Indonesia: “Free From Sexual Harrasment” Sign as an Effort to Fight Sexual Violence in the Workplace

In the world of work, sexual violence against women is a matter that is almost untouchable because it is often considered not part of labor issues. Yet every workers has a variety of identities attached to him or her or they. In this society, women are vulnerable to violence, including while working. Therefore when a woman is abused when she is at work, it should be part of labor issue.

The efforts to encourage policy makers to realize a Signs “Free from Sexual Harrasment” as part of advocacy sexual violence issue in the workplace have been run by FBLP and Perempuan Mahardhika in the last 3 years.

Inauguration of New Volunteer of the Sign Instalation and Women Workers Post December 7, 2017

FBLP and Perempuan Mahardhika initiate a labor alliance that specifically focused on the sexual harrasment situation in KBN Cakung Industrial Area that called Women’s Workers Committee of KBN. This alliance is calling for unions in KBN to give attention on the issue of sexual harrasment. Although it has not received a positive response from all unions but this is a step forward to bring women’s problems closer to the labor issue.

In mid 2016, the Alliance then initiated a survey on sexual violence at work. The survey was conducted by interviewing female laborers and exploring knowledge about the forms and patterns of sexual violence they knew in the KBN Cakung area. From the survey obtained a fact that there have been 25 cases of sexual violence in 15 companies in KBN Cakung area, and sexual harrasment is the most cases.

The results then became a tool for the Alliance to immediately urge the existence of a Sign “Free from Sexual Harrasment” in the KBN Cakung Area. The proposal got positive reponse from KBN Cakung Industrial Area Management. They agree to realize that signs and committed to working with Women’s Workers for anti sexual harrasment campaign in the KBN Cakung Industrial Area.

Right on the comemoration of 16 Days Activism Anti Violence Against Women, 25 November 2016 , installation of the sign was done. Attended by various parties from the managers of industrial area, goverment, unions and the women workers itself. Installation at the main entrance then followed by the installation on the streets within the industrial area.

Doesn’t end there, Women’s Workers Committee is also continuously encouraged the Sign “Free from Sexual Harrasment” to be installed in production areas inside the factory. The process requires a strong effort because not every factory is open to this idea and is willing to cooperate.

A Post to Defense Women’s Workers Right

Women’s Workers Defense Post was established as a series of follow up after the installation of signs in KBN area. This post was run by Women’s Workers Committee and cooperated with Management of KBN Industrial Area in Cakung. This Post serves as a center for information for women workers about their right to be free from sexual violence and to report if there is a case.

This Post was established since January 2017. In daily activities, Post has a routine picket schedule which starts at 15.00 to 18.00 right after hours. Every day the Post team who are also workers or former workers in KBN distributed leaflets information about sexual harrasment. In certain days, there are discussions, poetry performance and anti-violence gym.

In addition to daily activities, the Post also organizes capacity building for the team such as training for data collection, reporting, and communication. The training is also open to other women workers who wants to be a volunteer involved in Post activities.

The Post activities made the women workers feel open to share experiences and work situation. Then its not only collect data about sexual harrasment cases but also other women’s workers problem such as violation of maternity rights, unpaid overtime work, and short time contract.

Beside scheduling daily activities of the Post, Women’s Workers Committee also has focus to struggle for the existence of the Post permanently. Since its establishment in January 2017, the Post still uses the building of Security Guard. So in practice, the Post team must share with the security guard to carry out the Post picket hour. Still using security guard place as a Post, sometime gives an uncomfortable impression for women workers to drop by and have interaction with Post team.

Angka Jadi Suara / The Day The Voices Raised

A documentary film that records the story of women workers fighting sexual violence at the workplace

In addition to doing labor advocacy work, FBLP is a union that also has focus in developing labor fighting methods and one of them is through film. Faced with the fact that sexual violence is a silent crome and still difficult to resist, FBLP then decides their first documentary film is about the story of how women workers facing and fighting sexual violence in the workplace.

The Day The Voices Raised capture on how women wokers are vulnerable with harrasment, how they organize dialogue to share experince, how they collect data and negotiating with the management to tackle this issue, and how they inviting other workers not to be afraid to fight.

FBLP and Perempuan Mahardhika hope this film can be an introduction to organize dialogue between various communities about women’s empowerment process against sexual harassment in the workplace or elsewhere. So to all parties we invite to let’s watch this movie.

Trailer can be acces to this link :

Perempuan Mahardhika

CC by-nc-nd