JAKARTA — Women’s groups expressed outrage Tuesday after Indonesia’s parliament said it would draft rules banning female lawmakers from wearing “provocative” clothing such as miniskirts to work and claimed such dress invited rape.
“We know there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently, and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes,” house of representatives speaker Marzuki Alie said.
“Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men, so it needs to be stopped. You know what men are like — provocative clothing will make them do things.”
Refrizal, the deputy head of the household affairs committee, which is spearheading the new regulation, told AFP that “miniskirts and skimpy clothes are an invitation to male lawmakers”.
The move was also backed by two female house members who formerly worked as fashion models, local media reported.
Indonesian women’s rights groups said they were outraged by the comments and called for a stop to the demonisation of rape victims.
“It’s ridiculous that this is again coming from the mouths of prominent people with influence,” Action for Women Against Rape founder Chika Noya told AFP.
“We expect them to make regulations to protect women from violence, not condemn them for the way they dress.”
The comments come just six months after the Jakarta governor, Fauzi “Foke” Bowo, made similar remarks, saying that a spate of rape cases on the city’s public minibuses were triggered by victims’ miniskirts.
He urged Indonesian women to refrain from wearing miniskirts on public transport.
His remarks prompted a protest in which women yelled the slogan “My miniskirt, my right. Foke you”, referring to the governor’s nickname.
The protest was inspired by the global “SlutWalk” phenomenon, which began in Toronto last year as hundreds protested about a comment made by a police constable that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”.