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Representations of women in Femina: An Indonesian women's magazine

Azeharie, Suzy (1997) Representations of women in Femina: An Indonesian women's magazine. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Since the advent of the women's movement, the mass media and literary classics have become targets for intensive scrutiny by some feminists who are concerned with the role and influence the media and literature play in promoting a gendered society. This thesis, focuses mainly on representations of Indonesian women as presented by the Jakarta-based women's magazine, femina. By analysing six articles that appeared in the magazine from the 1970s to the 1990s, representations of gender relationships have been highlighted.

Shaped dominantly by Islamic beliefs, and the Javanese values, which consist of a syncretic blend of Animist, Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic beliefs, contemporary Indonesian society is dominated by a strong political state and patriarchal value system which downgrades women. Resulting from the political changes introduced by the New Order, there has been a pivotal transformation of Indonesian women's organisations. The regime strongly encourages wives' organisations, despite the full equality guaranteed to men and women by the 1945 Constitution. It is demanded of Indonesian women that their foremost duties are their motherly and wifely roles. The influence of the priyayi, the Javanese elite, who believe that woman's destiny is primarily centred on her role as wife and mother, is partially responsible for the continuing influence of this ideal and the way it subordinates women to men. The religious traditions are also not without considerable influence in this area. These values can be found in the articles examined. Further, the thesis investigates attitudes to women who work outside the home, the double burden that they carry, and any changes in the representations of women and gender relations over the twenty years as revealed infemina.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Supervisor(s): Currie, Jan and Medcalf, Anne-Marie
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