In Search of Mean­ing

Indonesia Tatler - - Editor’s Note - Maria Luk­ito Bu­reau Chief

very april, we pay trib­ute to our na­tional hero­ine, Kar­tini, and we com­mem­o­rate her birth­date, April 21, as the Kar­tini Day, whose sig­nif­i­cance has con­stantly evolved over time. Dur­ing the golden age of Sukarno, the date served as a re­minder that women should take part in the state’s course of de­vel­op­ment. But now, it sym­bol­ises many things—trust, hon­our, strength, wis­dom, power, free­dom, and so on. If we were to draw a com­mon theme from the cor­nu­copia of mean­ings the date had en­gen­dered, that would be the idea of women’s em­pow­er­ment be­ing gal­vanised through­out the time.

De­spite progress, we shouldn’t al­low our­selves to be com­pla­cent about gen­der equal­ity, the achieve­ment of which, I be­lieve, is still a long way to go. We may live a suf­fi­ciently sat­is­fy­ing life, some even a pro­fuse one. How­ever, the con­di­tion of our women out there is still far from be­ing equal. Take the is­sue of In­done­sian mi­grant work­ers—where women con­sti­tute 75% of its doc­u­mented work­force abroad—for in­stance. Be­ing one of the largest ex­porters of do­mes­tic labour to coun­tries in the Mid­dle East and me­trop­o­lises such as Hong Kong, In­done­sia must re­vise its cur­rent labour laws that see mi­grant women largely through eco­nomic lenses rather than those of hu­man rights. With cases re­volv­ing around vi­o­lence against women be­ing in plenty, it’s about time that we re­di­rect our search of mean­ing, a mean­ing that sheds light on women and eman­ci­pa­tion.

To ac­knowl­edge the is­sues above ex­ist is the first step for us to spread the aware­ness. And more im­por­tantly, to ac­knowl­edge the ac­com­plish­ments of to­day’s women helps us re­de­fine our progress to fill our sails and pro­pel us for­ward. All in all, to cel­e­brate Kar­tini Day, we fill this is­sue with women who have over­come their strug­gles to see their own strengths. From fe­male en­tre­pre­neur Erika San­toso, who strikes a pose for our cover this month, to Al­bens cider’s founder, Dina Ri­man­dra Han­dayani—all have found their “real gold” that of­ten goes un-mined. Read their in­spir­ing sto­ries in­side, and Happy Kar­tini Day, all.

A new height Young and fierce­less, fe­male en­tre­pre­neur Erika San­toso

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