Gender Studies, Laws, Women, and Sexuality in Indonesia (Annotated Bibliography)
Gender Studies, Laws, Women, and Sexuality in Indonesia (Annotated Bibliography)
Compiled by: Stephanie Razo
Directed Individual Study, Fall 2015
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Afrianty, Dina. 2015. Women and Sharia Law in Northern Indonesia: Local Women’s NGOs and the Reform of Islamic Law in Aceh. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
This book examines the life of women in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where Islamic law was introduced in 1999. It outlines how women have had to face the formalisation of conservative understandings of sharia law in regulations and new state institutions over the last decade or so, how they have responded to this, forming non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have shaped local discourse on women’s rights, equality and status in Islam, and how these NGOs have strategised, demanded reform, and enabled Acehnese women to take active roles in influencing the processes of democratisation and Islamisation that are shaping the province. The book shows that although the formal introduction of Islamic law in Aceh has placed restrictions on women’s freedom, paradoxically it has not prevented them from engaging in public life. It argues that the democratisation of Indonesia, which allowed Islamisation to occur, continues to act as an important factor shaping Islamisation’s current trajectory; that the introduction of Islamic law has motivated women’s NGOs and other elements of civil society to become more involved in wider discussions about the future of sharia in Aceh; and that Indonesia’s recent decentralisation policy and growing local Islamism have enabled the emergence of different religious and local adat practices, which do not necessarily correspond to overall national trends.
Aisyah, Siti & Parker, Lyn. 2014. “Problematic Conjugations: Women’s Agency, Marriage And Domestic Violence in Indonesia.” Asian Studies Review 38 (2).
This paper examines women’s experience of domestic violence within marriage in Makassar, South Sulawesi. It analyses the meaning of marriage for men and women, the roles of men and women within marriage, shifts in marriage practices – particularly the shift from arranged to “love” marriage – and unequal gender positions within marriage. We discuss some salient issues in the “margins of marriage” in Indonesia: polygyny and constructions of masculinity that condone the practice of polygyny/affairs, and attitudes towards divorce, particularly for women. We then examine women’s perception of the causes and triggers of domestic violence as revealed by ﬁeldwork data, using the lens of women’s agency. Our ﬁndings are that women perceive that their expressions of agency – for instance in challenging men’s authority, moral righteousness and adequacy as breadwinners – are the most common triggers for male violence within marriage. Finally, we discuss the difﬁculty for women of escaping domestic violence, thereby getting some purchase on the relative capacity of women to resist, deﬂect or deal with the violence.
Bahramitash, Roksana. 2002. “Islamic Fundamentalism and Women’s Employment in Indonesia.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 16 (2).
It is commonly observed that the economic position of women seems particularly precarious in countries where political Islam is on the ascendant. The usual interpretation is that the first condition is a result of the second. Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of countries, but particularly Indonesia, this paper demonstrates that Islamic doctrines are by no means universal, that they do not invariably discriminate against women in economic terms. A review of the recent economic and political changes leading to the rise of political Islam and changes in female labour market participation patterns suggests that establishing a causal relationship between the two is problematic and can be misleading. Evidence from Indonesia challenges ideological reductionism based on stereotypical assumptions about the impact of Islam to explain women’s economic roles.
Blackwood, Evelyn. 2007. “Regulation of Sexuality in Indonesian Discourse: Normative Gender, Criminal Law and Shifting Strategies of Control.” Culture, Health, & Sexuality 9 (3).
This paper examines changes in the regulation of sexuality in Indonesia in the period since 1980 as seen through state, religious and lesbian and gay activist discourses on sexuality. Three different eras during that period of Indonesian history are compared. Under the New Order regime of Suharto, the Indonesian state sought to control sexuality through a deployment of gender. During the 1990s, state Islamic discourses of sexuality shifted in response to international pressures to support same-sex marriage and sexual rights. During the third period following the end of the Suharto regime in 1998, a conservative Islamic minority pushed for more restrictive laws in the State Penal Code, initiating intense public debate on the role of the state in questions of sexuality and morality. Over this time period, the dominant discourse on sexuality moved from strategically linking normative gender with heterosexuality and marriage to direct attempts to legislate heterosexual marriage by criminalizing a wide range of sexual practices.
Blackwood, Evelyn. 2010. Falling Into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Falling into the Lesbi World offers a compelling view of sexual and gender difference through the everyday lives of tombois and their girlfriends (‘femmes’) in the city of Padang, West Sumatra. While likening themselves to heterosexual couples, tombois and femmes contest and blur dominant constructions of gender and heterosexuality. Tombois are masculine females who identify as men and desire women; their girlfriends view themselves as normal women who desire men. Through rich, in-depth, and provocative stories, author Evelyn Blackwood shows how these same-sex Indonesian couples negotiate transgressive identities and desires and how their experiences speak to the struggles and desires of sexual and gender minorities everywhere. Blackwood analyzes the complex and seemingly contradictory practices of tombois and their partners, demonstrating how they make sense of Islamic, transnational, and modern state discourses in ways that seem to align with normative gender and sexual categories while at the same time subverting them. The childhood and adolescent narratives of tombois and femmes offer bold new insights into a social process that is rarely addressed in anthropological, lesbian, gay, or transgender studies. We see how tombois and femmes come to view themselves as boys and girls, respectively, through their interactions with family and community, and how as teenagers tombois learn that masculinity needs its opposite: feminine women. By contrast femmes notice shifts in their desires as they develop long-term relationships with tombois. The book reveals the complexity of tomboi masculinity, showing how tombois enact both masculine and feminine behaviors as they move between the anonymity and vulnerability of public spaces and the familiarity of family spaces. Falling into the Lesbi World demonstrates how nationally and globally circulating queer discourses are received and reinterpreted by tombois and femmes in a city in Indonesia. Though less educated than many internet-savvy activists in major urban centers, their identities are clearly both part of yet different than global gay models of sexuality. In contrast to the international LGBT model of’modern’sexualities, this work reveals a multiplicity of sexual and gender subjectivities in Indonesia, arguing for the importance of recognizing and validating this diversity in the global gay ecumene.
Boellstorff, Tom. 2004. “The Emergence of Political Homophobia in Indonesia: Masculinity and National Belonging.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 69 (4).
This paper explores an unprecedented series of violent acts against ‘gay’ Indonesians beginning in September 1999. Indonesia is often characterized as ‘tolerant’ of homosexuality. This is a false belief, but one containing a grain of truth. To identify this grain of truth I distinguish between ‘heterosexism’ and ‘homophobia,’ noting that Indonesia has been marked by a predominance of heterosexism over homophobia. I examine the emergence of a political homophobia directed at public events where gay men stake a claim to Indonesia’s troubled civil society. That such violence is seen as the properly masculine response to these events indicates how the nation may be gaining a new masculinist cast. In the new Indonesia, male–male desire can increasingly be construed as a threat to normative masculinity, and thus to the nation itself.
Boellstorff, Tom. 2005. “Between Religion and Desire: Being Muslim and Gay in Indonesia.”American Anthropologist 107 (4).
Thousands of Indonesian men now identify as both “gay” and “Muslim.” How do these men understand the relationship between religion and sexuality? How do these understandings reflect the fact that they live in the nation that is home to more Muslims than any other? In this article, I address questions such as these through an ethnographic study of gay Muslims. I argue that dominant social norms render being gay and being Muslim “ungrammatical” with each other in the public sphere that is crucial to Muslim life in Indonesia. Through examining doctrine, interpretation, and community, I explore how gay Muslim subjectivity takes form in this incommensurability between religion and desire.
Boellstorff, Tom. 2006. “Gay and Lesbian Indonesians and the Idea of the Nation.” Social Analysis 50 (1).
It is remarkable how few Westerners know that Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation (after China, India, and the United States), or that Indonesia is home to more Muslims than any other country. These basic facts should be enough to establish Indonesia’s importance for current world affairs. In this essay, however, I argue for paying attention to the life-worlds of gay and lesbian Indonesians. While this might seem an unconventional topic, these Indonesians’ lives provide valuable clues to how being ‘Indonesian’ gets defined and to the workings of nation-states more generally. They teach us how heteronormativity—the assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal or proper sexuality plays a fundamental role in forming nation-states as “imagined communities.”‘ In Indonesia and elsewhere, nation-states are modeled on a particular archetype of the nuclear family (husband, wife, and children, with the nation’s president as parent). In line with this model, nation-states often portray themselves as made up not just of individual citizens but of families, which almost always are assumed to be nuclear families despite the staggering range of family forms found in the world’s cultures. Restricting the family model to the heterosexual couple has been a key means by which the idea of the Indonesian nation (and other nations) has been promulgated and sustained. Thus, rather than see the exclusion of homosexuality as a latter-day response to an encroaching global gay and lesbian movement, this exclusion is most accurately understood as a point of departure by which the idea of ‘Indonesia’ comes to exist in the first place.
Curnow, Jayne. 2015. “Legal Support Structures and the Realisation of Muslim Women’s Rights in Indonesia.” Asian Studies Review 39 (2).
Access to courts in Indonesia is remarkably low. An estimated 90 per cent of disputes are handled through informal mechanisms (World Bank, 2008; Clark and Stephens, 2011), raising doubts about whether there is any prospect of the reach and efﬁcacy of Indonesian law ever being expanded to facilitate judicial protection of human rights and the rights of women. This article considers this issue and places it in the context of a number of other factors, such as the critique of human rights as a western import and the inﬂuence of the state, Islam and feminism on women’s rights in Indonesia. Given gender relations in the current political and legal environment, I argue that “support structures for legal mobilisation” (SSLMs) provide a crucial link to the community that enables the exercise of women’s rights. The article focuses on the example of one such SSLM. PEKKA is a national NGO that leverages international support in its efforts to empower women and facilitate access to courts – including religious courts, which determine access to government social safety nets and many other entitlements for many Indonesian women and their families.
Davies, Sharyn Graham, and Bennett, Linda Rae. 2015. Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Health, Diversity, and Representation. London: Routledge.
Sex, sexuality and sexual relationships are hotly debated in Indonesia, triggering complex and often passionate responses. This innovative volume explores these issues in a variety of ways. It highlights historical and newer forms of sexual diversity, as well as the social responses they provoke. It critiques differing representations of sexuality, pointing to the multiplicity of discourses within which sexuality and ‘the sexual’ are understood in modern-day Indonesia. Placing sexuality centre-stage and locating it within the specific historical context of the Reformasi era, this landmark volume explores understandings and practices across a wide variety of sites, focusing in on a diverse group of Indonesian actors, and the contested meanings that sexuality carries. Beginning with a substantive introduction and concluding with a scholarly reflection on key issues, the volume is framed around the four themes of sexual politics, health, diversity and representations. It seeks both to present new empirical findings as well as to add to existing theoretical analysis. This work fills an important gap in our understanding of the evolution and contemporary dynamics of Indonesian sexualities. It will be of interest to scholars and academics from disciplines including gender and sexuality studies, global health, sexual and reproductive health, anthropology, sociology and Asian studies.
Fernandez, Antonia, Giusta, Marina Della, & Kambhampati, Uma S. 2015. “The Intrinsic Value of Agency: The Case of Indonesia.” World Development 70.
This paper analyzes the relationship between agency and Indonesian women’s well-being. The existing debate on empowerment mostly focuses on agency’s instrumental value, how agency benefits development and household/women’s welfare. We depart from this debate by considering the intrinsic value of agency for women using the Indonesia Family Life Survey. We measure agency based on the decisions women make within their households. We find the effects of agency are not unambiguously positive. Agency has intrinsic value, seen in its strong relationship to well-being in certain spheres, which is moderated by the ‘burden of responsibility’ that seems to be felt by decision-makers.
Gallaway, Julie H., and Bernasek, Alexandra. 2004. “Literacy and Women’s Empowerment in Indonesia: Implications for Policy.” Journal of Economic Issues 38 (2).
In this paper we explore the relationship between literacy and labor market outcomes for women in Indonesia. One way women may be helped is if literacy provides a means to a better job, specifically by tearing down one of the barriers to entry into certain occupations. Indonesia provides an excellent setting for this study for a few reasons. First, we have excellent data for Indonesia that include a distinction between educa- tional attainment and literacy. Literacy and education are as one would expect positively correlated, and most studies look at the effects of educational attainment on women’s labor market outcomes. In this study we are interested in focusing on the skill-liter- acy-irrespective of how it is acquired, and how it is related to occupational outcomes for women. Indonesia is also a good context for this study because women’s paid labor force participation has been expanding rapidly and is categorized as one of the newly industri- alizing economies which has included a fairly explicit principle of shared growth “that makes efficient use of labor and [has] invested in the human capital of the poor” (World Bank 1990, 51).
Kassam, Zayn. 2010. Women and Religion in the World. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.
The subject of Muslim women or women in Islam continues to provoke horror, fascination, pity, anger, sadness, and at times, vitriolic reactions against both Muslim men and Islam. The chapters in this volume, on the other hand will, it is hoped, invoke a different kind of response, perhaps of admiration for the work of many of these women. More realistically, this volume hopes to stimulate further discussion over more sober understandings of challenges faced and strategies employed by Muslim women around the world in attending the realities of daily life. Each chapter takes us to a different part of the globe and affords us a glimpse into the many diverse ways in which Muslim women are actively involved in addressing the conditions imbedded in their discrete environments, taking up the opportunities afforded to them, and, in some instances, creating spaces for an energetic engagement with what it means to be a Muslim woman in a globalized world.
McGregor, Katharine. 2012. “Indonesian Women, the Women’s International Democratic Federation and the Struggle for ‘Women’s Rights’, 1946-1965.” Indonesia & the Malay World 14 (117).
This article examines the transnational links Indonesian women made with women abroad by means of participation in the WIDF (Women’s International Democratic Federation) from 1946–1965. Drawing on Indonesian women’s speeches at WIDF congresses, contributions to WIDF publications and documents from Gerwani (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia, the Indonesian Women’s movement) national congresses the article argues that the WIDF provided an important political compass for Indonesian women on the political left and directly influenced the form and content of its campaign for women’s rights. At the same time Gerwani women were able to draw attention and attract support from the extensive membership of the WIDF for domestic challenges, which they positioned as connected to broader struggles against imperialism. With a rapidly rising membership Gerwani was assuming increased importance and influence in the WIDF by the early 1960s and had begun to shape the direction and causes of the WIDF.
Monshipouri, Mahmood. 2009. Muslims in Global Politics: Identities, Interests, and Human Rights. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
The book’s theoretical parts (Chapters 1-3) broaden and sharpen our analytical view of culture and identity as factors that help define the interests of Muslims on global scene. Chapter 1 introduces conceptual and theoretical frameworks. Different constructions of identity (ethnicity, religion, language, and nation) have become the cornerstone of debate. What is identity? How is it constructed and reconstructed within the context of globalization? And why is it important? These are among the central questions in the contemporary Muslim world. Chapter 2 examines Muslims’ reactions to emerging and evolving international norms. In this chapter, I present a fourfold typology of Muslims (conservatives, neofundamentalists, reformists, and secularists) to show how they construct their identities as agents, what sites they use, and what strategies they adopt. Special attention is paid to Muslim women’s struggle for identity and human rights in Chapter 3. Here I argue that “borderless solidarity” has led to the promotion of women’s rights across and within cultures. Having contextualized gender analysis in the cultural, economic, and political domains, this section then examines why Muslim women have become the agents of change, reform, and democratization in a globalizing world.
Octavia, Lanny. 2014. “Circumcision and Muslim Women’s Identity in Indonesia.” Studia Islamika 21 (3).
In Indonesia, female circumcision is generally perceived as a traditional heritage that must be respected and preserved, as well as a religious injunction that must be followed and implemented. Despite there being a lack of religious arguments, the practice has been deemed as a medium to Islamize a girl and as a strong marker of a girl’s Islamic identity. On the other hand, female circumcision is also associated with local tradition. The practice is intended to purify and preserve a girl’s honor. This reflects a patriarchal ideology that emphasizes the importance of protecting female chastity. This paper unfolds the complicated nature of female circumcision in Indonesia, and examines whether it serves as an expression of religious belief, as a preservation of local tradition or as a violation of human rights.
Oetomo, Dede. 2013. “New Kids on the Block: Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity in Southeast Asia.” Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal 14(2).
The article offers information on the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or queer (LGBTIQ) people related to the sexual orientation and gender identity in the region of South-east Asia. It discusses the significant role of the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights or the Human Rights Commission formed by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in drafting of the Human Rights Declaration to address the problems of sexual discrimination.
Offord, Baden & Cantrell, Leon. 2001. “Homosexual Rights as Human Rights in Indonesia and Australia.” Journal of Homosexuality 40 (3).
At the World Human Rights Conference in Vienna in1993, the Singaporean Foreign Minister Wong Kan Seng stated: ‘‘Homosexual rights area Western issue, and are not relevant at this conference’’ (Berry,1994:73).This statement was made to counter the introduction at the conference of homosexual rights by Australian gay activist Rodney Croome (Berry,1994). In1992, the Malaysian Prime Minister ‘‘claimed that enhancing democratic rights would actually lead to homosexuality’’ (La Violette & Whitworth, n.d.: 582).The purpose of this paper is to examine an important area made explicit by the above. In the last few years, the issue of homosexual rights has become a controversial feature in the general international human rights debate (Amnesty International, 1994; La Violette &Whitworth, n.d.; Heinze, 1995; Hendricks et al., 1993; Altman, 1994; Wintemute, 1995). This debate is increasingly articulated in the West but notably absent in relation to Asian cultures and nations where it is no less relevant.
Offord, Baden. 2013. “Queer Activists Intersections in Southeast Asia: Human Rights and Cultural Studies.” Asian Studies Review 37 (3).
The practice of human rights elicits a range of theoretical positions and problems in relation to advocacy across Southeast Asia. This raises questions about the universal nature of human rights, the problem of cultural imperialism and the dynamic of the local and the global. These questions become heightened when connected to queer or LGBT issues. This paper focuses on the intersections of queer scholarship, activism and human rights in relation to LGBT asylum seekers from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in order to explore the potentialities, possibilities and difﬁcult challenges queer activists and scholars face in translating human rights principles, values and actions across and between modes of activist communication. A special purpose of the paper is to explore how the discipline of cultural studies and its attention to everyday lives, identity, self-reﬂexivity and socio-cultural context offers a scholarship that is speciﬁcally attuned to the problematics and complexity of human rights and queer activism and their application in researching these Southeast Asian contexts.
Rinaldo, Rachel. 2008. “Envisioning the Nation: Women Activists, Religion and the Public Sphere in Indonesia.” Social Forces 86 (4).
Indonesia’s Islamic revival has coincided with the growing involvement of women in civil society. Muslim women’s organizations are playing an important role in how the Indonesian nation-state is being re-imagined for the 2r’ century. Muslim women’s groups are incubators for women’s diverse political activism. The increasing role of Islam in the public sphere provides religious women with an important platform, facilitating their involvement in national debates over issues such as Shariah law, abortion and pornography. Such public sphere debates enfold significant struggles over the relationship between religion and the state. Through their involvement in these debates, Muslim women activists should be seen as participants in the renegotiation of the Indonesian nation-state.
Rinaldo, Rachel. 2011. “Muslim Women, Moral Visions: Globalization and Gender Controversies in Indonesia.” Qualitative Sociology 34 (4).
Since 1998, Indonesia’s democratization has produced contentious public debates, many of which revolve around issues of gender and sexual morality. Yet such controversies not only often focus on women, but also involve women as participants. This article examines how Muslim women activists in two organizations adapt global discourses to participate in important public sphere debates about pornography and polygamy. Indonesia’s moral debates demonstrate an important way in which global discourses are negotiated in national settings. In the debates, some pious women use discourses of feminism and liberal Islam to argue for women’s equality, while others use Islam to call for greater moral regulation of society. My research demonstrates that global discourses of feminism and Islamic revivalism are mediated through national organizations which shape women’s political activism and channel it in different directions. Women’s political subjectivities are thus shaped through their involvement in national organizations that structure the ways they engage with global discourses. The Indonesian case shows not only that the national should not be conflated with the local, but also demonstrates the significance of national contexts and histories for understanding global processes.
Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah. 2012. “The Alternative Incumbency Effect: Electing Women Legislators in Indonesia.” Electoral Studies 31 (3).
Between the 1999 and 2009 elections the proportion of national female legislators in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority democracy, more than doubled. While this substantial increase may partly be explained by the recent imposition of a gender quota and placement mandate that have forced parties to increase the number of female candidates, quotas cannot fully explain the strong performance of women in the 2009 elections. First, many parties placed women higher on their lists that the laws required; second, voters appeared to over vote for women in some districts. Although incumbency’s typical effect is to inhibit female electoral success by advantaging traditional (male) competitors, I argue that women benefited largely from an alternative effect: female incumbency can improve female candidate placement and electability by demonstrating female capacity and capability, Female newcomers benefited strongly from the presence of female incumbents in their own and bordering districts, thus suggesting a positive diffusion effect of female incumbency.
Suvianita, Khanis. 2013. “Human Rights and the LGBTI Movement in Indonesia.” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 19 (1).
LGBT movements in Indonesia were started by the waria (transgender male to female) group in the 1960s in Jakarta and have inspired gay and lesbian people to create their organizations in the 1980s and late 1990s. The groups have been struggling and voicing concerns for their category of people and to campaign for their rights. Gay people started with HIV and AIDS issues and lesbian people have come together in feminist group campaigns for women rights. They never came together as a larger group until 2010, when the ILGA Conference in Surabaya was attacked by Islamic fundamentalist groups. LGBTI people are aware that they comprise a category and are committed to build the LGBTIQ Indonesia Forum as a space to voicing their rights together. In 2011, LGBTI people started their work for human rights and have documented LGBTI human rights violations seriously.
Wandita, Galuh. 1998. “The Tears Have Not Stopped, the Violence Has Not Ended: Political Upheaval, Ethnicity, and Violence Against Women in Indonesia.” Gender and Development 6 (3).
In May of this year, student protests sparked off riots, looting, and arson all over Indonesia. After the political situation had stabilised, accounts emerged of women from ethnic minorities being targets of horrific violence. The subsequent publicity and debate have enabled women survivors to make their voices heard for the first time, and to take action together.
Wieringa, Saskia E. 2003. “The Birth of the New Order State in Indonesia: Sexual Politics and Nationalism.” The Indiana University Press 15 (1).
Scholars have suggested that Indonesia’s former president Suharto’s New Order state legitimated itself by destroying the Partai Komunis Indonesia (Communist Party of Indonesia, PKI). In this article, the author points to the sexual politics underlying this process of legitimation that have been largely ignored in earlier analyses. She focuses on the military’s orchestrated campaign of slander and sexual innuendo against the PKI’s women’s organization Gerwani (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia, Indonesian Women’s Movement). This campaign was pursued for more than 30 years since the 1 October 1965 putsch in Indonesia that eventually brought Suharto to power. It embodied a powerful, supportive logic by which Suharto’s rule was sustained until mid-1998, creating a particular form of national, militarized identity. Another consequence of the sexual accusations Gerwani endured was the destruction of what was at the time one of the most powerful women’s movements in the world. Not only was Gerwani banned and destroyed, but the remaining women’s organizations were also brought under strict government control. The state even set up its own mass women’s organizations, under the umbrella of Dharma Wanita (Women’s Duty), which were intended to re-subordinate rather than emancipate women.
Wieringa, Saskia E. 2015. “Gender Harmony and the Happy Family: Islam, Gender and Sexuality in Post-Reformasi Indonesia.” Southeast Asia Research 23 (1).
A renewed global emphasis on ‘traditional culture’ threatens progress in women’s and sexual rights. This article focuses on Indonesia, where concepts such as ‘gender harmony’ and ‘the happy (Muslim) family’ have become state policy and where neo-Salafism is gaining ground. Indonesia’s first President, Sukarno, who managed to balance the army, Communism and Islam, was swept away during the period of mass murder in 1965-67 in which the Communist Party was destroyed. The struggle for women’s rights, as represented by the Communist-affiliated mass women’s organization Gerwani, became associated with sexual licentiousness through the slander campaign waged against the organization by the army. During the military dictatorship of Suharto, political Islam was allowed to grow. After the fall of Suharto, which introduced the so-called Reformasi period (from 1998), conservative Muslim forces gained control over important institutions. They strengthened a backward interpretation of women’s position in society. While a discourse of women’s rights prevailed after 1998, this has since been replaced by a heteronormative discourse on the ‘harmonious family’, in which women are assigned a subordinate position. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Children’s Protection actively promotes this concept (at the global level too), asserting that it aims to reduce domestic violence. With the help of a discourse analysis of some key official documents, the passionate aesthetics underlying this emphasis on the reintroduction of patriarchal heteronormativity in Indonesia are exposed. Regrettably, the United Nations Population Fund supports the Indonesian Ministry on this path.
Williams, Linda B. 1989. “Postnupital Migration and the Status of Women in Indonesia.” Journal of Marriage and Family 51 (4).
This article explores the relationship between migration at or soon after marriage and the status of women within the household in rural Central Java, Indonesia. Determinants of decision- making processes surrounding contraception, childbearing, resource control, and a variable measuring overall decision-making power are explored by the method of ordinary-least-squares regression estimations. It is found that post-marriage residential mobility can increase women’s decision-making power, as can less frequent con- tact with parents on both sides of the family. If a woman moves to a new village early in her marriage, however, the move may weaken her position within the household.