Feminist Fest 2017 to be held at SMA 1 PSKD, Central Jakarta on Saturday (26/08) Discussions about the unique challenges women face in employment, whether as domestic workers, factory workers, or sex workers with Anis Hidayah, Luviana, and Ikka Noviyanti (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

FemFest 2017

AUGUST 31, 2017

Women's rights issues were under the spotlight during the inaugural Feminist Fest in Senen, Central Jakarta, last weekend.


The walls of the venue were decorated with empowering posters, previously used during this year's Women's March.

The festival kicked off with a plenary session, "The Basics of Feminism," featuring reputable scholars such as Valentina Sagala, Misiyah and Maulidia Raviola.

It was followed back-to-back by talks tackling various topics, such as women in politics, gender-based violence, media and feminism, eco-feminism, and sexual and reproductive health. Speakers highlighted the importance and relevance of feminism in Indonesia as a perspective to solving the country's problems.

In one of the panel discussions, "Indonesian Female Workers," three experts talked about the challenges female workers face, such as unequal treatment and sexual harassment.

Migrant Care chairwoman Anis Hidayah said it was time to create a policy roadmap with a gender-sensitive approach to protect Indonesian migrant workers.

Another speaker was Ikka Noviyanti, secretary of the Indonesia Social Changes Association (OPSI), which advocates for an end to the marginalization and criminalization of sex workers. Her organization continuously demands government recognition for sex workers and insists that prostitution centers are important to ensure workers' safety.

Senior journalist Luviana meanwhile recommended that media workers join a union that can support them on issues such as unfair suspension or dismissal, excessive work hours, or any unjust policies.

In addition to discussions, a series of workshops were also held. The first day saw workshops on zine-making, writing and the basics of sign language. This was followed by martial arts classes for self-protection the next day.

Music performances by Chikita Rosemarie, Mian Tiara, Yacko and Melanie Subono concluded the event.

Discussions about the unique challenges women face in employment, whether as domestic workers, factory workers, or sex workers, with Anis Hidayah, Luviana and Ikka Noviyanti during the first day of Feminist Fest 2017 in Senen, Central Jakarta, on Saturday (26/08) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Migrant Care chairwoman Anis Hidayah has been advocating for the rights of female migrant workers since 1998. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Luviana is an author and activist who has worked as a journalist for nearly 25 years. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Writing about women's issues during Feminist Fest 2017. With more than 100 people having attended the Women's March Jakarta in March this year, it is clear that women's rights are beginning to be seen as important in Indonesia. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A woman making a zine during a workshop at Feminist Fest on Saturday. A zine, short for 'fanzine' or 'magazine,' is an alternative form of print media that is usually published in a small group and reproduced by way of photocopying. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A woman writing an inspirational story. Feminist Fest 2017 aimed to create the space for every women to tell her story. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Sri Taarna is an author who participated in several collectives in Indonesia. She also manages zine and collective libraries in Yogyakarta. She moved to Indonesia from the United States seven years ago, bringing the ethos of punk zines and collective activism. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Notes placed on a wall during Feminist Fest 2017. Every quote is about women's empowerment, feminism, justice and human rights. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Posters with empowering quotes seen during Feminist Fest. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A man wearing a T-shirt with the message, 'Masa depan itu feminis' ('The future is feminist') during Feminist Fest 2017. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A woman attending Feminist Fest 2017. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A poster with the message, 'This isn't an ovary action' displayed during Feminist Fest 2017. The organizers said action is urgently needed because women need a movement capable of opening space for dialogue and fighting back against gender-based oppression. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)