Indonesian slutwalk makes a point heard around the world


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They may live in the world's most populous Muslim nation, but that didn't stop 50 women in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city, from donning miniskirts and taking to the streets Sunday in protest against a public official's comments that women bring sexual assaults on themselves by dressing inappropriately.

Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo basically made these comments "after a woman was raped by four men including the driver of a public minibus last week": (The Australian)

Wear sensible clothes, don't wear 'inviting' clothes. You can imagine, if (a woman) wears short skirt and sits next to the driver, it could be 'inviting'

Some more:

“If you ride on an ojek and you wear short pants or a miniskirt, do not sit like a man, just side saddle. If you side saddle, there will be no problem,” Foke said.

Fauzi, whose term expires in 2012, said he had also instructed the Transportation Office to provide better security for passengers at night.

“They will have to provide security for passengers to prevent more crimes from happening,” he said.

The governor then backtracked and made an apology of sorts:

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo says he is sorry for telling women to avoid rape by wearing "provocative" clothing on public transportation.

“I apologize. My previous statement is prone to misunderstanding. I don’t mean at all to degrade women. I condemn the rapes; the perpetrators must be given severe punishment,” Fauzi said on Friday in Jakarta.

“We will improve security systems and measures. This will be our record,” he said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

But the damage was done and a slutwalk was organized for Sunday.

Some people are calling for Fauzi's head:

“Fauzi should just resign. The governor of Jakarta should not make such statements as it does not reflect good governance principles,” director of Jurnal Perempuan Foundation Mariana Amiruddin told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Mariana said that rape should be considered as a crime, no matter what triggered the act.

“By attributing rape to how women dress Fauzi is blaming the victims. This is like saying that if Fauzi drove the minivan, he would think that it would be all right for him to rape female passengers in mini skirts,” she said.

An interesting day in Jakarta.

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