Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape, although the legal definition of rape covers only forced penetration of sexual organs, and filing a case requires corroboration and a witness. The law criminalizes marital rape. Reliable nationwide statistics on the incidence of rape continued to be unavailable. Rape is punishable by four to 14 years in prison, and the government imprisoned perpetrators for rape and attempted rape; however, light sentences continued to be a problem, and many convicted rapists received the minimum sentence.
The law prohibits domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women; nevertheless, domestic violence was a problem. Violence against women remained poorly documented and significantly underreported by the government. During 2013 the National Commission on Violence Against Women recorded 279,760 reports of violence against women. Domestic violence was the most common form of violence against women. Social pressure deterred many women from reporting domestic violence, and for that reason most NGOs working on women’s issues believed the real figure was far higher than the available official statistics.
Two types of crisis centers were available for abused women: government-run centers in hospitals and NGO centers in the community. Nationwide police operated “special crisis rooms” or “women’s desks” where female officers received reports from female and child victims of sexual assault and trafficking and where victims found temporary shelter.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): According to NGOs, some FGM/C of women over the age of 18 occurred. In February the Ministry of Health revoked a 2010 decree establishing guidelines for the safe practice of FGM/C. The 2010 decree came after a 2009 ruling by the Indonesian Ulama Council that forbade institutions from banning FGM/C outright. The revocation calls for the regulation of FGM/C to be transferred to a health advisory body that includes religious leaders.
Sexual Harassment: Although not explicitly mentioned in the penal code, article 281of the code, which prohibits indecent public acts, serves as the basis for criminal complaints stemming from workplace sexual harassment. Violations of this article are punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and eight months and a small fine.
Reproductive Rights: The government recognized the basic right of couples and individuals to decide the number, spacing, and timing of their children and the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Nonetheless, according to a study published by an international NGO in 2012, on average, 30 percent of women surveyed over a four-year period who wanted no more children subsequently gave birth. The study found that a number of factors influenced this statistic, including the use of short-term rather than long-term contraceptive methods. Although the government encouraged the use of family planning by subsidizing and providing access to contraception throughout the country, the cost of contraception and poor medical infrastructure often limited availability. An international NGO’s 2010 report indicated unmarried women in particular were not provided adequate access to contraceptives, and this continued to be a problem. According to a 2013 survey by the Ministry of Health, 59.3 percent of married women used modern contraceptives and 0.4 percent used traditional contraceptives. A 2010 study also found that 96 percent of women received medical prenatal care. According to the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), the official maternal mortality ratio was 359 per 100,000 live births, up from 228 in the 2007 DHS. A National Population and Family Planning Board representative cited the government’s failure to reduce the fertility rate as the cause of the rise in maternal deaths.
The primary causes of maternal mortality were postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, and sepsis. According to the Ministry of Health, as many as 69 percent of all births were delivered by midwives. The ministry noted the quality of midwives in the country was low because of poor training standards and insufficient monitoring of educational institutions, likely because oversight for midwifing programs was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The uneven deployment of midwives at the community level and high use of traditional birth attendants were also contributing factors to maternal mortality. Hospitals and health centers did not perform at optimal levels in management of complications, and there were problems with referrals for complications, including financial barriers or limited availability of qualified health personnel. A woman’s economic status, level of education, and age at first marriage also affected maternal mortality.
In July then president Yudhoyono signed an implementing regulation for a 2009 law allowing legal abortion in the event of rape or when the life of the mother is threatened. Under the regulation women must apply for an abortion within 40 days of their last menstruation, a timeframe many observers labelled as too short. Critics also condemned a stipulation requiring spousal approval for an abortion.
Discrimination: The law states that women have the same rights, obligations, and opportunities as men; however, it also states that women’s participation in the development process must not conflict with their role in improving family welfare and educating the younger generation. The marriage law designates the man as the head of the family. Women in many regions of the country, particularly in Papua, complained about differential treatment based on gender.
Divorce is available to both men and women. Many divorcees received no alimony, since there was no system to enforce such payments. If there is no prenuptial agreement, joint property is divided equally. The law requires a divorced woman to wait 40 days before remarrying; a man can remarry immediately. The government continued to implement sharia in Aceh. The impact of this implementation varied across the province but, continuing the pattern of the last few years, in general appeared to be less intrusive due to improved government oversight of the Sharia Police.
On May 1, a woman in Aceh Province was reportedly gang-raped by nine men who claimed they were enforcing sharia adultery laws. The perpetrators reportedly broke in on a woman and a married man together in her house, tied up and beat the man, gang-raped the woman, and then took both victims to a Sharia Police office. Most of the suspects were arrested, and officials stated they would be tried for rape in a criminal court. Sharia officials also claimed they would pursue a punishment of caning for the victims for violating sharia law forbidding adultery, although any case was postponed until after the criminal court case. Separately, police declared three women arrested for prostitution in Banda Aceh in August could also face a caning sentence.
Local governments and groups in areas outside Aceh also undertook campaigns to promote conformity by women with their interpretation of sharia. Local regulations in some areas mandated the wearing of Islamic dress by government employees. Vigilance in enforcing separation of sexes, fasting, and dress codes increased during Ramadan. The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for “harmonizing” local regulations that are not in line with national legislation. According to the National Commission on Violence against Women, there were 334 local laws that were unconstitutional and discriminatory towards women, many of which were related to modesty and compulsory veiling.
Women faced discrimination in the workplace, both in hiring and in gaining fair compensation; however, there continued to be progress in that area, especially in public sector jobs (see section 7.d.). According to the 2013 World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, women made 30 percent less than men did for similar work, and approximately 56 percent less overall. Women made up nearly 40 percent of the labor force and 48 percent of professional and technical workers, yet were only 27 percent of legislators, senior officials, and managers. According to the government, women constituted 48 percent of all civil servants as of January 2013 and more than 28 percent of senior civil servants, up from only 9 percent in 2009.
Some activists said that in manufacturing, employers relegated women to lower-paying, lower-level jobs. Like their male counterparts, many female factory workers were hired as temporary workers instead of as full-time permanent employees, and companies were not required to provide benefits, such as maternity leave, to temporary workers. By law, if both members of a couple worked for a government agency, the husband received the couple’s head-of-household allowance.
Jobs traditionally associated with women continued to be significantly undervalued and unregulated. For example, domestic workers received little legal protection. Under the labor law, domestic workers are not provided with a minimum wage, health insurance, freedom of association, an eight-hour workday, a weekly day of rest, vacation time, or safe work conditions. Consequently, as reported by NGOs, abusive treatment and discriminatory behavior continued to be rampant.