Pontianak (ANTARA News) - The Alliance Independent Journalist (AJI) has urged all parties to provide better protection of womens rights, as it is yet to be fully exercised, head of the groups representative in Pontianak, Dian Lestari, said on Wednesday.

According to the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), at least 259,150 assaults were recorded in 2016 in Indonesia, Lestari cited in Pontianak, capital city of West Kalimantan province.

The appeal was voiced when the journalists alliance marched in the city with some community members and students to celebrate International Womens Day, which is commemorated around the world on March 8 every year, Caroline Voermans, the coordinator of the protest, noted.

"According to the provincial bureau, the number of assault against women and children has soared significantly between 2010 and 2016. In 2015 alone, 21 cases were investigated and 30 others occurred in shelters," Lestari added.

The alliance called on the government to set a concrete policy to halt the violence.

The government is obliged to protect and help in the recovery of the victim of sexual and domestic violence by encouraging public participation to assist the survivors, she pointed out.

"A discriminating law issued by the regional government remains a problem for women," she remarked.

A better protection for women could be assured if the authorities could punish the perpetrators with a maximum penalty, which could deter other criminals, she stated.

Some activists, students, and locals in Jakarta, countrys capital city, celebrated the Womens March at the Aspiration Park, across the Presidential Palace, on March 4.

Womens March was a worldwide protest, which began on Jan 21, to call on the governments around the world to protect the rights of females, immigrants, workers, and all marginalized communities.

The movement was originally started in Washington, D.C, and the march was later organized in many countries around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, and Indonesia.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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