Mainstreaming Gender in Contemporary Indonesian Islam: The Challenges of Progressive Muslim Women’s Organisations

Nur Hidayah

Abstract


The emergence of progressive Muslim women’s organisations since the late New Order Indonesia has generated a question of how they transform Islamic tradition from previously being entrenched with patriarchal tradition into ‘liberative’ discourse and praxis for women and the disadvantageous groups. I argue that such emergence can be attributed to changing socio-political contexts, at local, national, and global levels. These progressive Muslim women’s organisations have articulated their diverse voices and adopted a variety of strategies along a spectrum of traditionalist-progressive, modernist-progressive, and liberal-progressive Islam. They critically engage with Islamic tradition by combining classical Islamic scholarships with humanities and social science approaches. Responding to democratization, they struggle for Islamic legal reform, through cultural, structural, and legal strategies to quest for gender justice and equality. In doing this, they have to face religious-political challenges contributed by Islamic legal conservatism, rising political Islam, and ambivalent state gender policies in the post New-Order Indonesia. Despite such challenges, progressive Muslims have strategically used Islamic tradition not to oppose change, but rather to facilitate socio-religious transformation toward social and gender justice, within the context of more democratic but more Islamicised Indonesia.  

 

Munculnya organisasi perempuan Muslim progresif sejak periode akhir Orde Baru Indonesia telah menimbulkan pertanyaan tentang bagaimana mereka mengubah tradisi Islam dari yang sebelumnya berkelindan dengan tradisi patriarki menjadi wacana dan praksis 'liberal' bagi perempuan dan kelompok yang kurang beruntung. Saya berpendapat bahwa kemunculan seperti itu dapat dikaitkan dengan perubahan konteks sosial-politik, di tingkat lokal, nasional, dan global. Organisasi-organisasi wanita Muslim progresif ini telah mengartikulasikan suara mereka yang beragam dan mengadopsi berbagai strategi di sepanjang spektrum Islam tradisional-progresif, modernis-progresif, dan liberal-progresif. Mereka secara kritis terlibat dengan tradisi Islam dengan menggabungkan keilmuan Islam klasik dengan pendekatan humaniora dan ilmu sosial. Menanggapi demokratisasi, mereka berjuang untuk reformasi hukum Islam, melalui strategi budaya, struktural, dan hukum untuk mencari keadilan dan kesetaraan gender. Dalam melakukan ini, mereka harus menghadapi tantangan agama-politik yang dikontribusikan oleh konservatisme hukum Islam, meningkatnya Islam politik, dan kebijakan gender negara yang ambivalen di Indonesia pasca-Orde Baru. Terlepas dari tantangan-tantangan semacam itu, umat Islam progresif secara strategis menggunakan tradisi Islam untuk tidak menentang perubahan, tetapi lebih untuk memfasilitasi transformasi sosial-keagamaan menuju keadilan sosial dan gender, dalam konteks Indonesia yang lebih demokratis tetapi juga lebih Islami.


Keywords


progressive Muslim women’s organisations, Islamic legal reform, Islamic conservatism, rising political Islam, and ambivalent state gender policies

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Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.15408/ajis.v19i1.11717

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