Kartini: Now and Then

By Avanti Vera


April is a month of Kartini. She is Indonesia’s emancipation heroine, who appealed for equality between men and women at any level. Her ideal constitutes women’s present status in Indonesia i.e. girls can go to schools as boys do and furthermore we witness women at any profession.

Sri Mulyani is an example. She is one of 2015 top-world 100 most influencing woman list in Forbes magazine. Even in Indonesia’s political stance women are decreed to get 30% of the portion of legislative members in an Act number 17, 2014. This proves Kartini’s ideal to put the same status for man and women has come true.

The woman status, which so far is always associated with household work such as cooking, parenting, and taking care of house appliances, has raised. Women in Indonesia is now not only involved in trivial matters but involved in political, law, as well as military matters, which identify male status.

Emancipation, Kartini’s ideal of the equal status between men and women has come into existence but the spirit seems to deviate from its early paradigm. The early spirit of Kartini’s movement is to advance women to have equal rights with men without leaving her main role as a house wife. Kartini never despises women’s role as a house wife but nowadays some women begin to deviate emancipation as a means of avoiding their main role.

Women’s multiple roles may reduce their principle role as mother that this function is now getting rare and rare though not to disappear totally. Many high ranked women still conduct parenting, educate their children, and take care of them as a mother does. But this condition is getting worse and worse for their role is little by little taken over by their servants or baby sitters. Their roles as a mother, which are then replaced by others present juvenile delinquency such as drug abuse or free sex habit. Mother is a never substituted role even by grandmother.

 Psychologically, parenting role is irreplaceable for a child needs it especially in early months 0-12 months he depends on mother. It happens as physically a baby requires mother’s help for his physical need. Besides he needs to adapt himself with his new environment because he is previously secure in his mother’s womb. Soon after being born, a baby feels something new. The importance of woman as a mother should be preserved without preventing from their taking part of developing their profession.

Here are some tips of becoming a mother with her double roles. Firstly, know the job. Knowing her job is the first thing to do before she can manage her time for her role as mother and for her profession. The more you get familiar with the job the easier you manage the time for parenting.

Secondly, manage a supporting system. In parenting it is important to harmonize mother’s and father’s roles. Sharing the roles is necessary for child development. When a mother is not present there should be motherly atmosphere at home.

Thirdly, manage me time. Prepare special time for me time without interference from others such as from father, grandparents, or house maids to keep the child feel a special relation. Do it reciprocally.

As Kartini’s ideal, emancipation does not mean fleeing from her natural role. Emancipation aims at providing women with equal chances to participate in all fields so that they are not trapped in fleeing from their role.