x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Don't blame us for rape, say miniskirted Indonesian women

Protest after remarks by the Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo, who said on Friday that women must not wear revealing clothes, to avoid being raped or victimised.

Women in Jakarta wearing miniskirts and tight leggings hold posters to protest against the idea that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults. REUTERS / Stringer
Women in Jakarta wearing miniskirts and tight leggings hold posters to protest against the idea that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults. REUTERS / Stringer

JAKARTA // Scores of women and children wearing colourful miniskirts and tight leggings gathered in central Jakarta, outraged by a public official's comments that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults.

The protest was in response to remarks by the Indonesian capital city's governor Fauzi Bowo, who said on Friday that women must not wear revealing clothes to avoid being raped or victimised.

He quickly apologised, but his comments were publicised widely via local media and Twitter.

The rally on Sunday called on police and the Indonesian government to do more to protect women and help the victims of sexual assault.

Women carried placards saying "Don't tell us how to dress, tell them not to rape", and "My body is not porn, instead it's your dirty mind."

Tunggal Prawestu, a spokeswoman for the event organisers, said: "Public officials should remain silent rather than making discriminatory statements against women. They are supposed to be sensitive and it is their job to find real solution to violence against women."

Earlier this month a woman was gang-raped in a minivan, a widely used type of public transport, late at night. According to data from Indonesia's National Commission for Women's Affairs, there have been more than 100,000 cases of violence against women so far this year, of which almost 4 per cent were rape cases.