Violence against women, children rampant in Riau Islands: governor

Violence against women, children rampant in Riau Islands: governor

'Stop early marriage' campaign by high school students in Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands. (ANTARA PHOTOS/Ogen/my)

Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - Governor of Riau Islands Ansar Ahmad drew attention to the high number of cases of violence against women and children in the province.

Ahmad noted that women and children constituted two-thirds of the total population in Riau Islands, with most of them spread across family units.

With such a large number, women and children are prone to experiencing violence and discrimination, Ahmad remarked in Tanjungpinang on Wednesday.

"Hence, collaboration and coordination among stakeholders should be conducted to obtain support from all parties in an effort to re-establish family functions," he stated.

The governor noted that the high rate of violence against children and women in Riau Islands was partly due to the public's high mobility. Rampant poverty and unemployment rate were also factors triggering violence against women and children.

An increase in the cases of violence against women and children is testament of the weakness of family resilience. Thus, efforts to re-establish family functions are deemed necessary.

"Expedite information (about) the fulfillment of children's rights, parenting patterns, and the role of families in forming quality kin, for which we need to promote (them) in accordance with the efforts to improve family welfare through the involvement of women in the economy," he pointed out.

The governor also stressed the importance of collaborating with community organizations, such as the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the Women's Da'i Organization, so that the notion of women and children's protection could be expedited through religious activities.

He lauded the efforts to develop the economy initiated by the Riau Islands' Women's Empowerment, Child Protection, Population Control and Family Planning Office (DP3AP2KB), such as developing girls' schools and micro-enterprises.

"However, what needs to be considered is quality development, both in terms of the product and packaging. This is because usually, our products are good, but the packaging is always lacking," Ahmad stated.

Head of the Riau Islands' Women's Empowerment, Child Protection, Population Control and Family Planning Office Office Misni noted that violence against women and children tended to increase in number with the passage of time. The types of violence and their modes varied as well.

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According to the Simphoni reporting system, some 552 cases of violence against women and children were recorded in 2019. In 2020, some 589 cases were reported, while 298 cases were recorded as of November 8, 2021.

She noted that one of the preventive efforts that could be undertaken was through expediting information or education for the public.

"Considering that the Taklim Council Contact Agency (BKMT) is one of the social organizations that has networks down to the village level and (even down to) the family unit, it holds a strategic role in pushing for da'wah (lecture) amid the public in an effort to prevent (violence against) women and children," she noted.

Misni deemed it necessary for their administration and the Taklim Council Contact Agency to collaborate in disseminating information about parenting in the family, the role of fathers, fulfilling the rights of women and children, and equality or equity of men and women.

She also explained that the business incubation program for female MSME players, which began in 2019, had resulted in 108 participants, who were active in manufacturing products as per 2021.

"We see that this business incubation activity has the potential to be developed, so it requires the support of related OPDs, such as the Industry and Trade Office, and Cooperatives and SMEs Office of the Riau Islands Province to train these participants together," she added.

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