Press Release: Indigenous Papuan Market-women
Long live Papuans….Long live Papuan Women….Long live the City’s poor
Papua is rich in natural resources, but it’s not the indigenous Papuans that own them. This is evident in the economic development of Papua, especially in Jayapura, the capital city where many kiosks, shops and malls are not owned by us who own this land. The reality is, indigenous Papuan market-women have been suffering for a long time. They have been marginalised by powerful capitalists in the heart of Jayapura. The government just closes their eyes and does not see us, the indigenous people. Instead, the government prioritises the interests of those with capital and who are wealthy to grant economic rights in this land. The permanent market-place which the government promised [the market-women] is still unclear. It’s been almost a year since the temporary market was opened but the market-women still feel let down since there are still 2 other markets in this city.
There was an agreement at the meeting on February 1st 2011 between the mama-mama, Commission D of the DPRD and the Jayapura municipal authorities that the market at Terminal Mesran would only sell manufactured goods (VCDs and clothes), whereas fresh agricultural goods would only be sold by indigenous market-women at the Temporary Market on Jalan Percetakan. However, this is not the case. The market at Terminal Mesran also sells agricultural goods and the mama-mama feel the financial loss since it has resulted in a decrease in consumers at the Temporary Market.
The additional Rp. 600,000 in the form of loans from the indigenous market-women’s cooperative, set up as a result of the mama-mama’s lobbying, cannot be paid back since the mama-mama have been making a loss over the past year. In addition, it remains unclear whose responsibility the Temporary Market is. The provincial and the municipal governments cast the responsibility of electricity, water and waste management provision on each other. It’s totally chaotic and unregulated.
With the level of economic violence against women in Papua increasing, the indigenous market-women have joined STOP SUDAH (Stop Already), a coalition against the violence and discrimination against women and children in Papua and have urged the government to:
1. Build a permanent market-place in Jayapura for indigenous Papuan traders.
2. Stop prosecuting and displacing women selling pinang on Jalan Irian until a permanent market-place has been built.
3. Immediately close the market at Mesran and to relocate traders.
4. Close the Pasar Murah in Jayapura.
5. Take strong action against those who sell vegetables and fresh fish using motorised vehicles.
6. Prohibit those who own shopping malls from selling fresh produce.
7. Prohibit non-Papuans from selling pinang and sagu in Papua.
8. Prohibit the building of shops and malls in Jayapura.
9. Immediately build markets for indigenous Papuan traders in every Kabupaten in Papua.
Herewith is the position of indigenous Papuan market-women in order for the Papuan people to have economic sovereignty in this land rather than investors.
Port Numbay, 25 November 2011
Vegetable Traders : Yuliana Pigai
Fruit Traders : MariaTabuni
Spices Traders : Esterfinah Antoh
Sagu Traders : Selfiana Wondiwoi
Pinang Traders : Kathrina Tekege
Smoked Fish Traders : Yusthea Waromi
Raw Fish Traders : Yokbet Yowei
Bread Traders : Anne Imbiri
Grated Coconut Traders : Pitersina Makamur
Chicken Traders : Yohana Yumame
Street Food : Miryam Awarawi
Pinang Traders of Jalan Irian : Martina Sawen
Translate : Sophie Croker