R. A. Kartini, Inspirator and Pioneer of Female Emancipation for Mother

Posted: June 28, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
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Being a career woman is not my mother’s expectations. However, since the father was no longer provide income to the family, he boldly volunteered to be my father’s bone substitute family. My mother toiled willingly to finance her children’s schooling. While working, my mother is also still complete his tertiary education, master in the field of law. I also felt humbled by her sacrifices and perseverance to the family. I always hope that the Lord may give the best for my mother, both globally and in the hereafter.

However, her career as a female worker has been successful to a higher level. Initially she worked as an ordinary civil servant with a salary that barely making it very difficult to finance her family. And Thank God, she finally climbed her career as head of state high school administration. She was still struggling up the career in spite of distractions and obstacles that must be faced. I keep praying and also helps the mother to work sideline during college. Strangely, though she was old age, she still works hard to support her family for children.

It becomes a question for me is, why my mother would work hard for her children? I knew that she wanted to make us as successful children. And one rational possible answer from her is she wanted to be like a heroine from Jepara, Raden Ajeng Kartini. Yes, I really knew who was this heroine. Apparently he was very impressed with this pahlawan figure. And She was the inspiration and a pioneer for my mother.

Raden Adjeng Kartini or more accurately Raden Ayu Kartini (1879 -1904) was a prominent Javanese and an Indonesian national heroine. She was born in the age when women received little or no education at all because, their parents reasoned, they would end up giving birth and stay in the kitchen all the time, anyway. Kartini rebelled in her quiet way against this injustice and inspired the women of her nation to achieve more than what the society allowed them. She fight for education for women with the principle of equality without any distinction between women and men degrees. Because in ancient times, a woman could only cook and sit at home without work and be educated. This heroine has been enshrined as a hero of women’s emancipation in Indonesia.

The messages conveyed by Kartini in his letter “After Darkness, Light is Born” has inspired my mother. Unwitting of the letter, there is a strong motivation to reach the highest peak in a fixed position in the community with a woman’s ability to realize it’s the same with men. Women have equal rights in various ways as long as it does not violate prevailing norms in society and government.

Kartini’s beliefs and letters inspired many women and effected actual change in her native Java. Taking their example, women from other islands in the archipelago, such as Sumatra, also were inspired to push for change in their regions. The 1945 Constitution establishing the Republic of Indonesia guaranteed women the same rights as men in the areas of education, voting rights, and economy. Today, women are welcome at all levels of education and have a broad choice of careers. Kartini’s contributions to Indonesian society are remembered in her hometown of Jepara at the Museum Kartini di Jepara and in Rembang, where she spent her brief married life, at the Museum Kartini di Rembang. And she has become one part of Kartini.

There are so many figures from the Kartini or woman in Indonesia who had a career in the professional world, including my mother. Indeed, in terms of numbers, there is a balance between male and female labor force. This is what will bring equality between men and women in all things without distinction. From my mother’s experience, women who hold important positions in the company is able to provide a significant contribution in improving the performance of the company or institution. From this I believe that the courage to face fear, convinced that women have the potential to reach their goal. I hope, it can encourage women in top positions.

Bogor Agricultural University

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