So far, 2017 has been an inspirational year for Hollaback! Jakarta. Over the past few months, we have made meaningful partnerships, hosted several events, and raised awareness through a variety of media channels. Slowly but surely, the discussion about street harassment is spreading and – one person at a time – we are building a movement to help make public spaces safer for everyone.
January 2017 was a reminder that women’s rights were not to be taken for granted. The election in the United States inspired half a million women to take to the streets in Washington D.C. and demand equality for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, or sexuality. Inspired by this movement, the Hollaback! Jakarta team gathered forces and hosted a chalk walk on Sudirman on Sunday, January 22. Together, we chalked the streets and stood in solidarity with this fierce and steadily growing global movement to defend women’s rights all over the world.
Shortly after, on Wednesday February 8, Hollaback! Jakarta co-hosted an intimate discussion with friends from Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group at Kinosaurus. The discussion was inspired by Kate Walton’s experience walking the streets of Jakarta. Featured in Coconuts Jakarta, Kate’s piece documents her exhausting cat-call-filled journey from Plaza Senayan to Pasar Mayestik: sexually harassed 13 times in 35 minutes. Soon after the piece was published, there was an overwhelmingly supportive and empathetic response from men and women. Our Kinosaurus discussion provided a platform and safe space for other people to discuss similar experiences, and also introduced attendees to tools in bystander intervention. This event was a beautiful reminder about how one person’s experience can embolden others to speak up, share, and become part of an inclusive and healing movement.
In late February, we started our preparations for International Women’s Day and the Women’s March Jakarta. Alongside Yayasan Lentera Sintas Indonesia, Hollaback! Jakarta hosted a poster-making event at the restaurant Por Que No. The goal was to equip Jakartans with materials and inspiration so they could express their own personal message for #Why I March. The event was a huge success and geared everyone up for the upcoming Women’s March.
On Saturday, March 4, hundreds of people took to the streets of Jakarta for the Women’s March. Walking from downtown Sarinah towards the Presidential Palace, men and women of all ages united in pink and purple to celebrate women and demand equality. The streets were alive with colorful signs including “I’m with her”, “More women policy makers!”, “My body my choice”, and “Godain di jalan adalah pelecehan [cat-calling is sexual harassment]”. Memorably, a man in full Darth Vader costume insisted “A woman’s place is in the resistance” and a “Kebaya Berdarah” group in traditional dress, covered in fake blood, advocated for awareness about gender based violence. Together, we chanted for equal rights and justice for all. You can check out our photo album from the March here.
Over the past few months, our website has increased in traffic and regularly features new stories documenting street harassment in Jakarta. Make sure to check the site for stories and offer your support by clicking the “I’ve got your back” button. It’s the support we give to others that allows us to persevere and grow together in this movement to end street harassment. We have some exciting things planned for the coming months. April 2-8 is International Anti-Street Harassment week and we also have an exciting collaboration in the works with cewekbanget.id… more to come on that very soon!!
With love and revolution,
The Hollaback! Jakarta Team