Dina Afrianty

Dr Dina Afrianty is an associate of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society. She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2011. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne and a fellow for Gender, Religion and Law in Muslim Societies, at the Centre for Social Difference, Columbia University

Many observers have suggested that the win of Anies Baswedan in the Jakarta gubernatorial election last week has set the stage for the ongoing exploitation of religious and ethnic sentiment in Indonesian politics. According to Dr Dina Afrianty, however, most post-election analyses have failed to consider what the election result means for Indonesian women.

Divorces are becoming more common in Indonesia, and women are now responsible for 80 per cent of divorce applications. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although Indonesian law requires husbands and fathers to pay child support and maintenance after divorce, women have few avenues for redress if their former husbands don’t pull their weight.

Many were shocked on 6 February when Unicef reported that an estimated 60 million Indonesian women and girls have undergone genital cutting. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although some Indonesians believe female circumcision is an important expression of religious identity, theological justification for the practice is weak.

More than a decade has passed since Indonesia passed legislation on elimination of violence against women in the home. But as Dina Afrianty writes, most women still prefer to escape abusive marriages through divorce, rather than pursue charges against their husbands.

The Minangkabau of West Sumatra are considered the world’s largest matrilineal society. But despite the apparent high status of women in the province, there is just one woman among the 74 candidates for leadership positions in regional elections scheduled for 9 December. Minangkabau woman Dina Afrianty reports from West Sumatra.

Discrimination, poor infrastructure and a lack of educational assistance services limit the participation of Indonesians with disability in higher education. But as Dr Dina Afrianty writes, some institutions are leading the way in promoting more inclusive approaches. Photo by Tommy Kristiawan Permadi.