Category: Gender

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.

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.

Many analyses of women’s involvement in fundamentalist groups depict these women as naive victims of more powerful or charismatic men. But as Lies Marcoes explains, young women have distinct political and ideological motives for participating in violent extremist movements. Photo by Armin Hari.

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.