What does the strengthening of conservative voices in Indonesia mean for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression? What part is this debate likely to have in the 2019 elections? Dr Jemma Purdey discusses these issues and more with Dr Sharyn Graham Davies in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, demanding that the government promote gender equality in law making and public policy and take action to eradicate violence against women. Like similar marches across the globe, the event featured many powerful and humorous signs.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein last week issued a stern warning about Indonesia’s plans to revise its Criminal Code. Tim Mann looks at Hussein’s recent visit to Indonesia and questions whether the country’s engagement in the UN rights process is just window dressing.

The past two weeks have seen politicians accelerate efforts to pass long discussed reforms to the Criminal Code (KUHP) to criminalise same-sex relations. Naila Rizqi Zakiah writes that while the focus has been on homosexuality, proposed revisions are much broader, and seek to criminalise all extramarital sex, regardless of gender.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a controversial challenge to the Criminal Code that sought to outlaw same sex sexual relations. Hendri Yulius writes that the decision is a reminder that the state is far from uniform in its response to issues of gender and sexuality.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a petition from the Family Love Alliance (AILA) that sought to criminalise consensual sex outside marriage. Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun writes that AILA’s petition was an attempt to bypass the normal process of formulating criminal law, and could have had serious consequences for the rights of citizens.

How has digital media created spaces for a diversity of views on issues important to Indonesian women, including sexuality and religion? What does an Indonesian ‘feminist’ publication look like? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues and more with Devi Asmarani, chief editor of online magazine Magdalene.

Over the past month, a number of dramatic arrests have brought LGBT Indonesians back into the spotlight. Hendri Yulius writes that the publication of these “extreme” episodes is necessary to perpetuate the idea of a moral panic, and to serve a justification for the wars against LGBT people to continue.

Indonesia had its human rights record scrutinised under the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review process for the third time last week. Dr Ken Setiawan takes a look at the concerns raised and examines the prospects for meaningful change in promotion and protection of human rights on the ground.

Following Kartini Day, on 21 April, Talking Indonesia looks at the state of the women’s movement in Indonesia. Dr Jemma Purdey speaks to Dr Intan Paramaditha about why sexuality and the female body continue to be sites for contestation and national anxiety, and how the movement is responding to the “conservative turn” in mainstream Islam.

In our final post for 2016, we send off this rather depressing year by taking a look back at some of the expert commentary and analysis published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again in mid-January.

While Indonesia has seen a decline in state violence since the collapse of the New Order, non-state violence, particularly toward minorities, appears to have increased. This has contributed to restriction of civil liberties, and poses challenges for democratic reform. In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Ken Setiawan chats to Dr Budi Hernawan about the shrinking space for civil liberties.