By: Andi Nur Faizah


“The child, starting from elementary school to high school, was raped by her biological father. When the case was reported, the police said there was no concrete evidence. Even though the results of the visum et repertum are there. The legal process has not yet started because the perpetrator (her father) said that the child was not normal and was just making it up. Finally, the police did not immediately arrest the perpetrators.”

One of the Madura Women Ulema participants from Pamekasan shared her experience in the field. The sexual violence case described is one of the many sad stories that have occurred in Madura. As a figure who is close to the community, the presence of women ulema is very important. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a meeting space between Simpul Rahima from various regions in Madura in order to strengthen the movement in advocating for women and children issues. 

This is the background of the activities “The Companionship Women Ulema of Rahima Madura Node” at the Bappeda Sumenep Hall on November 29, 2021. The activity, which was supported by We Lead, was attended by women ulema from four districts, namely Sumenep, Pamekasan, Sampang, and Bangkalan. The event opened with several remarks from Zainul Hasan as Secretary of PCNU (Nahdlatul Ulama Branch Manager) Sumenep, Pera Soparianti as Director of Rahima, and Dewi Khalifah as Deputy Regent of Sumenep. The first session was filled with group discussions facilitated by Desti Murdijana and Farhah Abdul Kadir.  Then it was continued by sharing field experiences from Tanoker regarding the initiation of the Bok-ebok and Pak-bapak schools delivered by Mr. Ali and Mrs. Latifah.

In group discussions that discussed issues of women and children, the Pamekasan and Sampang areas focus at the problem of sexual violence against children, housewives, and adolescents. While the Bangkalan group focus on the main problems that occur are child marriage, sexual harassment, and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). The Sumenep group focus on the problems that occurred were recitation content that was full of patriarchy, child marriage, sexual violence, parenting, and uncontrolled use of gadgets in children.

In responding to these problems, Madura Simpul Rahima revealed that they had carried out various initiatives. For example, conducting community studies related to equality issues, conducting training for dai/daiyah to produce religious leaders with a gender fair perspective, establishing counseling houses, networking with mass organizations, providing assistance to legal entities, and overseeing Regional Regulations (Perda) for Gender Mainstreaming.  

After the group presentation, Desti Murdijana mapped the intertwined issues of women and children in Madura. Among them are sexual violence, marriage dispensation, child marriage, domestic violence, and divorce. From the results of the discussion, there are several steps that can be taken by women ulemas, namely (1) criticize patriarchy by dismantling little by little from two sides between children and parents through education; (2) increase the number of figures (especially women ulema) who have a gender perspective; (3) build a support system for fellow women ulema. Because advocating or assisting victims, they need friends to confide in to find concrete solutions. 

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