Category: Gender

On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, demanding that the government promote gender equality in law making and public policy and take action to eradicate violence against women. Like similar marches across the globe, the event featured many powerful and humorous signs.

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a controversial challenge to the Criminal Code that sought to outlaw same sex sexual relations. Hendri Yulius writes that the decision is a reminder that the state is far from uniform in its response to issues of gender and sexuality.

Two new online applications, AyoPoligami and Nikahsirri, have caused controversy for promoting polygamy. Hendri Yulius writes that the rise of such applications is a result of a shame and fear of sex in Indonesia, as well as competing religious and secular definitions of marriage.

The Joko Widodo government has expressed a desire to stop sending Indonesian domestic workers abroad. But how has it tried to manage the flow of citizens seeking employment overseas? What effect do bans and moratoriums have on the flow of migrant workers? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Wayne Palmer in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

How has digital media created spaces for a diversity of views on issues important to Indonesian women, including sexuality and religion? What does an Indonesian ‘feminist’ publication look like? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues and more with Devi Asmarani, chief editor of online magazine Magdalene.

Over the past century, Kartini has been mythologised, misused and misread. Dr Joost Coté, a researcher and adviser on the recent film bearing her name, writes that despite her status as a national feminist icon, there is actually little factual historical information about Kartini.

Over the past month, a number of dramatic arrests have brought LGBT Indonesians back into the spotlight. Hendri Yulius writes that the publication of these “extreme” episodes is necessary to perpetuate the idea of a moral panic, and to serve a justification for the wars against LGBT people to continue.

Following Kartini Day, on 21 April, Talking Indonesia looks at the state of the women’s movement in Indonesia. Dr Jemma Purdey speaks to Dr Intan Paramaditha about why sexuality and the female body continue to be sites for contestation and national anxiety, and how the movement is responding to the “conservative turn” in mainstream Islam.

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.

Rumours of a “same-sex marriage” between comedian Aming Supriatna Sugandhi and Evelyn Nada Anjani in early June saw a return of the national hand wringing over sexuality that Indonesia witnessed earlier this year. Hendri Yulius writes that their relationship demonstrates the complexity of gender and sexuality issues and exposes the inadequacy of Indonesian policy to cope with this complexity.