Today is important day for women in Indonesia. Every April 21th is commemorated as Kartini’s day. It is a symbol of the revival of women in Indonesia. Kartini was a pioneer in the area of women’s right for Indonesia. Her full name, Raden Ajeng Kartini was born into an aristocratic Javanese family when Java was part of the Dutch Colony of the Dutch East Indies. She was born on April 21th, 1879 in Jepara, West Java. She was the fifth child from 11th children. She studied at ELS (Europe Lagere School) until 12 years old because Kartini’s family allowed her to attend school until she was 12 years old. Then, she was secluded at home, a common practise among Javanese nobilities to prepare young girls for their marriage. During seclusion girls were not allowed to leave their parents’ house until they were married.
Kartini continued to educate herself on her own, she can speak Dutch language and she wrote mails to her friends that come from Dutch. One of her friends was Rosa Abendanon always supported her. She was interested in the advancement of Dutch women to think their life and she has the desire to advancing the indigenous women here because at that time Indonesian women were on the low social status.
Kartini always read Semarang De Locomotief newspaper was edited by Pieter Broosooft as well as leestrommel, a set of magazines circulated by bookshops to subscribers. More time she sent her article and posted in its magazines. She cared and full attention for woman right and social life. Kartini saw the women struggle to obtain their freedom, autonomy and legal equality was just part of a wider movement because at that time, women didn’t allow to continued their education after 12 years old, the forced married in the young age.
Kartini’s parents arranged her marriage to Joyodininrat, the Regency Chief of Rembang who already had three wives. This was against Kartini’s wishes, but she acquiesced to appease her ailing father. She was married at 24 years old, her husband understood her wishes, then he gave support and allowed her to establish a women’s school in the east porch of the rembang Regency Office Complex.
Kartini died after several’s day birth her first son in 1904. Her son’s name was RM Soesalit. She was appointed as an Indonesian national heroine. And, her birthday was appointed as Kartini’s Day. From this moment Indonesian women have freedom and rights to get education, pursuit their desire, even Indonesia women are greatest in family, work and social life.
I am proud be Indonesian woman.