Being Indonesian: Not by Memorizing Pancasila

  Pancasila state ideology has become a topic wiledely discussed, Ilith many expressing concern that Indonesia’s diversity is under threat and that Pancasila values have been forgotten. Many people are urging that the teaching of Pancasila in schools be strengthened. Opening the congress of Fatayat, the women’s Iling of the Nahdlatul mama Islamic organization in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, early May, …

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Women Continue Local, Global Struggle for Change

Last year there were over 300,000 cases of domestic violence nationwide, with almost 70 percent of them occurring within personal relationships, the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) has reported. These statistics show that little has changed in over a decade, despite the women’s movement helping to push the passing of the 2004 law on domestic violence. The …

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Bittersweet life in Jakarta

I was heading to Terminal 3 at the Soekarno-Hatta airport about to head “back to the village” of Ngepas, Sleman, 15 kilometers north of the center of Yogyakarta, after 25 years in Jakarta. I arrived in Jakarta from my home near Purwokerto in August 1990, and this morning a mix of thoughts filled my mind. Politics in Jakarta is heated …

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Indonesian Women: Their Choices, ‘Destiny’

Indonesia has now been independent for 71 years. What has been achieved, especially for women? The first thing to note is that there is no discrimination against women in the 1945 Constitution, which refers to “all the people of Indonesia”. Since the first elections in 1955, women have had the right to vote. Nobody questioned that. No surprise then that …

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Manipulation of Kartini Symbol Must End

“I have thought a lot about what people say: Live happily! […] People don’t want to see the naked truth. They turn away revolted from reality […] Earlier today, we were so shaken and moved by an example of the suffering in life […]” ( Kartini’s letter to Mrs. Abendanon-Mandri, April 8, 1902 ). In the early 20th century, a …

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