Shackles of Patriarchal Culture on Gender Equality in Indonesia

August 9, 2023 Jasonfvck (0) Comments

Shackles of Patriarchal Culture on Gender Equality in Indonesia

Looking at history, Indonesia once had women’s emancipation fighters who even exemplified in fighting for equal status between women and men put their date of birth as one of the national holidays. This character is none other than RA Kartini. The figure that is very familiar to our ears is even immortalized in a song called “Our Mother Kartini”.

Against the backdrop of restrictions on women to obtain formal education in the past, Kartini began to carry out her struggle to campaign for gender equality through her writings. Several times the results of his writings were published in a Dutch magazine De Hollandsche Lelie. Since then, a new idea of equal rights for indigenous women has been able to change the views of the wider community. As a result, until now this equal position movement continues to be encouraged.

Even though it has been echoed by Kartini and followed by modern women’s movements, in fact until this moment the practice of patriarchal culture still exists and is developing in Indonesian society. This can be seen from the relationship between men and women which still looks unequal, where women are still positioned as part of men, marginalized, to the point of being discriminated against. This causes women’s freedom to be shackled and disrupts women’s rights.

The Lasting of Patriarchy and the Stigma of Women with Domestic Work

The work in the household is very diverse, starting from managing finances, cooking, spending skills according to the tastes of each family member, maintaining the cleanliness and beauty of the home environment, educating children, and other needs. All of these things become a matter that is absolutely controlled by women. As for men, they are only required to work for a living. The man who is the head of the family feels that it is not his duty to do the housework.

If you look at history, the role of women has always been more dominant in domestic work, while it was men who left the house to look for the coffers of money. This is a natural thing if there is indeed an agreed division of tasks. However, in practice many women are required to work to supplement their husband’s income while bearing the burden of housework. However, this does not mean that men do not need to have the ability to do domestic work.

Gender Equality in Law

Many say that religion is one of the factors of this patriarchal culture that is firmly embedded in human life. However, is patriarchy the right thing according to religion?

As stated in “Remember when your Lord said to the angels: Verily I want to make a caliph on earth.” The caliph in the letter means replacing Allah in enforcing His will. Al-Zamakhsyarî interprets the meaning of caliph in this sura not only to mean Adam (representing men).

In line with this argument, Quraish Shihab in his Tafsir al-Mishbah states that what is meant by the creature given the task is Adam and his descendants. Even he himself did not give an indication that the caliph was only addressed to men. In Islamic teachings, there are four characteristics that a person must have in exercising leadership, namely saying and doing the right thing, being trustworthy, intelligent, and not hiding something. To get more complete information, please visit

Leave a Comment