cianjur etc) are the example
or discrimination of the women. The act to put the women aside , such as
the act of Taliban regime in Afghanistan. All political power of support
this discrimination are the enemies of the women. 

In facing the momentum of the election 2004. we are, women , would not let
ourselves to be cheated. We have witnesses how all process and the
political party registered in the election 2004 are dominated by the women
enemies; Akbar Tanjung and Golkar, Megawati and PDIP. Hamsah haz and PPP
has become the instrument of the imperialism to oppressed the Indonesian
people – its mean it also oppressed . 

This is the time for women to resist ; 

1.	Demanding the rights of the people in general and women in particular :
free education fee, free health services, full salary on the leave
regarding the women reproduction, cheap housing, abortion clinic available
free and safety from the government
2.	Building the organization to fights for the rights of the women. 
3.	Unite with democratic movement to resist theimperialism and the agent ;
Akbar tanjung Golkar
4.	Unite with democratic movement resist all the political power that
support and sponsor the state terrorism which oppressed the women. 
5.	Unite with democratic movement to build new
government which free from those women enemy. The new government with the
program consistent to build the welfare of whole people. 

Free education and health , now!
Free - Healthy housing for people, now!
Creating job now!
The alliance with the imperialism. Are the enemy of women!
The alliance with golkar are the enemy of women!
The alliance with Megawati – Hamsah has, are the enemy of the women!
Patriarchy supporter are the enemy of the women!
Women united, build new government!

Jakarta, 8 March 2004

Dita Indah Sari

POKJA PEREMPUAN MAHARDIKA – (Working group of Independent women
FNPBI (National Front of Indonesian Workers Struggle),
PRD (People’s democratic Party), LMND (Student
National League for Democracy)LBHR (People’s Legal
Aids) LS- ADI (Group of student for action and
democracy), STN (Farmer’s national league) ORPAD (Aceh
Women Organization for Democracy), JMD (Student Network for democracy)

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