"Like Iron-man who fought for justice, R.A. Kartini fought for women's justice in our own country, Indonesia. "
Like Iron-man who fought for justice, R.A. Kartini fought for women's justice in our own country, Indonesia. She fought for women's rights in a world filled with rules and opinions solely constructed by men. In the old days, only boys could go to school and learn how to read and write, and they could even learn the dutch language, while women only had the choice to be housewives. They didn't even have a chance to choose the person they want to marry because that was their parent's role.
They would be secluded in their parents' house at a certain age preparing for wedlock. They weren’t even allowed outside! Then after marriage, their authority would be transferred to their husbands. Can you imagine? Women at those times had no rights for themselves; they were either their parents or their husbands.
But Kartini had modern beliefs. Beliefs that stem from having the chance to actually learn with her brothers. She knew that it was only right that women should also have independence, rights like men and be given a chance to learn in school. So while being secluded in her parent's house, she did what not a lot of people would do, she actually rose up, stood her ground, and wrote letters and articles about the lives of Javanese women that were published in the dutch magazines. She became the voice of many Indonesian women who didn't even know how to read. Now you could imagine how all the men from that era react. Not too well. But Kartini persisted.
Her persistence and aspiration shone, and her husband allowed Kartini to go forth with her ideas. So she opened a school for women where she taught girls about language-how to read and write-as all the boys did. And even after her death, her beliefs persisted and lived through all the people she had influence, all the people who started the R.A. Kartini foundation and those who established 'Kartini schools' all around Indonesia. Her beliefs still live through all the schools and all the women who can have the same education as the men have at this very moment. Without Kartini's advocacy, a lot of us-especially women-wouldn’t have the opportunities like we have today. So that is why R.A. Kartini is a hero.
Josephine Kania Valyne
(Public Relations & Marketing, Kinderfield - Highfield Head Office)