Proud to be Indonesian Women





Some time ago I saw photo of painting that exist in Elphira Cohen (my sisters) facebook photo album. the title of painting is “women” who was made by SUDARSO, the famous painter from indonesia. I was amazed to look at it, how can this great painter to paint a beautiful and reflects the Indonesian woman who was so tough with a million colors of life. Painting with an amazing heart smile.

My mind immediately drifted away, thinking of some great Indonesian women I know, I think Risa Amriksari, author, publisher, voice and inspired many indonesian women who now works at the IOM, I remembered Elphira Cohen, a painter and a great career woman who always proud to be Indonesian women, and especially I remember my mother who has educated me to be good person. Now, I am reminded of other great women.

From elementary school, I often hear the great stories of the Indonesian women. Examples are RA Kartini. How much I admire her. She is a national hero of Indonesia. Born in Jepara in 1879 RA Kartini was the daughter of Jepara regent. She lived in a neighborhood at that time forbade women to attend school, but RA Kartini not flinch. She still insisted to go to school.

Although prohibited, she doesn’t stop her intention to learn. RA Kartini school finally allowed, but only up to primary level, when it is called ELS (Europese Lagere School) or the elementary school level. After finishing ELS, Kartini was secluded as habits or customs prevailing in his birthplace, when after a woman finishing school at the elementary level, the girl must undergo seclusion until it was time to get married.

Secretly, RA Kartini read books about women's advancement such as the works of Multatuli "Max Havelaar" and the work of female warrior figures in Europe, she began to realize how retarded women compatriots when compared with women of other nations, especially European women. Since then, she was eager and determined to promote Indonesian women . And steps to advance that she thought could be achieved through education.

To realize his ideals, she start by establishing a school for girls in his homeland, Jepara. At school the lessons taught sewing, embroidery, cooking, etc. Everything is given free of charge alias free.

Even for the sake of noble ideals that she plans to participate in School Teachers in the Netherlands with the intention that she could become a better educator. Scholarship from the Dutch Government has also been successfully obtained, but the desire is again not achieved because of the ban with her parents. In order to prevent hers departure, the parents had forced her to marry at that time by Raden Duke Joyodiningrat, a regent at “Rembang”.

Various obstacles do not dampen her spirits, even though marriage. After marriage, she still founded a school in “Rembang” same with the school in Jepara is already set up before marriage. What did she do with the school was later followed by other women by establishing 'Kartini's Schools' in their places such as Semarang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Malang, Madiun, and Cirebon.

Throughout his life, Kartini likes to have many friends. She has many good friends in the country and in Europe, especially from the Netherlands, a nation that was colonized Indonesia at that time. To hers companions, she often poured out her heart about her desire to promote women's land. To hers friends that the Dutch she often writes letters expressing these ideals, about the equality rights of women and men.

After Kartini died, the letters are then collected and published into a book in Dutch called Door Duisternis tot Licht (Out Dark Light). What is contained in the book was very influential in encouraging the progress of women in Indonesia because of the content of these posts has been a source of motivation for the struggle of Indonesian women in the future.

In addition to RA Kartini, Indonesia's national heroes are also a lot like Cut Nyak Dien and Cut Nyak Meutia heroes from Aceh, Martha Christina Tiahahu hero in the Moluccas, Maria Walanda Maramis hero from North Sulawesi, and many more national hero recorded in Indonesian history in the fight against colonialism Netherlands and Japan.

RA Kartini's so great to promote women in Indonesia with proven for many decades thereafter . Some of which I know is Lasiyah Sutanto, who earned the nickname Master of Women of Indonesia, she is a former Junior Minister for Women Affairs (1978-1983) and Minister of State for Women (1983 -1988), Tien Soeharto, she was the first lady wife of former president Soeharto who has sparked the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah and several other large works, she has been awarded a national hero, she is Megawati Soekarno Putri, Indonesia's former president is the only president women in Indonesia to this day, Sri Mulyani, a former Minister of Finance and now works at the World Bank in Washington DC, and more superb Indonesian women who can not mention here.

They are all heroes of the nation, they all are the originator of the birth of Indonesian women's courage in advancing hers family, hers nation, hers religion and hers country. Nothing can describe my admiration to the women in Indonesia, although I often hear reports in the media that mention indonesian women workers who were tortured abroad, domestic violence is often the case that torture of women, gender differences that still occur in parts of Indonesia, which makes women Indonesian hard to get a role in government, or even still there are women who are still embedded in the corners of the old culture of hers mind that women can not advance, though I'm very sad to hear it but for me it was just a little challenge for other Indonesian women who wish to advance and determined to play a lot in eyes of the world.

Imagine, Indonesian women who become migrant workers abroad, they are the heroes of the State foreign exchange. They wander away into the land of which they did not know before, only with power and little expertise, they ventured to leave hers relatives in hers hometown, to try his luck abroad there. They are not daunted by the wide range of possible terror before they've heard, they still drove to step in to work. To find money for hers family. They are a formidable figure of a woman who was not afraid to live, though somewhat one was tortured, even to death, it did not dampen the other steps to keep women out there looking for a job. I can still see her smile, examples of cases Sumiati are excited over the news lately Indonesian women workers. Sumiati is being tortured by her employer in Saudi Arabia, Sumiati suffered severe wounds to be stitched and surgery. But I saw the glow of her eye, she is strong. What a strong woman and she was not frightened by what they experienced, maybe with the incidence of torture, there is little grief and trauma that haunted, but she is strong, I am sure of it.

Then I saw another news on television, the news of torture committed husband to his wife, until she was badly injured and had surgery. I saw the wife, she cried and suffered deep wounds, but I see the glow of her eye, she remains strong, as strong as Sumiati.

Maybe not only in Indonesia there is the occurrence of domestic violence, I'm sure out there are also many such events, but I'm sure any woman would strongly deal with it, and they dare to put forward the theory in public and complain to the authorities so that the perpetrators can be snared law.

Back again to discuss Sudarso paintings, of course we can not judge and generalize the Indonesian female figures from just one painting, especially with the diversity of life they experience. But the painting Sudarso I can find a point of view, that life is certainly colorful, there is no life without a problem. But as an Indonesian woman, Indonesian women more stronger to face problems in this life, it doesn't mean the women from other countries isn't strong, they have some shortcut to face a problem. For me, nothing is more proud than to women in Indonesia.

And for Indonesian women out there, smile and keep the spirit to go forward, do not be afraid to walk. welcome new hope and I am sure we all would have to prove we are the great and strong women in Indonesia.

Yes, I'm proud to be women in Indonesia!


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