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Miniskirt ban ‘won’t lessen sexual abuse’

Proposed rules on how women should dress are ridiculous, activists say

Miniskirt ban ‘won’t lessen sexual abuse’
Women' protests before the pornography law was approved
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

April 3, 2012

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An influential women's group has hit out at government proposals aimed at regulating how women should dress, such as a ban on skirts rising above the knee. “It is useless to issue such regulations … no matter what the aim is,” said Yustina Rostiawati, a senior official at the National Commission on Violence against Women. The intention to conduct sexual abuses lies in the perpetrator’s brain, she said. So logically, it should be the mindset of sex offenders which should be targeted. “Regulations banning miniskirts and what is seen by some as pornographic won’t lessen the number of sexual abuse cases,” she asserted. The proposal was brought up last week by Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, who is also executive chairman of the Anti-Pornography Task Force formed a month ago by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Rostiawati said the task force illustrated the government’s digressive way of thinking as its 2008 anti-pornography law still contains an ambiguous definition of pornography. “This reduces and simplifies pornographic issues, which is always related to miniskirts. For me, the proposal only shows how shortsighted those who thought it up are,” she said. Dona Bangun, a female university student, agreed. “The proposed regulation is ridiculous. The government should pay more attention to poverty, education and health issues, instead of looking at miniskirts,” she said. Related reports: SBY forms anti-pornography task force    

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