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Social Stigma Linked to Gender Violence Against Widows, Divorcées

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Social Stigma Linked to Gender Violence Against Widows, Divorcées

Jakarta, Timerilis.com – The social stigma against widows and divorced women is responsible for the frequent cases of violence against them, the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) has said.

Many single women tend to get the blame when they lose their husbands or are abandoned by them, the commission added.

“In Indonesia, there is a culture or a habit which considers a widow as a sex symbol or sexual harassment material, namely as husband stealer,” commission member Theresia Iswarini said in a statement released on Saturday.

“As a result, their existence is often considered a threat for women who have husbands,” she added.

In the 2016–2020 period, the commission recorded 889 cases of violence — physical, mental, sexual, cyber, and/or economic — against women that were perpetrated by a former husband.

Further, the commission has recorded a spike in gender-based violence in cyberspace since 2017, which peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The circulation of sexual video or photo for revenge was recorded to be most frequently done by intimate partners such as husbands, former husbands, boyfriends, former boyfriends, to close friends,” commission member Satyanti Mashudi informed.

The government needs to respond to this condition by strengthening the effort to protect widows, Komnas Perempuan stressed.

This aligns with the theme of this year’s International Widows Day commemoration, namely innovation and technology for gender equality.

The theme is said to be relevant given that there are still many cases of violence against widows that involve the use of technology, primarily in cyberspace.

The United Nations (UN) has been observing June 23 as International Widows Day since 2011.

The commemoration is intended to end the poverty and difficulty that widows encounter across the world in confronting stigma in society, as well as support them in providing a living for themselves and their families. (Eva/Rd)

source: ANTARA