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Progress or Setback? The Indonesian Women Movement’s Struggle around the Role of the State in Regulating Women’s Body and Sexuality through the Pornography.

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Presentation on theme: "Progress or Setback? The Indonesian Women Movement’s Struggle around the Role of the State in Regulating Women’s Body and Sexuality through the Pornography."— Presentation transcript:

1 Progress or Setback? The Indonesian Women Movement’s Struggle around the Role of the State in Regulating Women’s Body and Sexuality through the Pornography Bill Andy Yentriyani / Komnas Perempuan in cooperation with WWHR-New Ways AWID FORUM Cape Town, November 2008

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3 Indonesian Pornography Bill Pornography are drawings, sketches, illustrations, photographs, texts, voices, sound, moving pictures, animations, cartoons, poetry, conversations, gestures, or other forms of communicative messages through various kinds of media; and/or performances in front of the public, which may incite obscenity, sexual exploitation and/or violate norms of decency in the community. (article 1)

4 Indonesian Bill on Pornography … (see annex 1) criminalizes all forms of sensuality: no clear but perplexing definition on pornography. Targets on women’s body and sexuality by locating pornography as a morality issue and not as a form of sexual violence. dehumanizes indigenous groups of which cultural expression display nakedness and other form of sensuality. legitimizes moral policing by encouraging members of society to take active role in preventing pornography. criminalizes homosexuality.

5 Framing the Ongoing Controversy on Pornography Bill 1) Debate on relation between the state and religion 2) Women’s body and sexuality as a battle ground for struggle of power 3) Dynamic within women’s movement State’s role in regulating women’s body and sexuality

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8 REGIONALREGIONAL NATIONALNATIONAL Amendments of Constitution Indonesia remains secularist state, but “morality, ethics, virtuous akhlak, faith to God and to religious norms” are legitimate factors to limit human rights Decentralization & the Rise of Sharia Driven Local Bylaws The rise of identity politics, by both Islamist and non-Islamist political parties. (2008: 88 bylaws, 27 directly targeting women on veil and public ordinance) Pornography Bill Redirect debate on relation Between state and religion to national level gaining support from Islam mass based organizations successful exercise in deploying morality arguments in legislation more local bylaws ??? Similar laws at national level ? Indonesia becomes islamist State? 1)Power Struggle in the aftermath of New Order Regime, 1998

9 News coverage- 2008

10 2) Asserting Power through Regulating Women’s Body and Sexuality Soekarno’s era ( ):  Srikandi vs. Dewi Pentolon Soeharto’s era ( 1966 – 1998)  Depiction of Gerwani as “Evil Daughters”  State-Ibuism Campaign  Rape as a strategy of War, including the mass rape during the May riots Reformation Era (May 1998 – now)

11 - Pornography as the ‘bastard of Democracy’ - Moral panic: a) consumption of pornography influences young people to have extramarital sexual intercourse b)women choice of exposing “aurat” as part of freedom of expression  Women and the society is experiencing “demokrasi yang kebablasan” (bablas = off track)  women’s body and sexuality, hence, needs to be regulated to save democracy

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13 3) Dynamics in Women’s Movement Women’s organizations are in both camps of opinion Women’s organizations against the bill have diverse opinions on: - urgency to regulate pornography - strategy to regulate pornography  leads to in-depth discussion on women’s rights, sexual exploitation and women’s leadership in the process of democratizing Indonesia.

14 For Indonesian women’s movement Raise public awareness on the usage of women’s body in current Indonesian identity politics Show leadership by placing the discussion on anti pornography bill in the context of the direction of Indonesian democratization Strengthen social movements, by building coalition with those working on issue of pluralism, cultural rights, and communities of artists and media workers. Cultivate stronger solidarity in women’s movement With this position, we will continue the struggle …

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