Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The women's movement in Indonesia: With special reference to the 'Aisyiyah organization

The women's movement in Indonesia: With special reference to the 'Aisyiyah organization
by It, Suraiya, Ph.D., Temple University, 2005 , 304 pages; AAT 3203014

Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the women's movement in Indonesia. It focuses mainly on their efforts to improve the position of women. The movements were formed on the basis of religion, community and ethnic groups, while others mobilized the wives of civil servants or women workers in the government. The emergence of women's organizations offered the possibility for women to articulate their political interests unshackled by the doctrines of the state. The central focus of the dissertation is on Muslim Indonesian women.

The Muslim women's movement in Indonesia was influenced by the Islamic reform movement in the twentieth-century. The reformists sought a "return" to the fundamental truth of the Islamic texts and tradition, as articulated in the Qur'an and Hadith . The women's divisions of religious reform movements played active roles in advocating and implementing social and educational reforms. 'Aisyiyah is the women's section of the Islamic reformist movement, the Muhammadiah, and 'Aisyiyah is used as a case study in the dissertation. Initially, their efforts were directed towards increasing the awareness of Muslim women in an effort to improve their lives, obtain their rights, and realize their responsibilities. Education, both secular and religious, was seen as the key, and Aisyiyah has long inspired Indonesian women to dedicate themselves to establish educational opportunities for women.

Particularly in recent years, the 'Aisyiyah organization has been spearheading a reexamination of traditional Islamic sources for answers to the complex relationship between culture, tradition and religious requirements regarding the role of women in Islam. Analyzing Islamic teaching from a gender perspectives was an innovative initiative to change thinking patterns on gender issues, especially in the Indonesian context. The dissertation examines how 'Aisyiyah's influence has made a difference for many Muslim women by its emphasis on the importance of the mother's role as an educator, as well as on the need for women to be economically independent and to make decisions on their own.

Cultural values related to women's sexuality, which reflected the inequality of gender, very much influenced the formulation of law in Indonesia, both secular law and Islamic law. The question of the role of religion on gender constructions in Indonesia has not been asked often enough, but is clearly of great relevance to contemporary debates, as Indonesia struggles towards a modern democratic state.

However, tradition provides a sort of framework within which gender roles evolve. Family and lineage inheritance, status, and solidarity are points in the gender ideology regarding women that emerges particularly in class societies, both in rural and urban regions.

How to conceptualize the bargaining power of women because the process of subtle negotiation is an important constant in social relations. To put it briefly, Indonesian Muslim women have a strong bargaining position within their households and their social spheres because they have some control over the acquisition and use of individual skills and resources. When compared with women in societies where households are hierarchical, embodying the ideal of age and gender distinctions in specific role constraints, Indonesian Muslim women are less bound by hierarchical constraints and somewhat freer to make independent, responsible decisions.

Indexing (document details)

Advisor:Ayoub, Mahmoud M.
School:Temple University
School Location:United States -- Pennsylvania
Keyword(s):Women's movement, Indonesia, Aisyiyah
Source:DAI-A 67/01, p. 216, Jul 2006
Source type:Dissertation
Subjects:Religion, Womens studies
Publication Number: AAT 3203014
Document URL:http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1150814121&sid=2&Fmt=2&clientId=48051&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID:1150814121

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