Talking Indonesia: women, gender and activism

On 21 April, Indonesia celebrated Kartini Day, commemorating Raden Ageng Kartini, a national hero and pioneer of the emancipation of women. More than a century since her death, gender, sexuality and morality are highly contested issues in politics and society. In recent times, a conservative turn in Indonesia has seen extreme voices come to the fore in mainstream Islam, leading to attacks on non-traditional sexualities and women’s bodies.


What is the present state of the women’s movement in Indonesia? Why have sexuality and the female body continued to be sites for contestation and national anxiety? How have women and other marginalised groups like the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community responded to the conservative turn? In this week’s podcast I explore these issues with Dr Intan Paramaditha, a lecturer at Macquarie University.


In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Indi and Rani Soemardjan on Flickr.


Dr Jemma Purdey is Research Fellow at Monash University in the Faculty of Arts and the Australia Indonesia Centre. She is the author of Anti-Chinese Violence in Indonesia 1996-1999, published by NUS Press.