The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia explicitly recognises that it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee women and girls the right to equality, equal protection of the law and freedom from discrimination. It provides that every person is entitled to protection of the self and has the right to be protected against threats of violence. In addition, there exists a wide range of domestic criminal and civil legislation that seeks to prevent violence against women and girls.
Despite this, women and girls in Indonesia still suffer some of the highest levels of violence, discrimination and exploitation in South East Asia. Between 2012 and 2015, reported crimes of violence against women increased by nearly 50% in Indonesia. These figures, however, only represent the tip of the iceberg, as the majority of sexual violence cases go unreported due to the fact that victims of sexual violence face stigma and social exclusion, rejection by family members and communities and loss of livelihood, whilst women victims of domestic violence are often told it is “normal” and not a crime.
Sisters For Change has been conducting programmes in Indonesia since 2014.