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Discussion Series: Gender and Women’s Empowerment

Discussion Series: Gender and Women’s Empowerment
“Women, Family and Equality”
LSPPA Yogyakarta, MitraWacana, PKBI, SCN CREST, PSKK UGM
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DISCUSSION THEME
Examining Kartini’s thoughts about
“Emancipation, Equality and Gender Justice”

Commemorating Kartini Day is an annual event in April, which is celebrated by almost all social institutions in Indonesia. Commemorations that have been held since the New Order have tended to emphasize the role of women in the domestic sphere, either through the use of visual symbols such as traditional Javanese women’s dress, thekebaya, a long cloth and hair styled in a bun, as well as the organization of women in the domestic sphere with competitions for cooking and other skills. Although it has been widely criticized, in fact, this model of the celebration continued in the era of reform without any significant change. Why does this happen? Does such a celebration representKartini’s thinking? Or are Kartini’sthoughts deliberately being used to perpetuate the role of women in the domestic sphere alone? What are Kartini’s thoughts about gender relations?

Discussion series “Women Family and Equality”

In order to re-examine Kartini’s ideas, LSPPA Yogyakarta, MitraWacana, PKBI, SCN CREST and PSKK UGM will hold a discussion series with the overarching theme of “Women, Family and Equality”. This theme is based on the argument it is difficult to remove women from their domestic role because it is important for the continuity of the family institution. The idea of women that is always attached to the institution of the family was actually supported by the New Order government through “State-Ibuism” – a state ideology that puts women in the role of mother in the biological and socialsense: caring for children and accompanying her husband (Robinson, 2009; Suryakusuma, 1996; Suryochondro, 2000). In fact, this ideology represents only the lives of women in one particular social class, namely the upper class (Hadiz&Eddyono, 2005). Inspired by the atmosphere of democracy and women’s rights discourse in the public sphere, the ideology of state-ibuism subsided at the beginning of the reform era 1999-2004 (Eddyono, Fanani, and Maurice, 2015), but recently it has strengthened again and been re-campaigned through government and civil society programs (Wieringa, 2015).

The “Women, Family and Equality” discussion series is an attempt to revive the discussion undertaken in 2012-2014, which aims to: 1) provide a platform to exchange ideas among observers of women across professions and sciences; 2) identify the development of women’s thoughts andformulate contextual reflective thinking; and 3) strengthen discourse as the basis of advocacy for women’s empowerment.

This year, the discussion series begins withKartini Day commemorations in April and ends with Mother’s Day commemorations in December 2016. Four of Kartini’sprincipal thoughts about equality, education, religion and the family will be promoted as the themes of the discussion series, which will be held as follows:

⎫ Discussion Series 1: Emancipation, Equality and Gender Justice, April 28, 2016.
⎫ Discussion Series 2: Women and Education, July 2016.
⎫ Discussion Series 3: Women and Religion, September 2016.
⎫ Discussion Series 4: Women and Families, December 2016.

Discussion series 1 “Emancipation, Equality and Gender Justice”

The idea of female emancipation is often misunderstood as an attempt to seize their share of men’s power. Similarly, the idea of equality is sometimes confused with the notion of equity. Moreover, these ideas are rooted in modernism, so it is not easy to implement both in the multicultural Indonesian context. Therefore, the first discussion in the series aims to: 1) identify biased understanding of emancipation, equality and gender equity; 2) dismantle these ideas through reading Kartini’stexts; and 3) redefine the ideas in the context of Indonesian society that has equality and gender fairness.

Time, place and participants

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2016
Time: 9:00 to 12:00 pm
Venue: Hall level 2 PKBI DIY building, Jl. Tentara Rakyat Mataram, Gg Kapas JT I/705, Badran, Yogyakarta
Participants: PKK activists, governments, NGO activists, academics,general public

Schedule
 Preamble – representative committee
 Introduction to discussion by moderator
 Presentation I – media Study: How isKartini Day celebrated? (EnikMaslahah, women’s activist, MitraWacana staff member)
 Presentation II – Reading Kartini’sthoughts about emancipation, gender equality (ItaVissia, academic, Master of Religion and Culturefaculty, University of Sanata Dharma)
 Presentation III – Redefining Kartini Day (Sri Marpinjun, women’s activists, founder LSPPA Yogyakarta)
 Discussion and questions guided by moderators
 Closing – representative committee

Participants and contributions of participants
 Discussion open to the public, participants expressed willingness to become involved in discussions through their presence and active participation in discussions.
 Discussions held voluntarily, transportationnot provided.
 Voluntary consumption by and for the parties by participants bringing food to share.
 Note outcome of the discussion will be provided via email by the committee.

References:
Blackburn, S. (2004). Women and the state in modern Indonesia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Eddyono, S., Fanani, E., & Maurice, Y. (2015). The dynamic of mobilisation of gender equality policy in Indonesia, Learning from the mobilisation of anti-domestic violence act and anti-pornography act. Paper presented at the International Conference: Gender Relations and Rising Inequalities
School of International Development, University of East Anglia
6th to 8th July 2015, School of International Development, University of East Anglia.
Hadiz, L., & Eddyono, S. W. (2005). Pembakuan peran gender dalam kebijakan-kebijakan di Indonesia. Indonesia: LBH APIK Jakarta.
Robinson, K. (2009). Gender, Islam and democracy in Indonesia. London and New York: Routledge.
Suryakusuma, J. (1996). The state and sexuality in New Order Indonesia. In L. J. Sear (Ed.), Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia. Durham: Duke University Press.
Suryochondro, S. (2000). The development of women’s movements in Indonesia. In M. O. Gardiner & C. Bianpoen (Eds.), Indonesian women, the journey continues. Canberra: The Australian National University Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
Wieringa, S. (2015). Gender, harmony and the happy family: Islam, gender and sexuality in post-reformasi Indonesia. South East Asia Research, 23(1), 27-44.

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