Woman. From her womb, we are all conceived, and born into the world. However, in a broken society, women continue to be victims. In various fields of life, women experience injustice. In every conflict, women are the biggest victims. They were not only killed but raped and tortured, before being forced to die.
The National Commission for Women reported that there were 299,911 cases of violence against women in Indonesia. This is the official record. The case was handled by various institutions, ranging from the District Court, the Religious Courts, to the reference institution of the National Commission for Women. 79% of cases are cases in the household/personal realm. The total is 6480 cases. In it, there is 50% Violence Against Wives, totaling 3221 cases.
Dating violence occurred in 1309 cases (20%). Meanwhile, violence against girls occurred in 954 cases (15%). Other violence occurred with ex-girlfriends, ex-husbands, and violence against domestic workers. The pattern of violence did not change much, namely physical violence in 2025 cases (31%). This was followed by sexual violence in 1983 (30%), psychological violence in 1792 cases (28%), and economic violence with 680 cases (10%).
With all the progress of human culture and civilization, violence against women remains sustainable. In the century of a million information and convenience, our behavior in Indonesia is still far from civilized. Its roots are patriarchal culture. It is ancient, but refuses to die, and has even strengthened in this century.
Patriarchy is a way of thinking that gives birth to a social system, where men hold the main power and oppress women in various fields of life. Patriarchy becomes a set of teachings that justify the oppression of men against women. It can be a biological-physical explanation, even a theological-religious explanation. This word comes from a Greek word that means "rules made by the father".
This understanding permeates the world religions that are spread in Indonesia. Religion is also a justification for the oppression of women. Oppression is justified because it is considered by God's will. Men are considered, by nature, to be wiser, and have the right to rule women's lives. So, the oppression of women by men is not only considered normal but also considered as something sacred.
In Indonesian politics, patriarchal culture is also widespread. Don't expect women to become presidents in Indonesia. It goes against religion and culture. In many cases, women also cannot work in politics freely, unless they have strong financial and political support.
In the economic field, women also tend to be paid less. This is happening not only in Indonesia but all over the world. With the same workload and responsibilities, women continue to be marginalized in terms of wages. Women are also more difficult to get a promotion than men.
In everyday life in Indonesia, women are constantly oppressed. They are forced to work at home, so they do not have sufficient economic resources to be independent. They tend to be victims of violence from men with a patriarchal mentality. Their bodies were feared, so women had to cover themselves from head to toe, like walking blankets.
In bed, women are also obliged to serve their husbands. Religion and culture justify all this oppression. In the media, women are always the object of sale. The beauty of her body is commercialized for sale.
Because of being oppressed for so long, many Indonesian women take this patriarchal oppression for granted. They gave up. They argue, oppression is something natural and willed by the Divine. Not surprisingly, many Indonesian women also have a patriarchal mentality. They celebrate the oppression of themselves and participate in the oppression of other women.
The oppression of women is not something natural. Nor is it God's will. The oppression is made by rotten rulers to preserve their power and wealth. The rulers also wore religious and cultural masks to justify their rotten attitude.
Not surprisingly, capitalism is very close to patriarchy. Capitalism wants to increase existing capital by all means. If necessary, suppression and violence are used. Women are the biggest victims of the spread of global capitalism.
A group of men has money and power. They want to keep it all and enlarge it. For that, they build the ideology of racism, patriarchy, and global capitalism. Religious leaders and intellectuals were also bribed to perpetuate all these injustices.
Five things could be done. First, we must be sensitive to the existence of a patriarchal mindset in various areas of our lives. At work, we must learn to be sensitive to this oppression. We also need to do the same in our families.
Two, we must also do deep self-reflection. Am I someone with a patriarchal mentality? Am I bullying women for my sake? Do my religion and culture still like to oppress women?
Three, of the two things, we must begin to dare to be critical of oppression. We must have the courage to speak up when we see the oppression of women. We must dare to criticize ourselves, as well as critique our community, whether at work, religion, culture, or family. We must not ignore the oppression of women, let alone participate in it because we benefit from it.
Fourth, we must also begin to actively participate in women's empowerment organizations or human rights as a whole. Social change can only be born from social movements. Social movements can only be born from organizations with noble missions that refuse to remain silent in the face of oppression. Such is the law of social change, as Noam Chomsky wrote.
Five, the resistance movement against patriarchy must involve many parties. Religious groups are invited to change and to fight. Political parties are also invited to do the same. Only by cooperating with various parties can the resistance movement against patriarchy be victorious.
Patriarchy is vile. They oppress and torment the wombs that gave birth to us. In this 21st century, it should not be allowed to exist. It's time, patriarchy becomes part of the study of history because it should be extinct from our way of thinking and social system.
Lead image source by: https://unsplash.com/photos/GqYh4FQJeKY