From the Darkness to Light, Be the Light, Enshrine the Light


Appreciations to woman is never reach its end. After mother’s day (December 22), International Woman Day (March 8),  last April 21 in Indonesia we celebrated Kartini day. Kartini, who is known as R.A Kartini is a pioneer who strive for Indonesian woman’s right. R.A Kartini wrote her thoughts about woman’s right in her letters entitled From Darkness to Light. Every year, we celebrate Kartini Day to remind us of her struggling in establishing woman’s emancipation.

Celebrating Kartini Day is not merely about buns in the back of head and  wearing national custom. The important thing of a celebration is an evaluation. To evaluate whether Indonesian woman already got their emancipation then we should focus on some basic systems, they are education, health, politic, social and economic right.

Indonesian government has implement gender equality in many aspects of life. Now we can see that a woman can achieve higher education and work in their passion; police woman, doctor, teacher, professor, and even president! It was showed that there are no difference right between woman and man in chasing the same education, politic, social and economic right.

Have we already moved From Darkness to Light?

The data from Directorate General of Higher Education at 2014 noted that there are 52% from total Indonesian woman are obtaining the compulsory education. We can see that the number  above are still less, compare to India who reach 61%. Its mean there are still Indonesian women who are not exposed to basic education. The question are: Where are they? Why don’t they get the basic education?

We already knows about some prostitution issue and woman trafficking in Indonesia. Lately, prostitution and woman trafficking issue that happen to teenage woman already uncovered. Why that thing could happen? I think, if they have a good economical background, maybe none will choose that pathway of life. So, can we say that there are still woman who didn’t achieve economical right yet?

The news also said that mother mortality rate (MMR) in Indonesia is still high and far from MDGs, while now we have to prepare to SDGs. From the last Indonesian health and demographic survey of year 2012 it was said that the MMR was 359 for every 100.000 live birth which means 16.155 mother was dead because of pregnancy and delivery complications.

According to WHO, there are ten top issue of woman’s health problem, they are cancer, reproductive health, maternal health, HIV, sexually transmitted disease, woman’s violence, mental health and noncommunicable disease. Even being young and getting older also belongs to WHO concern for woman’s health problem.

As someone who work in health system, these issues will become my concern too. Not only as a medical team, not only as a person who has a chance to get a better education, but also as a woman who want to bring another sister to a better situation, the question to myself :

“How will you contribute to fix this issue?”


Be the Light

We realize that there are still some place around us which are in darkness. Dear woman, emancipation is not just striving for your right. Remember that great power, comes great responsibility. We who already lighten have the task to light the others.

The big question in my mind

What can we do?

There are many organization that work for woman empowerment. I still haven’t join them yet. Although, I hope that my everyday serve to human, to my patient, at least could bring a better health right to woman. Beside, this blog too.

In 2015, in too many countries, “women’s empowerment” remains a pipedream – little more than a rhetorical flourish added to a politician’s speech…

Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General Family, Woman and Children’s health

Finally, I think this post doesn’t give any solution for the woman’s problem we have faced. I hope that this simple post can make us re-thinking and do a reflection, to open our eyes that we still have many tasks to continue RA Kartini’s struggling for woman’s right.

Happy (belated) Kartini Day,

with love, eka cahyanidwy