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Women rally against price hikes

Say rising cost of living will be especially hard on them

Children with their mothers at a fuel price protest today in Jakarta Children with their mothers at a fuel price protest today in Jakarta
  • Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • March 20, 2012
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Around 500 women from the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia Islamic organization protested outside the parliament building today against spiralling inflation and proposed fuel hikes.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono plans to raise subsidized fuel prices from 4,500 rupiah (less than US$1) to 6,000 rupiah in April to "save the national economy."

However, the price of basic necessities has already gone up by 10 percent this month in anticipation of the fuel hikes, the protesters say, adding that the fallout will be especially hard on women.

“That is why we came here to express our anger. We women feel like we are victims of the government’s plan,” said Iffah Ainur Rochmah, the rally’s coordinator.

She said similar protests were organized simultaneously in 30 towns and cities across the country to protest against the fuel hikes.

Qomariyah from the Indonesian Muslim Women group said price increases on basic necessities will put a lot of pressure on families.

"They will find it difficult to afford three meals a day," she said.

She believed that the number of “malnutrition cases" will also rise.

The government’s plan will also have an impact on the number of female migrant workers, she claimed.

“Many women will work abroad because they will not be able to bear the economic burden in this country anymore,” she said.

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