In­done­sia Is­lamic dis­trict to ban con­doms in con­ve­nience stores

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH -

BELOPA: A staunchly Is­lamic dis­trict in In­done­sia plans to ban the sale of con­doms in con­ve­nience stores in a bid to halt pre­mar­i­tal sex, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, but activists crit­i­cized the move as mis­guided. The lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion in Luwu on cen­tral Su­lawesi is­land will soon send a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to con­ve­nience stores, giv­ing them a week to re­move con­doms from their shelves, dis­trict head Andi Mudza­kkar said.

“We are con­cerned that pre­mar­i­tal sex is on the rise among teenagers,” he said from the dis­trict cap­i­tal Belopa. A week af­ter the let­ters are sent, the gov­ern­ment will raid the dozens of con­ve­nience stores in Luwu, and those caught vi­o­lat­ing the rule could be shut down, Mudza­kkar said. He said that he took the de­ci­sion af­ter notic­ing that con­doms were sold openly in the stores and could be eas­ily bought by young­sters.

Con­dom sales would still be al­lowed in the re­mote dis­trict in phar­ma­cies but only for cus­tomers aged above 17, he said. In many ru­ral parts of the archipelago, con­ve­nience stores are the only re­tail out­lets offering a size­able range of goods. Yakub Gunawan, an ac­tivist from the Red In­sti­tute, an NGO fo­cus­ing on HIV, said the ban would not tackle “risky sex­ual be­hav­ior”. “The Luwu gov­ern­ment should be pro­mot­ing early sex ed­u­ca­tion in­stead so teenagers will know how to be re­spon­si­ble and pro­tect them­selves,” he said.

Reg­u­la­tions to crack down on be­hav­ior viewed as “im­moral” and against Is­lam have mul­ti­plied across In­done­sia-the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­try-in re­cent years, amid signs of grow­ing con­ser­vatism in many sec­tors of so­ci­ety. Con­ser­va­tive cler­ics have long de­nounced of­fi­cial cam­paigns to en­cour­age con­dom use, claim­ing that they en­cour­age sex be­fore mar­riage. Ear­lier this year In­done­sia’s top Is­lamic cler­i­cal body spoke out against the sale of con­doms fol­low­ing re­ports that the con­tra­cep­tives were be­ing sold to­gether with chocolate to mark Valen­tine’s Day. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.