Tens of transvestites joined forces with members of local community groups to celebrate “Hari Kartini” – a day set aside to celebrate the life of Raden Ajeng Kartini on Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Kartini, a well-known historical figure in Indonesia who lived from 1879 until 1904, is celebrated for her writings championing education and a larger voice in familial and civic affairs for women.
The celebration of Kartini Day in Bali saw the transvestites and others handing out white roses to those passing by the Monument of the People’s Struggle located in downtown Denpasar, Bali’s capital.
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the Organisasi Waria Kuta (Ogawata) (Editors note: Waria is a acronym comprised of “Wanita” or woman and “Pria” or man) and members of other community organizations organized under the umbrella of People in Support of Women and Children, delivered speeches, performed brief plays and sought signatures on a white banner from the public.
Jovan, the chairperson of Ogawata, told the listeners: “We have joined this action because we are concerned with violence against women. Women are often mistreated.”
In addition to Ogawata, the public demonstrations were joined by the Legal Aid Society of Bali (LBH-Bali), Lentera Anak Bali (Beacon for Bali’s Children), Yayasan Manikaya Kauci, Forum Perempuan Mitra Kasih Bali, Yayasan Gaya Dewata, Generasi Bisa and a number of student groups from local universities.
Speakers delivered a number of demands in their commemoration of Kartini Day:
- The end of all violence against women and children.
- Firm retaliatory action against those who commit acts of violence against women and children.
- An end to discrimination against women and children.
- An end to discrimination against marginalized members of society (e.g. those suffering from HIV/AIDS, the disabled).
- Representation in the House of Representatives by at least 50% women.
- The creation of laws to protect women and children in Bali.
- The establishment of safe houses for those who are the victims of violence
A spokesperson told the audience that in 2012 some 205 cases of domestic violence were reported to police in Bali, but only a few ever made their way to the court.
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