Jakarta, Jul 21 (EFE).- Most Indonesian provinces and dozens of cities in the world’s most populous Muslims country impose “abusive” dress codes on women, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, while the country has regressed in rights and freedom in that and other areas.
From 2001 until now, at least 60 local decrees have been approved in the archipelago that force women, sometimes also minors, to wear the hijab or Islamic veil, rules that have “expanded rapidly in the last two decades “warns HRW in a statement published Thursday.
This organization claims to have interviewed a hundred women who have experienced abuse for refusing to wear it, from having to drop out of school, in the case of minors, to being forced to resign from their jobs due to pressure from adults.
The organization spoke of Zubaidah Djohar, a poet and student at an Islamic school in the west of the island of Sumatra who received death threats through Facebook, with messages warning to poison her, for refusing to cover her hair and other parts of her body.
About 150,000 schools in Indonesia have regulations that impose the hijab on female students, the organization said, after the Supreme Court in May 2021 overturned an amendment to a regulation approved by the education ministry months earlier. It specified that schoolgirls could choose whether or not to wear the hijab.
The human rights organization called on the Indonesian government to authorize the internal affairs ministry to annul these regulations, which it said contradict national laws and the Indonesian constitution.
Indonesia, traditionally a liberal country, has seen rapid Islamization in recent years, in part due to the growing influence of Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia, which has expanded at educational institutions and the political scene.
Along these lines, although until now only one province of the country, Aceh, north of Sumatra, was governed by sharia or Islamic law, legislators in a nearby region, West Sumatra, are currently debating whether to impose it. EFE