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By: Isthiqonita


In the preoccupied activities of women ulema in the moslem boarding school (pesantren) or majelis taklim, women ulema do not forget the problems faced by society, especially the problem of violence experienced by women. The sound is indeed not loud, but the actions of women ulema who accompany women victims of violence are not silent.

Commemorating 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (16 HAKTP) from 25 November to 10 December 2020, Rahima is supported by We Lead, made sound recordings and videos related to the experiences of women ulema in handling cases of violence against women. This experience highlights cases of violence that have been handled as well as the challenges faced by women ulema. There are 15 sound recordings distributed through social media swararahima and one video entitled ‘The Defense of Women Ulema Against the Elimination of Sexual Violence’ which was broadcast on the Swararahima dotcom Youtube channel.

In their narrative, women ulema share their experiences of struggling with women victims of violence. In the field, women ulema accompany victims who have experienced violence by their husbands until they are battered. There are teenagers who experience sexual violence by their partners, there are also children who are forced to marry underage, as well as other forms of violence.

Challenges often come from many directions. For example, the victim’s family considers sexual violence cases to be taboo. Some of the perpetrators’ families intimidated the victim so that the victim chose to be an amicable settlement in the middle of the ongoing legal process. Women ulema also deal with perpetrators from religious leaders, community leaders, to public officials. It is not uncommon for women ulema to receive threats of violence from perpetrators. One of the women ulema was expelled from her moslem boarding school (pesantren) because she was considered to have accommodated sinful women, even though she was accommodating women victims of rape.

Even though they have to face many challenges, women ulema still have a strategy to break the chain of violence against victims. Women ulema network with institutions that support violence, communicate with victims’ families so that victims receive assistance. Some have even made their boarding school as shelters for victims of violence.

In addition to accompanying victims, women ulema also invite the community to stop all forms of violence, especially against women. They convey religious teachings that are friendly, non-violent, and do not discriminate against women. Women ulema have also encouraged the ratification of the Draft Law on Sexual Violence (Pungkas Bill), because the Pungkas Bill is in line with religious teachings, as the spirit of Islam is to maintain human dignity.


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