On February 12th – after International Women’s Day, we were holding the activity of books’ reviewing with women as its central topic.
The Woman in The Zero Point
This book discusses the struggle of a woman called Firdaus, a housewife that was forced to become a sex worker in order to meet her daily needs. With the whole sufferings that Firdaus underwent to, she arrived at the conclusion that woman always ends up a slave in one relationship whether it is with her husband or her customers. Firdaus ended up murdering one of her customers after feeling sick of the situation. She was wishing for gender equality, but her surroundings were looking another way. After the murder incident, Firdaus was sentenced to death. But the peculiar thing here is the death sentenced was not based upon her convicted murder case, rather it is because of having a desire to liven up the gender equality idea. The book is based on a true event that transpired in the 1990s.
La tahzan for Broken Hearted Muslimah
The book lines up the stories of how a Muslim woman deals with her distress, whether it comes from the relationship, marriage, or career problem. In addition to that, the book also shares several quotes in the form of advice to look up to. A piece of advice that we could extract from the book is: “Oh Women, be strong with love, even though love could take us to sorrow, but the essence of the real love is happiness”. Asma Nadia, the author of the book, is also writing the books with Islamic nuance.
The Mothers of the Ulama – Ibunda Para Ulama
This book tells a story of how the mothers of the Muslim religious leaders raised their children to be the renowned Ulama. More specifically, the book splits its discussion into three main parts and those are the mothers during the old times, the mothers in the current period and the mothers of the Mujahideen. Despite being renowned and respected, the mothers of the Ulamas also gained their fame for the rebellious acts that they pulled off during the wartime period. There is also a discussion regarding the mothers of the Mujahideen that were not afraid of losing their children in the war.
The Female Public Official
This book details why the number of females in the government bureaucracy is limited of which is only 2%. The number of 2% was only possible because of the special treatment from the government. We learn from this book that the patriarch nature is deeply embedded in the society in Indonesia. It is as if women are stripped out of their ambition, of their desire to leads and even to pave a career. The book also mentioned several women that have worked for the government from the regime of Soekarno to this day. One of the few examples is Mariah Sentose (the Ministry of Social). Even with the background, Mariah Sentosa has never appeared in public. Her contributions nor achievements were never made into the public’s ears.
The other thing that should be put to light is the creation of this book by the Women Journal Forum that is acting outspoken about women’s rights. And if you are seeking to learn about the idea of feminism, gender equality, it is best to not start with this book, because we should rather take the first step with the things that surround our environment.
The History of Women in Indonesia
This book takes the history of women in Indonesia to a close examination as it then divides the history into two major sections. The first one is the history during the pre-independence period. And the second one is after Independence Day took place. The book also explains the Congress for Indonesian Women was founded in the same year as Budi Utomo and that was in the year 1928. Post-Independence, the issues surrounding women started to shift. It is leaning towards the patrilineal – the intrinsic culture that validates the marriage to sister in law when the conditions such as the death of the wife are met – the matrilineal and bilineal culture in Indonesia.
Kim Ji Young
Despite falling into the category of fiction, the narrative described within this book is based on a true story. Kim Ji Young is a girl born in the years of 1980s – it is the era when abortion of a baby girl was justifiable. Ji Young was suffering from depression. She was diagnosed with postpartum depression because of the never-ending discrimination against women. The mental illness has made Ji Young acting as if she was having a Multiple Personality Disorder. A lesson from this book is a woman should not in any condition hold back in expressing herself, rather it is best to be vocal about our opinion than suppressing it because it might only cause harm to ourselves.
My Head was Shot for Going to School
This book details the struggle of one child from Afghanistan called Malala. She is fighting for her rights in education. The presence of the Taliban has proven to be a challenge to Malala and her study peers in pursuing education. In fact, it went to the extent that going to school is no longer possible. Malala turned this horror into writing that was later published. Once, Malala was invited to a Conference of Fundamental in Pakistan. The afterward was only a sickening truth. She was finding herself getting shot in the head. This event gained publicity on a global scale which in turn led Malala to gain fame. Countries across the globe were racing to provide her with medical assistance. But the thing that requires our concern here is the motive behind the shot. It was certainly not because Malala was fighting for her rights, but rather because it was entangled with political matters. This book is written by an Afghanistan journalist.
Uncovering the Mind of a Woman
This book is designed scientifically to take us inside the mind of a woman specifically of the tendencies in woman’s way of thinking and the actions it produces. This is the right book to help men in building an effective relationship. And this is also a good reference for the female to learn to understand themselves.
After having the books’ reviewed, we came into a conclusion that human being is a caring and loving creature, a mother, a career woman, is a human that is fighting for her fundamental rights whether it is the rights for equality or the rights against oppression. The patriarch nature that has deeply rooted within our society could not only bring harm to women but also men.
written by Rizka Malda Phonna
translated by Priscillia Sharon