Between two worlds: women from pesantren appropriating private and public spaces

The history of women’s emancipation in Indonesia has come a long way. In fact young underprivileged women have already had a taste of education since the early 1900s with the first established school for girls set up in Central Java by Kartini. Most Indonesians are well aware of the struggle of this women’s rights champion in the midst of the patriarchal world around her. Brought up by a feudal aristocratic family, Kartini managed to break down the wall that hindered young women to empower themselves with formal education and to escape from their fate of entering into an arranged marriage in their early teen years. However, not many know what is going on inside the gates of pesantrens in Java where young girls and female teachers negotiate their public persona amidst their conservative notions of women’s roles.

Reviewed publication:
Eka Srimulyani. 2012. Women from Traditional Islamic Educational Institutions in Indonesia: Negotiating Public Spaces, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, ISBN: 978-90-8964-421-3 (paperback)

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