Reconsidering Women's History by Lucy Bland download in pdf, ePub, iPad
Wieringa's main question in this doctoral dissertation is what Gerwani did in the s and early s that provoked the backlash from the New Order state. Democracy Gerwani Gerakan Wanita Indonesia was one of the largest women's organisations operating in the newly independent Indonesian state. This demanded a political role for women, stepping outside accepted roles, and bringing themselves into conflict with other women's organisations and the community at large. Wieringa shows this is a fabrication. Gender issues important to Gerwani members could be in conflict with their political beliefs.
By the organisation had been destroyed. Wieringa highlights an internal power struggle between the feminist and socialist streams within the organisation. In the transition from Sukarno's Old Order to Suharto's New it paid a heavy price in deaths, imprisonment, and exile. Former Gerwani members plead for their history to be returned to them, countering the military's construction of their organisation.
Islamic sections in particular were relieved when Gerwani was destroyed. An important point in non-western women's organisation is that they view oppression as coming from sources other than gender only.
It unravels a fascinating history that has been hidden from most, and ably demonstrates how gender can be used as an important tool of political and historical analysis. It took on a political role as well as the social work and educational roles of most Indonesian women's organisations.
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