Gadis Arivia and Nur Iman Subono

A Hundred Years of Feminism in Indonesia

This study deals with the rise of feminism in Indonesia which started a century ago.

Feminism in Indonesia has a long history and has contributed to the discourse of equality as a critical project that brings social change. It is frequently accused as a proponent of western ideology or adopted from Western cultures. This study shows that Third World feminism stems from its own ideals and cultures.

Although feminism has significantly progressed in Indonesia, there is still a strong rejection mainly among fundamentalist religious groups, conservatism and right wing populism. Gender, sexual orientation and religious minorities are confronted with discriminative laws and bylaws in various jurisdictions in Indonesia.

Third World or Indonesian feminist scholarship should be supported to develop its own production, publication, distribution and consumption of ideas and be used as an analytical and strategic tool to develop its own gender knowledge and practices. Indonesian feminist scholarship can play a significant role in strengthening equality and gender justice in a conservative society or western hegemonic discourse.

This study is part of a series published under Political Feminism in Asia, a regional project coordinated by the FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia. 

Arivia, Gadis; Subono, Nur Iman

A hundred years of feminism in Indonesia

An analysis of actors, debates and strategies
Jakarta, 2017

Download publication (240 KB, PDF-File)

Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia

7500A Beach Road
The Plaza
Singapore 199591

+65 6297 6760



  • 19.03.2018 | Networks for social democracy | News

    Social urban policy must fight unemployment

    Housing remains a fundamental right, but social urban policy must also add to its focus the fight against unemployment, explains in this interview...

    more information

  • Wednesday, 21.03.18 to Thursday, 22.03.18 - Singapore | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Event, News

    Trade Unions in Transformation: Innovative Change-making Union-style

    Trade Unions in the region meet to discuss and exchange best case examples of union revitalization, innovative use of power resources and how to face...

    more information

  • 14.03.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

    EU refuses to apply trade sanctions for enforcing labour standards

    The EU and ASEAN are strengthening their cooperation by working towards a regional free trade agreement. The Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD)...

    more information

back to top