Jakarta (ANTARA) - Islamic boarding schools play a crucial role in preventing cases of sexual violence among students, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar said.

He opined that boarding-based educational institutions, both universities and Islamic boarding schools, were susceptible to occurrences of sexual violence.

"Everything in the form of dormitories, gatherings, can pose a threat. The relationship between patron and client, superior and subordinate, teacher and student, elderly and youth, (those are prone to experiencing sexual violence)," Iskandar said in a statement received here on Sunday.

He delivered the statement on Friday, March 11, at Al Mubarok Islamic Boarding School in Marangen, Demak district, Central Java. Iskandar was in a meeting with Women's Islamic Boarding School Management Forum (Fasantri).

He urged the government to create a sexual violence prevention unit in order to prevent such cases from happening.

"The National Police must also have a team (which) react quickly in handling cases of sexual violence. As for things that are preventive in nature, all ministries must be involved in helping," he added.

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He lauded the management forum for creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent and address sexual violence cases in Islamic boarding schools.

He also voiced his support for the forum's role in protecting female students in Islamic boarding schools by formalizing the SOPs.

The forum's action was the first initiative among Muslims in anticipating the threat of sexual violence in the Islamic educational institution environment, he commented.

The Chairperson of Women's Islamic Boarding School Management Forum, Hindun Annisah, said that the SOPs for the Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence Cases in Islamic Boarding Schools, which would be implemented in various female Islamic boarding schools, were not only in terms of handling, but also prevention so that cases of sexual violence did not take place.

She mentioned that the SOPs called for a gender-fair, women-friendly learning system.

"For example, starting with regulations that provide access to women, starting with prevention and being taught women's reproductive jurisprudence. Therefore, women are required to know about their reproductive rights," she concluded.
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Translator: Imam B, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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