The articles in this draft of Bill (RUU Ketahanan Keluarga or Draft of Bill of Family Resilience) established the gender biased roles of men and women,  that put man in the suject position as the ‘superordinate’ who become the main decision makers, and woman as a wife which poistion is ‘subordinate’ who must responsible for the domestic affairs.

The quotes as mentioned above is the arguments of Valentina Sagala in her book related to the legal analysis of the Draft of Bill of Family  Resilence. She said that the draft of bill precisely will establish the gender inequalities which put women as the marginalized figures  /un-important person  Sagala, 2020). RUU Ketahanan Keluarga  or the Draft of Bill on Family Resilence was busy discussed after proposed by the Fractions of Golkar, PAN, PKS, and  Gerindra on 7 January 2020.  In the article number 25 for example, it was stated the strict division of labor between husband and wife in the family. A wife must be responsible to manage the domestic affairs, while the husband as the head of family must be responsible to maintain the family wholeness and family welfare. This draft of bill received the pro and cons, because the state has influence to the privat live of its citizen.

Siti Aminah Tardi as the Comissioner of Comission on Anti Violence Against Women said that the state should not enter too far in the privat life of its citizen; but does not mean that the state can not intervene. The state may regulate the family and house hold matter if there is violation against the human rights, such as domestic violence, trafficking in persons, and any other humanrights violation cases. Aminah who is now being appointed as the Comissioner of the Monitoring Sub Comission added  that in the family and house hold, there should not be any other regulations except in the context of violation, It means the state can not intervene related to the values and ethics which will be built in the family, as long as does not violate the humanrights. The negosiation related to the sharing roles between husband and wife can be implemented as the consent of each family. This is an important foundation, because of the situation in every household can not be uniformed.

The Various Situation of the Family

Law No. 1 Year 1974 is often referred as the divisin of roles in the family between husband and wife, because it is mentioned the position of man as the head of the house hold. But, are every family headed by men, aren’t they? In facts, the conditions of every family in Indonesia are vary.  The data of the Central Statistical Body or BPS showed that the percentage of women as the head of the househod in 2018 were 15,17%. This number was increased compared to the data from the previous year namely 15, 02 % (2016) and 14,63% (2015).  One of the increasing factors of the number of women as the head of the household was the economic problems, in which the households that are headed by women usually become the poorest group in Indonesia.

A survey that was conducted by Perkumpulan Perempuan Kepala Keluarga (PEKKA) or Assosiation of Women Heads of the Households in collaboration with SMERU showed that women become the head of the household not just because of their husband passed away, divorce, migration, poligamy, illness, elderly, or dissability. But also the single women who beared the economical burdens of their family. The data from PEKKA (2010) showed the characteristic of women of the households with the low quality; aged from 20-60 years old, more than 38,8  illiterate and never attended primary school, bears  1-6 family members, work as farm workers or informal sectors, with the average income less then Rp 10.000, -/day.

Nani Zulminarni in an interview said that statistically the number women head of the household were increasing. But, when we get off the filed, there will be a ice-berg phenomena, because the indicators of data collections on the head of the household will only refer to widow. But not only widows who become the head of the household. There are unmarried women, left behind by their husbands, hanging status because of  the husband run away, and also there are so many husbands which busy with themselves and did not support the family  (Majalah Swara Rahima, 2010).

Further more, she explained that usually woman who become the head of the household are forced to be the back-bone of the family, because her husband passed away. “No body supports the living. To defend their family sustainability, they become the head of the house hold. The situation forced themto do so,” Nani explained.

The various conditions of the family shows that the Draft of Bill of Family Resilience does not have inclusive character. The division of labor between husband and wife in the article 25 of the draft of bill explicity neglected the rea l situation of women, the various experience of women, and the reality that they don’t have the same conditions. In this situation, the division of labor between husband and wife will not only exclude women, but also will bring serious impact to women’s life.


Impacts on the Establishment of the Division of Labor in the Family

Yuliantini (2018) in her research  on women as the head of the house hold, found that women are more difficult in proposing the micro business credits to the bank. For the married prospective customer, she must attach the documents that had been signed under the consent of her husband, as the responsible person. The such banking policies marginalized women’s position because it refers to the established division of labor (man as the head of the family), so a man has the right to know whatever did by his wife and it must be under hus consent.  Even though the situations of women are vary (the husband run away, the husband is busy with himself and does not support the family living). Of course, women will find some difficulties in accessing the program and it will be impacted to the marginalization of women.   

Another impacton the establishment of the division of labor in the family, is the inbalanced realtion in the family. First, subordination (is seen as unimportant person, or women’s position is perceived as lower). Women’s opinion are often seen as unimportant, so that the decision making will only be based on the husband’s opinion. Women’s role will also tend to be resticted in the domesticspheres, such as caregiving and house hold domestic works.

Second, domestic violence. The existence of the power relation caused women are vulnarable to obtain physical and pyschological violence from the husband under the reason “educating the wife” and so that’s natural for a husband disciplines his wife. As  mentioned in the National Comission of Anti Violence Against Women Report (2020) that the increasing number of domestic violence was because of the strong patriarchal values, the inequal relation in the family, the husband that control over his family, so the women become inempowered.

Third, stereotype or labelling. The existence of labelling to women put the wife as the figure that should do the domestic affairs, while men as the figures who work in the public affairs. The establishment of the division of labor in the family will cause the position of the husband and wife zaakelijk or unflexible. The establishment of the roles will affirm the label of women as ‘the ideal wife’ or ‘un-ideal wife’. So, the figure that will be perceived as ‘ideal wife’ is the woman who do their domestic affairs well. The such perception of course will domestify woman and emphasize that the only person who must be responsible to the domestic affairs is woman. Its impact to the moving space of woman to play active role in the public space will be narrowed down.

Fourth, women experienced multi-burden. The understanding that the wife is only party that must be res;ponsible in doing the domesting works will cause woman will bear heavy burden. For example, woman who works in the public sphere will be also sued to do the domestic work. Her burden will be heavier when she undergoes the reproductive process (menstruation, pregnancy, giving birth, and breast feeding) and still be obliged to do the domestic works, while the husband reluctants to help his wife in the home.

The such explanation showed that women experienced injustices/inequalities because of the strict division of labor between husband and wife. The analysis of the family situation, should utilize the gender lens critically to explore the social and biological experience of women. Therefore, to redefine the interpretation of the meaning of the family from the gender justice perspective is important to be appointed and echoed.   

The Flexibility of Roles: Reinterpeting the Meaning of  Family

Family or house hold is the first school for everybody to learn on how the relation must be realized by each member to strengthen, shore, support, cooperate and undertand the partnership relations among each other (Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir, 2019). The partnership relation in the family in tis context refer to the equal position between husband and wife, no one become superior over another, and also to create space for noth of parties to develop their own potentials.

  The equal roles and responsibilities between husband and wife in the family was affirmed in QS Al-Ahzab: 35  which explained that man and woman has the same opportunityto get  some forgiveness and rewards from Allah SWT (Membina Keluarga Bahagia, 2019). The same opportunities between man and woman in doing the good deeds becomethe foundation that men and women has the same responsibility, duty, and rights in the family. It means, the sharing of roles in the family in the domestic works as well as in the public works can be done together and does not rigid.

In the mubadalah (reciprocity) perspective,   a marriage must be based on the five pillars or principles. The five principles are: 1) the sturdy or strong agreement (mitsaaqan ghalizhan), 2) in pairs (zawaj), 3)providing the comfortable situation and willingnes (‘an taraadhin), 4)treating well each other (mu’asyarah bil-ma’ruf),  5)deliberate each other (musyawarah). If the such five pillars can be well and continuously implemented, than the vision and mission of building family can be easily felt and enjoyed together.

Referring to the Qur;an QS. Ar Rum: 21, the purpose of the marriage is sakinah (serenity, tranquility, and happiness). It’s foundation is mawaddah (love) and rahmah (compassion). Love or mawaddah (the feel of liking and loving which is measured by himself or herself) and compassion or rahmah ( affection that prioritized to interest of the spouse whom he/she loves) taking the form or behavior that protecting, treating well, listening, giving and receiving to each other (Membina Keluarga Bahagia, 2019).

However, the strong marriage relationship did not start from the akad nikah (marriage contract), but long before that. For example, by building the life system that recognizes man and woman equally as subject that full of life. Both husband and wife must do some efforts to realize the benefit of marriage and enjoy it. In the marriage context, both of them must be physically and mentally mature, have willingness to be chained in a commitment as husband and wife, must be faithful to each other in the happiness and sadness along the marriage life, and become the cohesive team as husband and wife to achieve the goals of marriage (Membina Keluarga bahagia, 2019).

Referring to the idea of reciprocity in the family, so the matter of living become flexible. Man and woman as the subject both of them has to be responsible for the family living if they have capability and property to do so. It can be the husband who earns and gives the living, it can be by the wife too, or both of them can cooperate together in fulfilling the family needs. Of course, we have to consider the biological/reproductive situation of woman that is different to man. Therefore, the husband and wife can share their roles together, in a flexible manner,  in suitable with the condition of each family; understanding each other, fulfilling each other, and strengthening each other (Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir, 2019).

Interpreting the meaning of the family with the full reciprocity will deliver to the happiness, both for husband and wife, and also for all family members. In the such reciprocity relation, there is a safe space where everybody can express their ideas without coercion, can develop themselves according to the potential they have, free from violence, and etc. The feeling of love in passing the family life will always be looked after, and inside it there will be negosiation and appreciation that will always run along the time.

The such values should be applied in our live, both in our individual live as well as in the wider environment, as the way out or problem solving from the family problems. It needs various efforts including building the synergy with different parties in order the concept of family in the gender equality version can become mainstream.

Many Efforts in Responding Family Problems with the Reciprocity Approaches

Considering that the reciprocity relation in the family can become solution in various family problems, Rahima built the synergy with Rifka Annisa and Lembaga Advokasi Perempuam DAMAR  since 2016.  In this cooperation, the leaders of Religious Affairs Office or KUA both in Yogyakarta and Lampung were engaged as the key actors in spreading the mubadalah (reciprocity) values in the family.

In several training workshops, the leaders of KUA in Gunung Kidul, Kulon Progo, Tanggamus and Lampung Timur were provided with at least three main points. Those are: (1) relations on women and men, (2) the reciprocity (mubadalah) and substantive equality (keadilan hakiki) principles in building the family, (3) Gender Equality of the Qur’an, Hadith, and Fiqh Studies. Those paradigms created some impacts to the leaders of KUA, both individually and institutionally.

Through this cooperation, there are several achievements, one of them is the existing Standar Operational Procedures (SOP) of Reciprocity which are utilized in pre-married course and akad nikah counseling. The SOP contained Pakta Kesalingan or Pact of Reciprocity that were read and signed by the bride and groom after the akad nikah (marriage contract). The Pact of Reciprocity was consisted of five pillars. First, complementing, shoring, and cooperating each other. Second, taking care of the marriage commitment as the sturdy and strong agreement. Third, treating well the spouse and vice-versa, and covering up the lackness of both parties. Fourth, building communication, respects to each other, and  delivering message in the goodness and patience.  Five,  committedor not perpetrating domestic violence. The reading of the Testaments/Promises can help the couple to remind their akad nikah (marriage contract)  as the door to enter in building the sakinah family which full of reciprocity and mutualism. (Editors)

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