Category: Analysis

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.

On Indonesia at Melbourne last week, Bhatara Ibnu Reza warned against revising anti-terror legislation to provide police or intelligence officials with greater powers. Christian Donny Putranto writes that the proposal to strip the citizenship of individuals suspected of fighting with terrorist groups is just as dangerous.

In January, President Joko Widodo twice instructed senior officials to resolve past violations of human rights by the end of the year. Yati Andriyani and Nurkholis Hidayat write that unless major changes are made to the reconciliation process, prospects for meaningful resolution do not look good.

Al Makin writes that as long as Indonesians remain a pious people oriented toward religion, new religious movements like Gafatar will continue to emerge. Both the government and Indonesian citizens need to accept this fact. Photo by Jessica Helena Wuysang for Antara.

After the deadly terrorist attack in Jakarta on 14 January, a range of senior officials have agreed on the need to strengthen Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws. But as Bhatara Ibnu Reza writes, the history of security sector reform in the country shows that reform should be approached with extreme caution.

Last weekend, the minister of higher education, research and technology stated that he would ban LGBT Indonesians from all universities in the country. Although he has attempted to qualify this statement, Hendri Yulius describes how the incident is part of a trend of increasing restrictions on the discussion of LGBT issues in Indonesian universities.

After a difficult year for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), what are the prospects for corruption eradication in 2016? The coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch, Adnan Topan Husodo, writes that although it still has a lot of homework to do, the public should not give up on the KPK just yet.

National health laws and health promotion discourse in Indonesia are heavily geared toward the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. But as Belinda Raintung explains, maternity leave provisions have not kept pace, placing significant burdens on mothers.

Police have named Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian affiliated with ISIS, as the suspected mastermind of the Jakarta attacks. Who is he, and does this mean Indonesia should expect further attacks from ISIS-affiliated in groups in the country? In this special edition of Talking Indonesia, Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Solahudin, a leading expert on jihadism in Indonesia.

Most Indonesian streets appear tired and unloved. But they are also the only truly public spaces in Indonesian cities. Dr Amanda Achmadi profiles Visual Jalanan, an initiative that aims to document the provocative, profound and often silly visual works and activities found on streets across the country.

Last month, the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 crimes against humanity provoked a predictably strong response in Indonesia. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey reflect on the tribunal and its consequences for the activists who participated.

Indonesian reporting on the arrest of so-called celebrity prostitute Nikita Mirzani has been detailed and profuse. Hendri Yulius writes that, whether we like to admit it or not, we all gain a degree of pleasure from reading these highly sexualised reports.