Indonesian Province Fights Sexual Harassment By Banning Women From Wearing ‘Sexy Clothes’

The regional representative council for the province of Bengkulu (DPRD), on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, is planning to combat sexual harassment and tackle the violence against women and children by officially banning “sexy clothing”.

Seven out of eight political parties have already voiced their support for the proposed legislation to make “sexy clothing” illegal in the province, local newspaper Rakyat Bengkulu reported, as translated by VICE. Unfortunately, the report did not go into any specifics regarding what type of “sexy clothing” the legislation will ban.

It is also unclear if this new law will require all women — especially Muslim women — to wear headscarves and if it will only be in public or inside their private residence.

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The extremely alarming numbers of cases of violence against women and children is the reason Ir Muharamin, the chairman of DPRD Bengkulu’s Commission IV, strongly supports this legislation. There has already been 105 cases of violence as well as 126 cases of rape filed in the province this year, Coconuts Jakarta reported.

Passing the law would ultimately limit the intention of perpetrators of crimes to do undesirable things, H Parial, head of the PAN faction within the Bangkulu DPRD, said. If the measures are enacted into law, anyone caught in violation of wearing clothes that are too tight or transparent will receive severe sanctions.

In essence we want to suppress the high number of crimes against children and women. So far, the number of rapes, domestic violence and murders is very high. In addition, it is caused by other factors such as pornography as well as a lack of awareness in terms of religion, Parial added.

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The incidences of sexual crimes are not solely caused by the mistakes of the men, but also many are caused by sexy women’s clothes that do indeed invite intentions. So (this regulation) is not only about protection, it would also require women to protect themselves,said H Supardi Mursalin, head of Bengkulu MUI Fatwa Council, in what can be considered as victim blaming.

The issue of crime against women and children is being heavily pushed not just in the province of Bengkulu, but also in the national spotlight. Women’s rights advocates spearheaded the movement to help women after the gruesome gang rape and murder of 14-year-old student, Yunyun, in April 2016.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons / Gunawan Kartapranata (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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