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. Marital rape is not a specific criminal offence under the penal code, but is covered under “forcing sexual intercourse” in legislation on domestic violence and can be punished with criminal penalties. Reliable nationwide statistics on the incidence of rape continued to be unavailable. In its 2014 annual report, the National Commission on Violence Against Women reported 3,307 cases of sexual violence. Rape is punishable by four to 14 years in prison. While the government imprisoned perpetrators for rape and attempted rape, 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 2014 the National Commission on Violence Against Women recorded 293,220 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 most NGOs working on women’s issues believed the real figure was higher than the available official statistics.
The government ran integrated service centers for women and children (P2TPA) in all 34 provinces and approximately 110 districts. These centers provided counseling and support services to women and children who were victims of violence. The larger provincial service centers provided more comprehensive psychosocial services, while the quality of support at the district-level centers varied. Women living in rural areas or districts where no such center was established had difficulty receiving support services. 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): FGM/C was a problem, and there are no laws prohibiting the practice. The first nationally representative household survey, the Basic Health Research Survey, found that more than half of girls under the age of 11 had experienced some form of FGM/C, and 79 percent of these underwent the procedure before they were six months old. There was no official data about what types of FGM/C were used, but according to the National Commission on Violence Against Women and other NGOs, the vast majority of FGM/C was Type IV. In urban areas, midwives performed the majority of FGM/C, while in rural areas, traditional birth attendants were the most common practitioners of FGM/C. The National Commission on Violence Against Women reported that midwives and traditional birth attendants often included female circumcision as part of a birth service “package” and advocated for the procedure to their clients. In 2014 the Ministry of Health revoked a 2010 decree establishing guidelines for the safe practice of FGM/C. The 2010 decree overturned the ministry’s outright ban on FGM/C, which the Indonesian Ulamas Council (MUI) and other religious groups protested. The revocation transfers authority to regulate FGM/C to a health advisory body that includes religious leaders.
Sexual Harassment: Article 281 of the criminal code, which prohibits indecent public acts, serves as the basis for criminal complaints stemming from 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 manage their 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 was still prohibitive for a large portion of the population and poor medical infrastructure often limited availability. According to a 2013 survey by the Ministry of Health, 59.3 percent of married women used modern contraceptives. Estimates for contraceptive prevalence among all women ranged from 62 percent to70 percent, although local NGOs reported that unmarried women found it significantly more difficult than married women to access contraceptives.
According to a 2013 report from the World Health Organization, the maternal mortality ratio was 190 per 100,000 live births, down from 250 in the 2005. 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. Oversight for midwifing programs was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry of Health and international NGOs identified several factors contributing to the maternal mortality rate, including lack of training for midwives and traditional birth attendants, continued lack of access to basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, and limited availability of essential maternal and neonatal medications. Hospitals and health centers did not always manage complications effectively, and financial barriers and the limited availability of qualified health personnel caused problems for referrals for complications. A woman’s economic status, level of education, and age at first marriage also affected maternal mortality. In 2014 an NGO coalition filed a judicial challenge to the Marriage Law, identifying the 16-year-old minimum marriage age as a significant contributing factor to the rate of maternal mortality. In June the Constitutional Court rejected this challenge.
Abortions are legal 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 and, if married, have spousal agreement to undergo the procedure.
Discrimination: The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men under family, labor, property, and nationality laws. The law does not grant widows equal inheritance rights. The law 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 1974 Marriage Law establishes the legal age of marriage as 16 for women and 19 for men. The same law also designates the man as the head of the household. As such, married women who work outside the home are taxed at a higher rate than working husbands, who receive preferential tax treatment as the head of household.
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 may remarry immediately.
Under its special authority to implement sharia regulations, in June Banda Aceh City established a local regulation that forbids cafes and restaurants from serving unaccompanied women or using female employees after 10 p.m. According to Banda Aceh authorities, the regulation was based on an unreleased Aceh Governor’s decree that set the cutoff time at 9 p.m.
Although they have no authority to implement laws based on sharia or religious considerations, local governments outside Aceh also enforced regulations mandating female modesty and Islamic dress for Muslim women. For instance, a 2009 local regulation in Tasikmalaya, West Java, mandates all Muslim women who have reached puberty to dress “according to the teachings of Islam.”
Local governments outside Aceh also enforced local regulations in ways that discriminated against women. For instance, NGOs noted that local anti-prostitution regulations in Bantul and Tanggerang were often used to detain women walking alone at night. According to the National Commission on Violence against Women, there were 365 local laws that were unconstitutional and discriminatory towards women. The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for “harmonizing” local regulations that are not in line with national legislation, and a 2014 law reinforces this authority, but to date the ministry has never invoked this authority to overturn discriminatory local regulations.
Women faced discrimination in the workplace, both in hiring and in gaining fair compensation (see section 7.d.).