Zudi Rahmanto:

Marriage is a firm and strong bond, in which two human beings tie up a sacred relationship to build a sakinah (tranquil) family. The journey may be full of colors and dynamics. Even, conflicts might happen that could trigger various kinds of violence in the domestic life such as physical violence, verbal, economic, and psychological as we often heard in the cases of divorce trials in various religious courts. 

In achieving the family’s goals such as sakinah (tranquil), mawaddah (loving), and warahmah (affectionate) without violence, the initial phase before the two human beings are about to tie the bond of marriage and to make sacred promise is very crucial and important. No less important is the phase of the marriage before reaching five years. These two crucial phases would immediately remind us of an institution under the auspices of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag), KUA (the Office of Religious Affairs), where those two phases are within the scope of the KUA’s duties in the sub-district area. Therefore, Rahima tried to encourage the important role of the heads of the KUA to be involved in the prevention of gender-based violence in the domestic life so that the sakinah family without violence could be realized as a strong foundation of society. One of the important figures is Zudi Rahmanto, Head of KUA of Wonosari Sub-district, Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta Special Region. 

From Pesantren to KUA

Zudi Rahmanto was born as the first child of Haji Ngadiran and Hj. Musirah on Sunday Pahing, June 17, 1973, in the Village of Menggoran, Playen Sub-district, Gunung Kidul Regency. Islamic boarding school (pesantren) is an important story that colored his journey since a teenager. Since studying at Madrasah Tsanawiyah (Islamic Junior High School/MTs) until postgraduate study, Zudi stayed in the pesantren. First, he lived at Pesantren Al-Mahally Brajan Wonokromo Plered Bantul while studying at MTs. Continuing to the level of senior high school, he stayed at Pesantren Darul Ulum Rejoso Jombang. And finally at Pesantren Nurul Ummah Kota Gede Yogyakarta when he pursued his undergraduate and postgraduate degree at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic Institute (IAIN).

That is Zudi who has been very familiar with the world of pesantren since his childhood. Perhaps, his learning experience in studying religious knowledge contributed to his interest in taking Master in Family Law in the Islamic Law Study Program at IAIN until 2000. In the same year, Zudi was appointed as a Candidate for Civil Servants at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag) of Gunung Kidul Regency.

His first position was administrative staff at the KUA Tepus Sub-district. Then in 2001, he served as a staff in the Islamic Religious Affairs Division (Urais) of Kemenag Gunung Kidul Regency. In 2003, he became the vice of the Marriage Registrar (PPN) or the head of the KUA Playen Sub-district. Then he was assigned to Wonosari Sub-district in 2005. 

Finally, Zudi was trusted to serve as Head of the KUA Karangmojo in March 2006. After five years leading the KUA Karang Mojo Sub-district, Zudi moved to the KUA Tepus Sub-district. Here, he served for a year before finally being moved to KUA Wonosari Sub-district, Gunung Kidul, his position since 2016 until now.

So, Zudi has served as head of the KUA for twelve years. He dedicated his mind, energy, and time to lead and advance his institution. Once, he was offered a promotion to a higher position. But, he still chose to struggle in the KUA of the Sub-district.

Even though in terms of achievement and quality, he deserves to occupy a higher position. The latest is that he was chosen to become a Marriage Guidance Facilitator (Bimwin) in Gunung Kidul Regency. In addition, he also served as the Head of the Sakinah Family Development Village (DBKS) in Kepek Village, Wonosari Sub-district. “Thank God, in 2017 Kepek Village, Wonosari Sub-district, placed the first position in the Evaluation of DBKS at the level of Yogyakarta Province,” said Zudi gratefully for the success. 

Refusing Gender Bias

Zudi was one of the participants in the KUA’s Head Involvement Program for Prevention of Gender-Based Violence carried out by Rahima in the Gunung Kidul and Kulon Progo Regency. The heads of KUA should aware and be sensitive to gender justice issue as it is an important factor considering their duties and roles in giving guidance to fiancé and fiancée; likewise, the knowledge regarding the scope of gender-based violence and their insights on the study of gender justice especially fiqh on family by using a gender-just perspective and the method of mubaadalah (reciprocal). 

“I now really understand about gender-based violence and the concept of sakinah family with the perspective of equality without violence, supported by the Mubaadalah approach to understand the texts of the Qur’an and Hadith to establish just and equal relations. One of the studies (in the program) that are very useful related to the task and my role in KUA is about gender relations and the study of gender justice and participatory counseling”, said Zudi Rahmanto. 

Since participating in various activities carried out by Rahima, Zudi conveyed that there is a change on his awareness in viewing the status, roles, and duties related to the relations between man and woman or husband and wife. “At least, I feel it in the practice of my domestic life. Awareness for preparing daily needs such as shopping for groceries or preparing for food menu for the family is done spontaneously by anyone who is free without waiting who should prepare for that.” 

His gender sensitivity is getting sharper. He becomes more and more sensitive to various problems and inequalities and various statements which he considers unfair and seem to corner someone without acceptable reasons. “In daily situations, my gender awareness spontaneously arises if there is a talk which is in my opinion gender bias such as if there is someone who teases someone else on the basis of sex and vice versa, or making women objects of a joke, and talking about the division of tasks and roles that are not fair”. 

With regard to this, Zudi has many stories among others what happened in the Bimwin (marriage guidance) process in Semanu Sub-district at the end of 2017. At that time, a fiancé said: “The extravagant acts are usually done by women or wives. The wives’ job is to take care of the household such as the affairs of the kitchen, well, and bed”. By speaking in Javanese, the man said that the duties of women are summarized in ” Three -ah”, i.e. Olah-olah (cooking), Umbah-umbah (washing), and Mlumah (laying).  

“My assumption is that such perspective comes from the traditions and social constructions that some participants believed. Spontaneously, I responded by saying that anyone both male and female has the same opportunity to do good and wrong. Our obligation is to maintain how the relationships between men and women could foster mutual goodness, spread peace and comfort together. Not looking for a scapegoat by accusing wrong to others and think I am always right”, he explained. In his daily life, he acknowledges that a gender-fair perspective and the method of mubadalah is automatically integrated and becomes part of his approach to work, like in office activities, marriage guidance, religious instruction forum, even in teaching and his social activities. 

Therefore, the head of the KUA like Zudi Rahmanto who has awareness and sensitivity as well as insight on the scope of gender-based violence, and understand the discourse of Islamic Studies on gender justice and various supporting methods is a good example in the efforts to prevent the occurrence of gender-based violence, domestic violence (KDRT). Thus, through Bimwin and the delivery of marriage advice, it is expected that the fiancé and fiancée from the beginning have already had gender fair values and principles so that they can establish sakinah family fairly in the future.

Although there is now a module of the Foundation for the Sakinah Family for Marriage Guidance activities at the KUA which contents are very good in terms of a gender-fair perspective, but as long as gender awareness and sensitivity among KUA’s heads are not established yet, it will be difficult for fiancé and fiancée to get effective results. Therefore, the efforts to build gender awareness and strengthen the insight on prevention of domestic violence through Islamic studies for the heads of the KUA are very important. The hope is when the fiancé and fiancée want to tie the sacred bond of marriage, they have gained the right understanding and views to build sakinah family relations which is just, equal, and nonviolent. {} Mawardi 

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