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Indonesian MPs reject move to Islamize families

Lawmakers strike down controversial bill that would confine women to the home, have families report 'sexual deviancy'

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Indonesian MPs reject move to Islamize families

Indonesian lawmakers have dropped a controversial bill related to family matters proposed by an Islamic party. (Photo: Dpr.go.id)

Indonesia’s parliament has voted to reject a controversial bill that critics say would have imposed conservative Islamic values on family life.

Proposed by an Islamic party, the so-called “family resilience bill” would have forced women to stay at home and look after their husbands, made it mandatory for gay people to seek “treatment” and for people to report homosexuality or other “deviant” sexual behavior practiced by family members.

Article 86 states: "Families experiencing a family crisis due to sexual deviations are obliged to report their family members to the body that handles family resilience or to a rehabilitation institution appointed by the government for treatment.”

The bill defines a family crisis as homosexual, incest and sadomasochistic acts.

It also seeks to regulate the role of husband and wife in the household.

In terms of the role of wives, Article 25 states they should "manage household affairs as well as possible, maintain the integrity of the family and treat their husband and children well.

MPs from at least five parties struck the bill down in Indonesia’s People's Consultative Assembly on Nov. 24 following a public outcry over the proposed legislation.

"The Legislation Body cannot continue the discussion of this bill because five factions reject it,” said Supratman Andi Agtas, chairman of the legislative body.

The bill was first proposed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), a conservative Islamic party, in 2015.

Lucius Karus from the lobby group Parliament Watch welcomed the bill’s rejection.

Retno Listyarti from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission said the bill could have damaged families, not protected them.

"This bill would make it the duty of the mother to look after the family, including to educate the children. This is the duty of both parents. This actually weakens the family” she said.

”It also reinforces the domestication of women and the stereotypes surrounding the roles of wives and husbands."

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