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article imageIndonesian women stage rape protest in mini skirts

By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 18, 2011 in World
Jakarta - Indonesian women have staged a rape protest wearing mini skirts in response to controversial remarks made by Jakarta's city governor Fauzi Bowo. Fauzi advised women to give care to their dress so as not to provoke unwanted acts.
A group of women wearing mini skirts staged a protest in Indonesia following remarks made by Jakarta city governor Fauzi Bowo, who caused offence by blaming a recent gang rape on the victim’s choice of clothing.
On Sept. 1 a 27-year-old woman identified as R.S. was gang raped whilst using a minivan, part of the public transport system. Following the rape Fauzi made grossly insensitive remarks which have angered women. He advised women to give careful thought to the clothes they wear. The Jakarta Post reported he said “They must adjust to their surrounding environment so that they don’t provoke people to commit unwanted acts. Imagine if someone on board a mikrolet (minivan) sits wearing a mini-skirt, you would get fidgety.Political communication expert Effendi Ghazali told the Jakarta Post “No woman will want to vote for him after this statement” and claiming his statement was reckless showed lack of sympathy for the victims of rape.
Fauzi later apologized for his statement saying he didn’t intend to annoy women. He said “I am sorry because my earlier statement could easily have been misinterpreted. I have no intention at all to debase women” He added “I condemn the crime and I think that rapists should be given the maximum sentence possible.”Women however remained unconvinced by his apology and staged a protest which one protester said was inspired by the “Slutwalk” which originated in Canada, again in response to a crass remark by a male. The Jakarta Globe reported that women gathered at a central roundabout in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, carrying placards that read “Don’t tell us how to dress, tell them not to rape” and “My miniskirt is my right.”In an effort to provide safer transportation for women following several gang rape incidents, one in which the victim was murdered, the Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Agency has now announced that companies must provide transport for female employees between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The provision of transport will be mandatory.
The situation mirrors a similar one reported by Aljazeera earlier this year, when Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synoda Department for Church and Society Relations in Russia, also made controversial remarks. He suggested women should return to a traditional style of dress by donning long skirts and headscarves, as mini skirts made them look like prostitutes.
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