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Female Recruits Subjected to Abusive, Discriminatory Practice for Decades

Indonesian Army Chief Gen. Andika Perkasa told army commanders in July that the required medical check-up in the recruitment process for female officers should be similar to the male medical test, signaling the end of the so-called “virginity test…
Female national army officers and police officers escort hundreds of women who packed the area in front of the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 8, 2020, in commemoration of International Women's Day.
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Government Should Uphold Right of Muslim Girls, Women to Choose

A recent ruling by Indonesia’s Supreme Court canceled a government regulation issued in February that allowed millions of girls and women in thousands of state schools a basic freedom: to choose whether or not to wear a jilbab (Muslim apparel that…
A primary state school in Solok, West Sumatra, where girls and teachers are required to wear the jilbab --Muslim apparel that covers the head, neck, and chest.
News

‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
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Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
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Harmful Provisions in Bill Should Be Rejected Outright

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Friday he wanted parliament to delay its vote on the country’s proposed new criminal code. The pending bill contains dozens of articles that violate the rights of women, religious minorities,…
LGBT activists protest the planned revision to Indonesia’s criminal code outside parliament in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 12, 2018.
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Officials Shut Down Student News Website Over Story ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

A student news website in Indonesia that published a story about a woman expressing her love for another young woman was ordered by university officials to shut down its entire news operation after the story went viral. North Sumatra University (…
The newsroom of student website Suara USU at the North Sumatra University in Medan, which is facing closure. University President Runtung Sitepu ordered the newsroom to be shut down and the office to be vacated in 48 hours on March 27, 2019 after the webs
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Encourages Users to Report People Suspected of ‘Heresy’

Following your own religious beliefs shouldn’t be a crime, but in Indonesia, new technologies are helping authorities identify and potentially prosecute religious minorities who follow “deviant teachings.” On November 22,…
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Government Program Should Focus on Most Vulnerable

Last week, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced a moratorium on the issuance of permits for new development of state forests into oil palm plantations until 2021. The timing of the moratorium created a buzz at the launch…
Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo (C) speaks with journalists at city hall in Jakarta, August 12, 2014.
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‘Yes’ Vote Ends 35 Years of Shame and Secrecy for Irish Women and Girls

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendums that Ireland has had on abortion. Today, I watched with tears of joy as it became clear that two-thirds of Irish people voted to repeal the 35-year constitutional ban on…
Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.
News

Women Were Incorrectly Cleared as Cancer-Free

Cervical cancer need not be a death sentence. Between vaccination, routine screening, timely follow up, and early detection, cervical cancer is preventable and highly curable. When a woman dies from cervical cancer, something went wrong. For at least 17…
Vicky Phelan speaks on the Ray D'Arcy Show. Phelan was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, although a screening test from 2011 should have found strong indications of the presence of cancer.
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Pending Presidential Decree Will Raise Minimum Marriage Age

When celebrating R.A. Kartini, a Javanese feminist (1879-1904) who wrote about women’s rights in the early 20th century, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo invited a number of women rights’ defenders in Jakarta to talk about women’s…
A girl is seen through a fence before prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha on a street in Jakarta, Indonesia September 12, 2016.
News

House Speaker Using Defamation Laws to Silence Critics

Dyann Kemala Arrizzqi’s Instagram feed is filled with her travel photos, demonstrations of her prowess at traditional Balinese dance poses, and wry memes. But now the content of her Instagram feed may get her sent to an Indonesian…
The speaker of Indonesia's parliament Setya Novanto talks to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 18, 2017.
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Repeal of Discriminatory, Brutal Bylaws Long Overdue

Authorities in Indonesia’s Aceh province imposed the Sharia, or Islamic law, punishment of multiple lashes of a cane against 339 people in 2016, the first full-year of implementation of Aceh’s Sharia’s Criminal Code since it went into effect in September…
Murni Amris, an Acehnese woman, is caned as part of her sentence in the courtyard of a mosque in Aceh Besar district, Indonesia's Aceh province October 1, 2010.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Sex Outside of Marriage Could Get 5 Years in Prison

Lawmakers in Indonesia have decided they need to make their presence felt – in the nation’s bedrooms. In the context of a new criminal code being debated by the legislature, some members of Indonesia’s House of Representatives want language added…
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Government Should Also Prohibit Abusive ‘Virginity Tests’

The Indonesian government has launched a long-overdue campaign to eradicate the cruel practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The campaign, led by Yohana Yembise, the country’s minister for women’s empowerment and child protection, will deploy…
A girl is seen through a fence before prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha on a street in Jakarta, Indonesia September 12, 2016.
News
Women in Ireland are live tweeting their periods to Prime Minister Enda Kenny, in protest of the state’s long-held legislative control over their bodies. One woman detailed the length of time she’d been menstruating and the level of flow. Another…
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Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, recently told his government to create a roadmap for ending migration of Indonesian women abroad for domestic work. His comments come in the wake of last week’s conviction by a Hong Kong court of a Hong Kong employer…