On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, marching from the Sarinah intersection to the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta.


Organisers had a list of eight demands for the Indonesian government, including the promotion of gender equality in law making and public policy, fulfilment of women’s reproductive rights and elimination of gender-based violence, eradication of discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Indonesians, and increased representation and participation of women in politics.


Many of the posters and banners at the event referenced the draft revised criminal code, commonly called the RKUHP or RUU KUHP. The majority of the crowd was young, pleasing older feminists who have at times expressed concern that talented young feminists were not becoming involved in the women’s movement in large numbers.


President Joko Widodo responded to the event in an Instagram post, saying that Indonesia needed strong women for its development.


The march was initiated by the Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group, and supported by prominent women’s organisations, including the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), Migrant Care, Kapal Perempuan, the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) and the Women’s Legal Aid Institute (LBH Apik).


Women’s Marches are being held in multiple cities across Indonesia to coincide with International Women’s Day, on 8 March.


Participants making their way down Jalan Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Photo by Tantowi Anwari from the Association of Journalists for Diversity (Sejuk).


A selection of signs at the march, reading “I was not created from your rib, you were created in my womb”, “Reject the sloppy RKUHP” and “My body, my choice (and none of your business)”. Photo by Tantowi Anwari.


Women’s rights activist Ruby Kholifah addressing the crowd. Photo by Tantowi Anwari.


One of the participants made an appeal to Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, who is known for blowing up illegal foreign fishing vessels. “Ibu Susi, please sink the sloppy RKUHP.” Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.


“Excuse me, excuse me, the revolution is coming. If [you] block the way, things could get dangerous.” Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.

Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.


“Migrant workers are not commodities.” Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.


“We march for our LGBT friends who have been evicted from their homes.” Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.


“Do you think we don’t exist?” – Women with disability. Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.


“Embrace, don’t blame, victims of violence.” Photo by Tunggal Pawestri.



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