Afrizal: Bringing the reciprocity messages for Gisting

By: Isthiqonita

During 12 years he had been appointed as the Chair of  Religious Affairs Office or KUA  in several municipals in Lampung area, Afrizal’s understanding that the correct relation between husband and wife is the husband as the head as the household and wife as the housemaid. Living is the absolute affair of the husband and the domestic affairs belong to the wife. So, in every wedding sermont,  advice, and marital counseling,  the man who graduated from the Post Graduate Program of IAIN Raden Intan Lampung (now UIN Lampung)  presented the subjects that were still  influence by gender bias content. At that time,   the man who was born at 27 April 1974  were still not considered that one of the divorce causing  factors was the inequal relation between husband and wife.

Afrizal was appointed as the Chair of KUA in  Kecamatan Gisting of Kabupaten Tanggamus  on Pebruary 2018, and then he started to participate on April 2018.  At the first meeting, Rahima showed the data that Gisting is an area with the high number of Domestic Violence cases. The data that was presented by Rahima become his motivation to find the roots of the problems so that he can find the solution of this domestic violence case, so the divorce in Gisting can be prevented. Then Afrizal built the cooperation with DAMAR Advocacy Institution in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  in the socialization or public awareness progra,. The program consisted of dissemination of  Law No.23 Year 2004 on the Eliminantion of Domestic Violence and the role of ulamas in solving the gender inequality problems.

The series of meeting with Rahima was continued up to three years. He participated in some workshop, trainings and other activities, and then he considered that one of the causing factors of the high number of domestic violence cases is the inequal relation between husband and wife.”One of the causing factor is economic factor. For example,  there was a husband who prohibited his wife to work, otherwise his income can not fulfill the needs of living,  so the conflict happen, “ said the father of 6 children.

The new perspective that was brought by Rahima made Afrizal have a new spirit and energy. Although it was contrasted with the  values he convinced before, the new understanding that he obtained from Rahimacan be well accepted; such as the reciprocity principle. The reciprocity principal are really needed as the pillar in building cooperation  both in the family or among the human being.

Strategy of Disseminating Reciprocity Principle 

In responding the high number of domestic violence cases, Afizal implemented some strategies. First, he revised the content of marriage sermon, in which previously he divided the division of labor between wife and husband  responsibility, to become a sermon that promote the reciprocity principles in  their work. Both husband and wife must respect and protect each other and prevent one another from perpetrating the domestic violence. Also in advising the pre-married couple,  Afrizal delivers the message of reciprocity as a way to achieve sakinah, mawaddah wa rahmah (tranquil,  love and compassionate) family.  Afrizal also inserted in his sermon that Islam never teach violence, and Islam teaches us about cooperation.”Now, when I come back to home, I also participating in maintaining the domestic matter, so we do not talk only. Our Prophet also taught about that. He sewed his own clothes,  he took care of his grandsons, why we can’t do that? So, if somebody ask can man help the domestic matter in our home, I said yes. Why not?” he explained.

Second, Afrizal initiated to hold a Premaried Course in KUA  Gisting every Monday or Thursday. “Usually, there are a couple or two couples in each course”, said Afrizal. Related to Marriage Counseling, KUA Gisting often becomes the host,  eventhough the participants full up to 60  persons. But related to the Marriage Counseling,  the KUA or Religious Office Affairs only limited to become Organizers or Hosts and can not become Facilitators. Because the Facilitator must have legal certificate from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Afrizal expected that the head of KUA who had participated in the training with Rahima, one day can becomethe Facilitator of Marriage Counselling, so that the reciprocity issues can be more widely spread.

Third, Afrizal initiated to Anti Domestic Violence Pledge for the couple who had just married. ”Alhamdulillah, now the society started to know what Domestic Violence is” said Afrizal. This make the society indirectly concerned to the Domestic Violence issues because of they listened to the sermon and also to Anti Domestic Violence Pledge which was read by the marriage couple.

Forth, Afrizal continued the information he obtained from Rahima to his staffs in KUA (Religious Affairs Office). This impacted to the impoving knowledge capacity of another KUA Staffs related to the reciprocity principles, such as the Headman who have the greater opportunity to interact directly with the community.

Afrizal incessantly collaborated with many parties such as the Head of the Village (Pekon), municipals,  Puskesmas or Public Health Sevices, and another parties in disseminating the reciprocity principles and encoraging the prevention from Domestic Violence. Through several activities, the number of Domestic Violence and divorce cases can be decreased, which previously 144 cases in 2016 to become only 3 cases in 2019.

Becoming the Role Models  for His Family and Surrounding

The reciprocity relation is not only  echoed loudly  in the Religious Affairs Office spaces, bur  Afrizal applied it in his family.  Previously Afrizal thought that a man who does the domestic work as a taboo. “Last time, I also like to help my wife secretly because I felt shame. I was not confident if somebody saw me”, Afrizal said. If  his neighbor passed, then he will stop doing the domestic affair and gave it to his wife.

Now, he is not shame again if doing the domestic work. Afrizal precisely makes it as a campaign so that a man should not be shame to do the domestic work. He uses his power as the chair of KUA  to become role model. “What I do in my house (domestic work) actually does not degrade or decrease my self esteem,” he ends his explanation.

His wife, Suhatni said that her husband also accustomed to do the domestic affairs. But there is a new perspective, from that previously just for helping  her to a new consciousness that this is a collective work. “He likes to talk about reciprocity”, told the woman who was born 24 January 1974.  Suhatni has a business by trading in the market, so that the domestic work should be done together.”My husband does not only be able to take care of our children. He can cook too,” Suhatni added.  She feel happy can run their family by implementing the reciprocity priciple. Suhatni and Afrizal also implemented the reciprocity principle to their children. Boys or girls,  both of them have the same rights of education and alsosame responsibility in domestic affairs. {}

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