Category: Gender

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.

The shocking gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu has galvanised the Indonesian public. PhD candidate Hannah Loney looks at the case and how Indonesian feminists and activists used online spaces to draw critical attention to the issue of sexual violence in the country.

Nine women from Central Java captured the nation’s attention last week when they encased their feet in cement blocks and demanded to meet President Joko Widodo. Hendri Yulius writes that despite the subordination of women in Indonesian society, women and mothers have on several occasions been key drivers of social change.

What are the main forms of violence against women in Indonesia, and the key drivers of this violence? What support is available to women suffering violence? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, vice chair of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan).

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) issued a circular in February preventing television stations from broadcasting programs depicting “feminine” men. Hani Yulindrasari writes that not only does this circular ignore the reality of gender diversity in Indonesia but also contributes to a potentially damaging and toxic version of masculinity.

Indonesia has seen a sustained attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past two months, triggered by comments made by the minister of higher education, research and technology, Muhammad Nasir. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the godfather of gay activism in Indonesia, Dede Oetomo, about the moral panic gripping the nation.

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.