27 Sep Kartini’s Role in Fighting for Gender Equality
Looking at today’s social condition of the Indonesian society, it seems that women’s positions and opportunities are equal to men. Women can now be in many job fields ranging from drivers, software experts, directors to President. Every woman can now enjoy higher education just like men do. This condition is certainly different compared to Indonesia during the pre-independence era. During that time, women were only identical to household matters such as cooking, washing and raising children.
Women weren’t allowed to learn, let alone going to school. Only men and children of aristocrats could enjoy formal education. Women could only surrender themselves in agreeing to any decision due to the male-dominated households. As a woman who was the daughter of the Jepara District Head in Central Java, Kartini also went through this ordeal. Since becoming a teenager, she was restricted from leaving home by her parents until she got married. Luckily, she had a Dutch friend who taught her how to read and write until she became an adult.
Judging at the poor conditions of the natives, she was moved to provide knowledge so that the positions of women could be equal to men in the future. Although considered unusual for that era, Kartini didn’t give up and she believed in her dreams. With her ability in the Dutch language and by often reading books, magazines and newspapers from Europe, Kartini wanted to advance the women’s social status with knowledge. After having married the District Head of Rembang, she pursued her dreams by establishing a school for women in Rembang.
Thanks to her efforts and stance on women’s emancipation, Indonesian women can now enjoy the facility to pursue their education to the highest level, executing complex jobs dominated by men and produce beneficial works. Women have the same rights as men to obtain the best education. The women’s position in the household can now be equal to men by taking part in providing for the family and expressing opinions.
In addition, women aren’t only intelligent but can also master several foreign languages easily. With so many opportunities and facilities, Indonesian women can learn foreign languages just as much as men do. The proficient ability of a foreign language can render communications with foreigners easier. Luckily, there was a woman who cared and was active in fighting for the women’s emancipation in Indonesia so that their social statuses are now much better compared to the era of pre-independence.