Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia: Negotiating Normativity Through Gender Mainstreaming Initiatives in Aceh 0415527597, 9780415527590

This book offers a critical analysis of gender mainstreaming initiatives in the post-tsunami context in Indonesia. Aimin

306 53 4MB

English Pages 218 [232] Year 2013

Report DMCA / Copyright


Table of contents :
Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’
1 Becoming better men and women: Gender mainstreaming as a technique of governmentality
2 Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming: Intelligibility of gender in Aceh
3 ‘This is gender!’ Normalized sex/gender divide and subversive gender
4 Women Can Do It Too! Governing post-tsunami gender norms through the radiowaves
5 Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming: Governing spatial and temporal landscapes of post-tsunami Aceh
Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?
Recommend Papers

Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia: Negotiating Normativity Through Gender Mainstreaming Initiatives in Aceh
 0415527597, 9780415527590

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia

This book offers a critical analysis of gender mainstreaming initiatives in the post-tsunami context in Indonesia. Aiming to challenge the terms of the debate in gender mainstreaming and disaster reconstruction efforts, Jauhola offers an important contribution for the discussion of what ‘feminisms and disasters’ could be. The work provides an in-depth analysis of three governmental practices of gender mainstreaming: the use of the concept pair sex/ gender, the use of gender analysis, and the use of project management tools and local subversion that challenges the potential normative violence of gender mainstreaming. Providing feminist intersectional reading of gender mainstreaming the book aims to illustrate that this framework does not lack political alternatives, but rather, it offers an alternative focus for feminism and for the re-conceptualization of ‘political’, and provides tools for practitioners of aid aiming to come to grips with the complexity of gender equality policy agenda and its potential violent social consequences in global politics. Drawing on extensive field research in Aceh, this text is one of the first booklength studies, and thus provides a significant addition to Indonesian literatures on intersectional analysis of gender, religion, heteronormativity, and feminist subversive practice. It is a vital resource for those interested in understanding global interconnections of localized disaster and conflict reconstruction. Marjaana Jauhola is Postdoctoral Researcher in Development Studies in the Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Interventions Edited by: Jenny Edkins, Aberystwyth University and Nick Vaughan-Williams, University of Warwick

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, “knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting.” In this spirit the Edkins–VaughanWilliams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR’s traditional geopolitical imaginary.’ Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa, USA The series aims to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural and post-colonial traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics. Critical Theorists and International Relations Edited by Jenny Edkins and Nick Vaughan-Williams Ethics as Foreign Policy Britain, the EU and the other Dan Bulley Universality, Ethics and International Relations A grammatical reading Véronique Pin-Fat The Time of the City Politics, philosophy, and genre Michael J. Shapiro

Governing Sustainable Development Partnership, protest and power at the world summit Carl Death Insuring Security Biopolitics, security and risk Luis Lobo-Guerrero Foucault and International Relations New critical engagements Edited by Nicholas J. Kiersey and Doug Stokes

International Relations and Non-Western Thought Imperialism, colonialism and investigations of global modernity Edited by Robbie Shilliam Autobiographical International Relations I, IR Edited by Naeem Inayatullah War and Rape Law, memory and justice Nicola Henry Madness in International Relations Psychology, security and the global governance of mental health Alison Howell Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt Geographies of the nomos Edited by Stephen Legg Politics of Urbanism Seeing like a city Warren Magnusson Beyond Biopolitics Theory, violence and horror in world politics François Debrix and Alexander D. Barder The Politics of Speed Capitalism, the state and war in an accelerating world Simon Glezos Politics and the Art of Commemoration Memorials to struggle in Latin America and Spain Katherine Hite

Indian Foreign Policy The politics of postcolonial identity Priya Chacko Politics of the Event Time, movement, becoming Tom Lundborg Theorising Post-Conflict Reconciliation Agonism, restitution and repair Edited by Alexander Keller Hirsch Europe’s Encounter with Islam The secular and the postsecular Luca Mavelli Re-Thinking International Relations Theory via Deconstruction Badredine Arfi The New Violent Cartography Geo-analysis after the aesthetic turn Edited by Sam Okoth Opondo and Michael J. Shapiro Insuring War Sovereignty, security and risk Luis Lobo-Guerrero International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis Necati Polat The Postcolonial Subject Claiming politics/governing others in late modernity Vivienne Jabri Foucault and the Politics of Hearing Lauri Siisiäinen

Volunteer Tourism in the Global South Giving back in neoliberal times Wanda Vrasti

Deleuze & Fascism Security: war: aesthetics Edited by Brad Evans and Julian Reid

Cosmopolitan Government in Europe Citizens and entrepreneurs in postnational politics Owen Parker

Feminist International Relations ‘Exquisite Corpse’ Marysia Zalewski

Studies in the Trans-Disciplinary Method After the aesthetic turn Michael J. Shapiro

The Persistence of Nationalism From imagined communities to urban encounters Angharad Closs Stephens

Alternative Accountabilities in Global Politics The scars of violence Brent J. Steele

Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance Reconstructing the greenhouse Edited by Chris Methmann, Delf Rothe and Benjamin Stephan

Celebrity Humanitarianism The ideology of global charity Ilan Kapoor Deconstructing International Politics Michael Dillon The Politics of Exile Elizabeth Dauphinee Democratic Futures Revisioning democracy promotion Milja Kurki

Postcolonial Encounters in International Relations The politics of transgression Alina Sajed Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia Negotiating normativity through gender mainstreaming initiatives in Aceh Marjaana Jauhola

Postcolonial Theory A critical introduction Edited by Sanjay Seth

Leo Strauss and the Invasion of Iraq Encountering the abyss Aggie Hirst

More than Just War Narratives of the just war and military life Charles A. Jones

Production of Postcolonial India and Pakistan Meanings of Partition Ted Svensson

Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia Negotiating normativity through gender mainstreaming initiatives in Aceh

Marjaana Jauhola

First published 2013 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2013 Marjaana Jauhola The right of Marjaana Jauhola to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Jauhola, Marjaana. Post-tsunami reconstruction in Indonesia : negotiating normativity through gender mainstreaming initiatives in Aceh / Marjaana Jauhola. p. cm. – (Interventions) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Women in development–Indonesia. 2. Project management–Indonesia. 3. Feminism–Indonesia. I. Title. HQ1752.J38 2013 305.4209598–dc23 2012047933 ISBN: 978-0-415-52759-0 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-69441-1 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Taylor & Francis Books


List of illustrations Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’ 1





viii ix xii 1

Becoming better men and women: Gender mainstreaming as a technique of governmentality


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming: Intelligibility of gender in Aceh


‘This is gender!’ Normalized sex/gender divide and subversive gender


Women Can Do It Too! Governing post-tsunami gender norms through the radiowaves


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming: Governing spatial and temporal landscapes of post-tsunami Aceh


Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?


Glossary Bibliography Index

176 181 209


Figures 0.1 Map of Aceh, Indonesia 2.1 Combined sub-district map of the tsunami damage and the level of conflict 3.1 Bureau for Women’s Empowerment, cover of the ‘This is Gender’ brochure 3.2 Agency for Women’s Empowerment, understanding gender 4.1 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Achieve it … a future with continuing education’, 2006 4.2 Educational poster in Lhokseumawe on avoidance of khalwat and instructing on proper Muslim clothing 4.3 Roadside poster at the port of Sabang, ‘Wear clothes according to Shari’a Islam’ 4.4 Logo used by the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment 4.5 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Participation of women within decision making demonstrates a household characterized by sakinah’, 2006 4.6 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘The husband and the wife have to do routine prenatal check-ups’, 2006 4.7 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Sharing work, why not?’, 2006 4.8 Mahdi Abdullah, Realitas (Reality) (oil on canvas, 83103cm) 5.1 Stages in the project cycle 5.2 Gender Analysis Pathway Flowchart 5.3 Table illustration of a ‘Logical Framework Matrix’ 5.4 Project temporality as a spiral 5.5 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘To improve management of family economics, women also have to organize the domestic finances’, 2006

2 42 59 80 93 106 106 108

109 110 111 119 150 150 151 152


Table 3.1 Bureau for Women’s Empowerment, ‘sex difference’



This book centres on the negotiation of gender norms through gender mainstreaming initiatives in the post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia. It is the result of years of engagement with questions of gendered effects of political violence and armed conflict in Aceh, but also of the international reconstruction aid that entered Aceh in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquakes and the tsunami in December 2004. Prior to my first visit to Aceh in 2006 as a humanitarian aid worker, I had for many years advocated for the integration of gender equality policies in the Finnish development cooperation policy, recognition of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 in the European civilian and military crisis management operations, promoted integration of gender perspective into the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) earthquake recovery programmes in Gujarat, India in 2001, and evaluated the effectiveness of the gender mainstreaming programme in post-conflict context of BosniaHerzegovina as a gender consultant for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 2005. I was a gender expert, or on the verge of becoming one. While doing a short-term tsunami assistance assignment on monitoring and evaluation in Aceh in 2006, after having submitted my first PhD research proposal to return to academia, I applied for a gender coordinator position in Aceh. However, a couple of things ‘got in the way’, turning the previously drafted research question around and causing me to turn down the opportunity to become a gender expert in Aceh. Thus, instead of asking how well gender mainstreaming is implemented in post-tsunami Aceh, I became more interested in understanding what gender mainstreaming does – to bodies and their desires, and what kinds of norms gender mainstreaming supports as ‘livable’ or enjoyable. Why this turn of the events? My experience of working as a humanitarian aid worker in Aceh in 2006 was, in hindsight, an eye-opening experience for me in many ways. It included developing a monitoring and evaluation system for an international non-governmental organization (INGO), but the most valuable learning took place in interactions with my colleagues, and through the lived experience as an aid worker. At times my work routines in an airconditioned office in Banda Aceh and monitoring visits to project locations



using the organization’s white SUVs left me with a feeling of floating in a reality that had at times very little to do with what was going on outside of the formal aid routines. I felt as if several realities co-existed side by side, colliding in small incidents, but only becoming visible if one was particularly attuned to look outside the reconstruction aid framework. A couple of incidents became important for my later reflections. First, I made friends with people who were moving in and out of a local lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex (LBGTI) scene in Banda Aceh and who shared their stories of desire, fear of Shari’a authorities and neighbourhood vigilante groups, but also reflections upon sexuality and gender preference, pushing me to reflect upon my analytical frameworks of heteronormative gender order. Second, through my contacts with Acehnese women’s activists and friends working as peace process monitors, I heard of the launch of the first report touching upon the participation of women in the peace process in August 2006. The event was being organized at the Syiah Kuala University campus in Banda Aceh, located some 10 kilometres from my office, and being attended, amongst others, by the former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, the facilitator of the peace process between the Indonesian government and the Acehnese independence movement. My requests for office transportation to the event and my suggestion of getting there by myself using local transportation were both declined, the organization arguing that it would not take any responsibility if my security situation at the event would be compromised. After a number of phone calls to my friends asking for a lift, I had no other choice than to stay in the office feeling frustrated by the fact that I was so near, and yet so far. Finally, a chat with an expatriate gender expert working in an organization that had its office next door to mine opened my eyes to the politics of gender aid. She told me of an in-depth study of the gendered violence in the tsunami aid barracks, commissioned by the organization for which I was working. As I later found out, it was a report that was never published, thus never discussed amongst my colleagues and thus never reflected upon in the programmes running in the same barrack communities where the interviews were held. In hindsight, these experiences immediately illustrate how making linkages between the post-tsunami and post-conflict contexts was proving difficult and what the stakes were of remaining silent about the gendered effects of the tsunami and conflict in Aceh. However, this book is not an autobiographical account of practising gender expertism in post-disaster reconstruction efforts. Rather, it is a result of being able to stay at a distance from what was about to become my profession, and maintain my enduring wish to try to understand the Acehnese context and the complexities of post-tsunami and post-conflict life worlds in Aceh. ‘To get stuck with Aceh’, as I later described it to my colleagues in Aberystwyth in 2010. Many of the gender experts, ‘schooled’ in earlier reconstruction contexts such as East Timor or the Balkans, had by the

Preface xi end of 2009 rotated to ‘engender’ other reconstruction contexts in Afghanistan, Darfur, Pakistan and Haiti, or in other aid landscapes of Indonesia: in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and West Papua. This book is focused on the gender politics of the post-tsunami reconstruction aid in Aceh. Thus, I do not claim to speak for the subjects of this book, nor claim to document the feminist struggles in Aceh in all their multiplicity. Arguments put forward in this book are my own interpretations of the fieldwork conducted in Aceh, and as such do not necessarily please the people with whom I have interacted throughout these years. I take the full responsibility for the contents of this book, although recognize that I possess very little control over how these arguments may be interpreted or used after they are published. 13 Dhu- al-Qida 1433H/30 September 2012, on the eighth commemoration of the tsunami in Banda Aceh


This book would not have been possible without the support of a number of people over the past six years. First of all, I want to thank Marie Breen-Smyth and Milja Kurki for your encouragement, guidance and kind, yet firm, supervision during my PhD studies from 2006 to 2010 at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University. Special thanks also go to Elina Penttinen and Pirjo Jukarainen at the University of Tampere and Johanna Kantola at the University of Helsinki for your support in my return to academia after eight years of ‘practice’. Seminars held by Christine Sylvester at the University of Tampere and Judith ‘Jack’ Halberstam at the University of Helsinki in the early stages of my research, and a conference panel on heteronormativity chaired by Saskia Wieringa at the Second Kartini Asia Network Conference, have provided valuable venues to reflect critically upon my research topic and ways of analysing normativity. I also want to thank my research assistant Unsuril Imani and all my counterpart organizations: the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), International Class of International Relations at the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Kartini Asia Network in Jakarta, and Aceh Research Training Institute/ICAIOS in Banda Aceh. I am grateful to all the people whom I have met and interviewed for this book in Aceh, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Special thanks go to Leena Avonius for providing comments and advice along the journey. I thank my former colleagues at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, and the interdisciplinary research groups on gender and performance and politics. Special thanks go to my dear friends and colleagues Claudia Hillebrand, Soumita Basu, Nida Shoughry, Andreja Zevnik, Joao Luis Reis Nunes, Ed Frettingham, Emily Trahair, Patrick Carlin and the extended ‘gang of See3D’. I am happy to recall the years spent together with all of you in Aberystwyth. I also want to thank all members of the Gender and Politics Seminar at the Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, for making my return to Helsinki in 2011 a joy. Special thanks go to colleagues and friends Jemima Repo and Milja Saari. Adde M. Wirasenjaya, Popon ‘Okol’ Anarita, Bernard Sembiring, Cahyo Nughoro Setiawan, Faisal Ichsal, Toni Almuna Ariga and Hartoyo: thanks



for reflecting on the realities of globalization, postcolonialism and queerness in the Indonesian archipelago and reminding me constantly that critical thinking does not require any academic degrees, but a reflective heart. I also want to thank my family and all my friends for your support. Last but not least, my partner Julle, for all your support and patience throughout these years and literally keeping me alive with your fantastic cooking, love, and Savo sense of humour. The research that went into this book was made financially possible by the support of the European Community under the Marie Curie Host Fellowship for Early Stage Researchers (2006–09), the Academy of Finland-funded project ‘Gendered Agency in Conflict: Gender Sensitive Approach to Development and Conflict Management Practices’ (2007–10) led by Pirjo Jukarainen, and the travel grant offered by Aceh Research Training Institute/University of Melbourne (2009). The editing of the final manuscript was made possible in 2011–12 working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Academy of Finlandfunded project ‘Intersecting Inequalities: Expanding the Bounds of NonDiscrimination in Legal and Political Praxis (INTERSECT)’ led by Kevät Nousiainen. Warm thanks to both Kevät and Johanna for your comments of the draft chapters during the final editing of the book. Illustrations in the book are reprinted with the permission of the rights holders: the radio drama production posters with the permission of Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh/Oxfam Indonesia Country Office; the materials of both the Provincial Office for Women’s Empowerment and the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment with the permission of the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment; the reprint of the Mahdi Abdullah’s painting ‘Realitas’ with the permission of the artist; and the combined sub-district map of the tsunami damage with the permission of Conciliation Resources. All other illustrations and photos are reprinted with the permission of the rights owners Yona Nestel, Marjaana Jauhola and Anna Bergman. Parts of the manuscript were previously published as ‘“Building Back Better”? – Negotiating Normative Boundaries of Gender Mainstreaming and Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Indonesia’, Review of International Studies 36, no. 1 (January 2010): 29–50; ‘“When House Becomes Home” – Reading Normativity in Gender Equality Advocacy in Post-Tsunami Aceh, Indonesia’, Gender, Technology and Development 14, no. 2 (July 2010): 173–95; ‘“The Girl Child of Today is the Woman of Tomorrow”: Fantasizing the Adolescent Girl as the Future Hope in PostTsunami Reconstruction Efforts in Aceh, Indonesia’, Rhizomes 22 (July 2011), accessible at; and ‘“Natural” Sex Difference? Negotiating the Meanings of Sex, Gender and Kodrat through Gender Equality Discourse in Aceh, Indonesia,’ Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 30 (November 2012), accessible at intersections. All rights reserved. They are reprinted with permission.

This page intentionally left blank

Introduction ‘Build Aceh back better’

The epicentre of the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunami (henceforth referred to as the tsunami) on 26 December 2004, or in the Islamic calendar on the 13 Dhu- al-Qi’da 1425H, was 100 kilometres off the coast of the province of Aceh,1 in Indonesia (see the map in Figure 0.1). The earthquakes and the tsunami killed over 200,000 people and displaced over a million people in six countries in South and South-East Asia and the north-eastern coast of Africa: India; Indonesia; Maldives; Sri Lanka; Thailand; and Somalia. The worst-hit area was Aceh, a special autonomous region of Indonesia, which had already suffered from nearly three decades of armed conflict. The earthquakes and the tsunami had devastating results in nine coastal districts2 of Aceh: lost and displaced lives, destroyed and damaged infrastructure. In some places the massive waves travelled several kilometres inland and it is estimated that over 120,000 people died or went missing, and over 700,000 people were displaced from their homes (CGI 2005: i).3 In March 2005, Oxfam International (OI) estimated that the majority of the tsunami dead were women and that the male survivors outnumbered women by the ratio of 3:1 (OI 2005: 2). Within a couple of weeks after the tsunami, the affected governments, humanitarian organizations and donor governments pledged a massive recovery and reconstruction effort. In fact, the tsunami aid is said to be the single largest reconstruction effort in the developing world and one of the biggest efforts since the European Recovery Plan in 1948–52 (Törnquist 2009: 23). In Aceh, the reconstruction initiatives amounted to a total of approximately €4.8 billion4 to be spent on rebuilding the economy and infrastructure and revitalizing human resources between 2005 and 2009. This book explores how gender mainstreaming initiatives, attempts to integrate a gender equality approach to post-tsunami reconstruction efforts in Aceh, take part in the politics of reconstruction by both reproducing and subverting gendered images of temporality and spatiality, nation, modernity and citizenship that intersect with norms such as sexuality and the practise of Islam. By focusing on the constructed gender norms of gender mainstreaming, this book addresses the emerging images of ‘better’ and moreover illustrates how disaster landscapes escape the attempts of governance and allow the emergence of subversive feminist politics.


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

Figure 0.1 Map of Aceh, Indonesia

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


Consequently, this book does not offer analysis of the effectiveness of gender advocacy strategies, nor how they should be improved, but rather how gender advocacy strategies unfold their effects (Bröckling et al. 2011: 13). Thus, this book provides a detailed analysis of the governmental technologies and practices of gender mainstreaming implemented in a complex context of social and political reconstruction: the aftermath of a destructive and traumatizing natural disaster, three decade-long ethnonationalist armed conflict and experiences of political violence, an ongoing (post)colonial state-building process and religious revival. All were attempting to ‘build Aceh back better’, not just through formal norms, such as laws and regulations, but through images of ‘New Aceh’ and constructing modern Acehnese subjectivity. The book offers an analysis of practices of gender mainstreaming in the context of international humanitarianism and developmentalism and illustrates how gender norms promoted through gender mainstreaming intersect with other social inequalities and normative ideals. Through the close reading of the intelligibility of the concept of gender the book examines the complex intersection of global gender policies, international humanitarianism, Acehnese religious revival, nationalism, and the emerging Acehnese feminist debates on gender and Islam.

‘Build Aceh back better’ In August 2005, just eight months after the tsunami, the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that ended the 29 years of armed conflict in Aceh. Thus, for many it was time to ‘build Aceh back better’, a slogan initially used by the former US President Bill Clinton in his first public appearance in January 2005 as the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (Clinton 2005).5 The slogan was further adopted into the post-tsunami reconstruction discourse in Aceh when the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, reiterated it in May 2005 at the inauguration of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency of Aceh and Nias (Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh dan Nias, BRR)6, mandated to coordinate the tsunami reconstruction efforts in Indonesia. Furthermore, the slogan was adopted by many international humanitarian organizations to reiterate the connectedness of relief, rehabilitation and wider social transformation and development: the importance of going beyond relief aid and focusing on longer-term prospects of good governance and sustainability (Feener 2012: 280). For example, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific emphasized that the importance of tsunami reconstruction processes is in ‘rebuilding lost and damaged values and norms’ (UNESCAP 2005: 9). In essence, the slogan built on the global discourse of developmentalism, euphoric ideas of a ‘new Aceh’, and the goal of transforming the lives of suffering Acehnese people (Daly and Rahmayati 2012: 59; Feener 2012: 280–81).


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

Furthermore, the call to ‘build Aceh back better’ was seized on by religious revivalists in Aceh. The Indonesian central government gave Aceh the authority formally to implement Shari’a law, i.e. codify Islamic law principles into provincial governance structures, legislation and all its public policies, as an attempt to end the armed conflict in 1999. Five years later, the tsunami and the peace process gave a new momentum for the Shari’a promoters who used Islamic law as a strategic instrument of social transformation: to reform Acehnese society to be in accordance with Islamic norms and shape a modern Muslim subjectivity in tune with the values of the developmentalist state (Feener 2012: 276, 278, 308).7 Accordingly, the BRR reiterated this aim in its policy priorities: Religious, social, and cultural aspects were the soul of the entire rehabilitation and reconstruction work in Aceh and Nias. Without considering these aspects in the rehabilitation and reconstruction process, the people of Aceh and Nias, who were already victims of a natural disaster, were at risk of being dragged into serious social problems. The risks were too great for BRR to focus merely on rebuilding damaged houses and infrastructure. The agency also needed to facilitate social transformation, and therefore geared all its programs and activities toward achieving social reconstruction … To achieve the above, BRR … coordinated, developed and promoted cross-sectoral activities to strengthen and renew the spiritual and social life of the people. (BRR 2009b: 20, emphasis added) In fact, many Acehnese interpreted the earthquake and the tsunami as originating from God: as a punishment for their sins, a test of their faith, or as a pre-ordained destiny (Feener 2012: 283). For some religious leaders and Islamic activist groups, the tsunami ‘happened because women ignored religion’ (Lindsey et al. 2007: 243–44). The formalization of Shari’a law in Aceh in 1999 had introduced an ongoing debate on which theological and legal school of Islam should inform the comprehensive implementation of Shari’a in Aceh (Ichwan 2007: 205). This question formed a central concern for many local women activists and feminist Islamic scholars,8 who feared that symbolic, literal and de-contextualized interpretations of Islam would portray women as the moral symbols and values of the society (KKG 2007). As a consequence, it was feared that women would become potential targets of moral policing and control (Noerdin 2007), and Acehnese forms of feminist activism would be labelled anti-Islamic, or non-Acehnese, behaviour. Thus, the paradigm of ‘build back better’ clearly was interpreted to mean more than the quality of the reconstructed infrastructure. It was also used to promote ideas of social transformation: reconstructing Acehnese values, ideas and norms, yet at times in contradictory ways (Kenny et al. 2010:14).

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


Governance feminism and its legacies The institutionalization of feminist knowledge and ideas in legal-institutional power, also known as governance feminism (Halley et al. 2006: 340), or state feminism (Kantola and Outshoorn 2007), has been celebrated as a success of the so-called second-wave feminism. During the last few decades governments and development organizations have adopted legal mechanisms and public policies that address concerns the feminist movement has raised in their advocacy for gender equality, such as equal pay, sexual violence and equal participation in politics. Policy approaches such as gender mainstreaming, the integration of a gender equality approach and ‘a gender perspective’ have been adopted as institutional mechanisms to address and counteract the reproduction of gender inequalities and discrimination in governance structures (Prügl 2011: 71–72). The presidential instruction on gender mainstreaming was adopted in Indonesia in 2000 and it defines gender mainstreaming as: one of the development strategies which is implemented to achieve gender equality and equity, through integration of experience, aspiration, need, and problems of women and men in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all policies, programs, projects and activities in various development sectors. (MOWE 2002a: 3) In the wider Indonesian context, gender mainstreaming has included initiatives engendering state-led poverty reduction programmes and the process of revising the Indonesian compilation of Islamic law.9 In short, gender mainstreaming is being promoted in the existing governance and organizational structures with the aim of including the considerations of women and gender equality in their policy-making and project-implementation processes. The underlying assumption has been a transformative process resulting in empowerment and freedom.10 All in all, decades-long transnational feminist advocacy has had a significant role in diffusing gender equality concerns into governance, such as the UN, international financial institutions and government offices (True and Mintrom 2001). In the Indonesian context, however, governance feminism can be traced back to the century-long engagement of the women’s movement with the colonial and postcolonial state (Blackburn 2004; Wieringa 2002). In fact, Susan Blackburn has suggested that gender ideologies, expectations and ideals of how men and women should behave are constantly contested due to the diversity of views on gender – of which state ideologies are just one element. This diversity includes varying gendered traditions within ethnic groups, their local adat (customary law) traditions and legal frameworks, gender ideologies of the religious leaders and communities, the state, globalized economy and foreign development assistance (Blackburn 2004: 8–9). Thus, in Aceh, gender


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

norms are constructed and constantly negotiated as interplay at least between adat, religious norms, Indonesian state ideology, the 30-year ethno-nationalist independence movement and the effects of militarization (Siapno 2002; Aspinall 2009b), and the influence of international humanitarian assistance since 2005. Furthermore, governance feminism is not without its critics. On the contrary, feminist scholars have debated the dilemmas of promoting feminist agendas in non-feminist organizations (Bedford 2009; Booth 1998; Eyben 2010) and have argued that the gender approach has become a technocratic problem-solving approach in which ‘gender’ emerges as a disciplinary category (Manicom 2001; Menon 2009; Teghtsoonian 2004; True 2003; Väyrynen 2004). In the Indonesian context, gender politics have become a controversial component in the post-authoritarian battle for political power (Robinson 2009: 165). For example, the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment, the ministry in charge of gender mainstreaming, took an active role in drafting the law on pornography, passed in 2008 ‘to protect women’. The law was openly opposed by women’s rights organizations as a form of state-based discrimination against women, arguing that instead of protection, its implementation would lead to an increase in violence against women (Allen 2009). In fact, Sonja van Wichelen has argued that the heated debates on Islam and gender are ‘symptomatic illustrations of the intensification of … contestations and … struggle over meaning and values’ (van Wichelen 2010: xx), and thus, the production of a gendered body is to be read against several ideological frameworks, such as the authoritarian rule of New Order11, Islamist ideology, postcoloniality, and global capital (ibid.). Along these lines, Denize Kandiyoti has suggested that the rhetoric of ‘women’s empowerment’ has been generally framed within national development efforts and with a vision of the ‘modern’ nation, where women’s emancipation is used to signal ‘progress’. Kandiyoti further argues that the gender ideologies of the state follow its economic policies, liberalization of state control and export-led strategies of development (Kandiyoti 1995: 22, 23). Feminist writing arising predominantly from the global South has examined the embedded power relations within the development agenda and criticized the focus of feminist ‘gender activism’ and claimed such activism reiterates the ideologies of colonialism and imperialism (Desai 2005). Consequently, some feminists question the very desirability of gender mainstreaming: … if performative and discursive understandings of gender have become the obligatory starting point for contemporary feminist analysis; taking this seriously would render the possibility of gender mainstreaming an absurdity. It would be as if gender were not already mainstreamed; or indeed that there really was a possibility of mainstreaming only ‘good’ versions of gender. (Zalewski 2010: 6)

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


In fact, several scholars have pointed out how gender policies are bound to heteronormativity, neoliberal political economy, and liberal politics (see Bedford 2009; Griffin 2009; Menon 2009; Repo 2011). It is commonly accepted amongst feminist scholars that gender mainstreaming policies emerged as part of the neoliberal economic policies (see e.g. Baden and Goetz 1997; True 2003). For example, Christine Chinkin has suggested that at the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 (later referred as the Beijing conference), there was no alternative to the ideology of market policies, thus the feminist goal became to ensure women’s participation and access to the structures of the market (Chinkin 2000: 247). As a result, critics see gender mainstreaming as part of a broader instrumentalcapitalist restructuring agenda that has meant institutionalization and professionalization of feminism and created an elite cadre of gender experts and ‘nine to five feminists’ (de Alwis 2009: 86) without opening feminist political space, or changing the material conditions for women at the grassroots level (Eschle 2000: 215–16, quoted in True 2003: 369). Along these lines, Jemima Repo has recently suggested that feminism and neoliberalism share a genealogy in liberal biopolitics: as long as feminism is formulated according to liberal definitions of politics and political action, ‘it will be coerced by it to biopoliticise itself as the condition of entering that political arena’ (Repo 2011: 16–17). According to this critique, gender advocacy, or promotion of women’s rights, is centred on liberal notions of the modernization and transformation of societies (Duffield 2005: 39), and thus I argue that feminists should take the critique of the biopolitical effects of development aid or post-war reconstruction efforts (Duffield 2001, 2007; Roberts 2011) seriously when considering the usefulness of gender mainstreaming as a feminist agenda.

Gendering post-disaster reconstruction efforts Since the early 1990s, humanitarian organizations have introduced policies, guidelines and training packages to support the integration of gender concerns into emergency response and disaster management (Enarson and Meyreles 2004). In fact gender mainstreaming, integration of a gender equality approach and a gender perspective, was formally endorsed by the UN member states at the Beijing Conference as a policy strategy to promote gender equality and the advancement of women. It has become the dominant mode for promoting gender equality for most international, regional and national organizations, governments and non-state actors (Baden and Goetz 1997: 4; Squires 2007: 1–3).12 Although the gender mainstreaming policy approach has been part of the formal provincial government’s structures in Aceh since 2000, the focus on gender mainstreaming and gender policies has intensified in the post-tsunami context as many of the international organizations have advocated gender mainstreaming in their work ‘to build Aceh back better’. In line with the


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

increased international pressure to focus on gender concerns in humanitarian aid efforts, including in Aceh, a network Gender Working Group (GWG) was established in 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami to coordinate the ‘gender reconstruction work’ of the central and provincial governments, international organizations, and INGOs and NGOs.13 In post-tsunami Aceh, gender mainstreaming initiatives have primarily targeted the gendered elements of post-tsunami and post-conflict reconstruction efforts. For example, BRR’s gender activities included recruiting gender experts whose main task was to draw together BRR’s official gender strategy, the development of gender-sensitive checklists to be used in BRR’s programming on economic, education, health, housing and settlements, planning and budgeting, and religious, social and cultural affairs. It also included contracting the State Islamic University (UIN) in Jakarta to develop training modules on gender mainstreaming that were later offered for the staff members of the provincial and district-based offices of the Agency for Women’s Empowerment, and Acehnese female ulamas. However, recent academic literature on post-tsunami reconstruction efforts in Aceh has criticized the attempts to engender the post-tsunami reconstruction efforts. For example, Daniel Fitzpatrick has provided a critical assessment of a gender-sensitized land-titling process in Aceh and argued that when gender advocacy has aimed at formalizing legal frameworks for land titling, it has produced unanticipated and counter-intuitive results for Acehnese women: in some cases it has left women worse off than they were under the pre-existing localized adat arrangements (Fitzpatrick 2012: 116). Furthermore, Patrick Daly and Yenny Rahmayati provocatively suggest that none of the organizations promoting gender would have gained such easy access to Acehnese society had they specifically arrived in Aceh ‘to recast gender roles’. In fact, the authors suggest that the lack of understanding of existing gender roles in Aceh and the strong stereotypes of Muslim and Indonesian women has made those Acehnese who are generally sympathetic to ideas of changing gender dynamics in Aceh wary of the focus of post-tsunami reconstruction efforts on gender (Daly and Rahmayati 2012: 71, footnote 7). It has even been suggested that ‘gender’ was introduced in Aceh by the Western aid organizations after the tsunami (Grossman 2012: 103, footnote 3), a claim that will be challenged in Chapters 2 and 3. Furthermore, Katarina Lee-Koo’s research focusing on the gendered politics of war and peace in Aceh has recently suggested that the peace process in Aceh has reflected a highly problematic elitemasculinist agenda: ‘The failure to ensure that women, and issues specific to women, were represented throughout the peace process indicates a densely gendered, and problematic, conceptualisation of peace’ (Lee-Koo 2012: 74; see also Grossman 2012: 98). Similarly, scholarship on other post-tsunami reconstruction contexts after the Indian Ocean earthquakes and the tsunami has accused gender, as a technical tool, of being an ‘ahistorical, apolitical, decontextualised approach which leaves unequal power relations intact rather than challenging them’

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


(Fulu 2007: 843), and warned that a sole focus on gender dynamics produces the exclusion of certain groups of women (and men) from post-tsunami aid altogether (Akerkar 2007). For example, drawing on her research in Sri Lanka, Jennifer Hyndman has argued that the focus on gender is insufficient, as landscapes of violence and disaster are inseparable in Sri Lanka: ‘gender relations were shaped not only by tsunami, but produced at the intersection of social, economic and political relations and the ongoing conflict’ (Hyndman 2008: 103 emphasis in original). Consequently, the ‘gender aid’ potentially reproduces and reiterates existing gendered, racial and geographical hierarchies (Aoláin and Hamilton 2009: 388–89; Hall and True 2009; Waizenegger and Hyndman 2011; Zalewski 2010). Yet, Katharina Thurheer’s (2009) analysis from Sri Lanka illustrates that recipients of tsunami aid are not just passive victims of aid governmentality, but actively use categories and aid for strategic self-positioning. Thus, what should a feminist scholar and activist think of gender and attempts to mainstream gender into disaster response? Jennifer Hyndman and Malathi de Alwis have suggested a shift from ‘gender and disasters’ to ‘feminisms and disasters’ as a response to the critique of gender and the realization of the complexity and multiplicity of social differentiations and inequalities in post-disaster contexts (Hyndman 2008; Hyndman and de Alwis 2003). Malathi de Alwis further argues that professionalization and project managerialism has produced feminist ‘comfort zones’ of privilege and has further meant decreased ability of feminists to ‘conceptualize and participate in political struggles which seek to question [the] very parameters of the political’ (de Alwis 2009: 86). To her this has also led to a feminist shift from ‘strategies of refusal’, non-cooperative and insurrectionary politics, towards ‘strategies of request’, demands for legal reforms, lobbying and constitutional politics (ibid.: 87). As a result, de Alwis calls for subversive politics that not only destabilize dominant values and structures, but also ourselves (ibid.: 89) – ‘who we are’. Thus, instead of locating feminism as identity politics and making demands for group-based rights as a politics of representation or a politics of inclusion, ‘politics of subversion’ is understood as ‘a challenge and resistance to dominant and debilitating norms’ (Chambers 2009: 2), which is located in the constantly disruptive processes of repetition that expose the norm and question its dominance (ibid.: 14). Elisabeth Prügl has suggested that a Foucauldian approach to gender mainstreaming could contribute new insights to the effects of governance feminism and overcoming feminist dichotomy of engaging with the mainstream versus fearing of co-optation (Prügl 2011: 73). Development of a particular kind of knowledge – feminist legal expertise, expertise on how to mainstream gender, is at the core of governance feminism. A Foucauldian analytics of government focuses attention on such knowledge and on the various effects of power it produces: inserting feminist knowledge into the mainstream reconstruction aid simultaneously produces empowerment and


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

constrains it. Thus, there are no such things as pure feminist goals that are outside the mainstream and untouched by the workings of power (ibid.: 72–73). Approaching ‘gender’ as a technology of government, according to Prügl, ‘brings into view the rationalities and logics inherent in bio-political gender construction and the kinds of dispositions that these rationalities produce’ (ibid.: 80). Governmental practices, such as gender mainstreaming, provide spaces to negotiate and subvert the assumed stable and unchangeable concepts and policy debates (Eyben 2010) and thus, there is scope for a more in-depth contextualized analysis of negotiation of gender norms, or ‘situated approaches to studying the interplay between global discipline and dissent’ (Coleman and Tucker 2011: 397).

Outline of the argument With its focus on governmentality and subversion of gender mainstreaming initiatives, the main contribution of this book is two-fold. First, the book makes a theoretical contribution to the feminist debate on gender through the analytical focus on governmentality and subversion in the context of intersectionality of gender norms. It takes issue with the claim that gender mainstreaming is purely a disciplinary technique and illustrates how gender mainstreaming is actively used in the post-tsunami context in Aceh allowing the rise of new subjectivities that challenge the gendered post-tsunami governmentality. With a particular focus on subversion and counter-conducts, the book raises a methodological concern in focusing public and visible subversion, and seeks to prove the limits of such of an analysis by focusing on silence and invisibility. Second, the book provides a critical analysis of gender mainstreaming practices specific to the context of post-tsunami reconstruction aid in Aceh by focusing on three technologies of gender advocacy: the use of the sex/gender concept pair; the use of gender as an exclusive category of feminist analysis and advocacy; and the use of project managerial practices. Practices of government and subversive politics are primarily discussed in the Acehnese context; however, observations are related back to the wider questions of feminist theory, activism and forms of global governance. Chapter 1 develops an analytical framework to study gender mainstreaming as a technology of government, through which intersectional gender norms function as a practice of ‘conduct of conduct’, while analytical attention is also given to the simultaneously emerging feminist potential, subversive sites of counter-conducts that challenge the normative frameworks of gender mainstreaming. The chapter proposes a multi-method ethnography, and close reading as methodological approaches to analyse governmentality and constant negotiation of norms. Chapter 2 traces the wider political landscapes within which gender mainstreaming, and the concept of gender, has become intelligible in Aceh. The chapter illustrates that gender mainstreaming is an intimate part of the wider

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


economic and political reforms and decentralization of the post-Suharto Indonesia, continuous negotiation of the relationship between Islam and the state and ethnonationalist armed conflict in Aceh, and the opening of Aceh to the international humanitarian organizations after the tsunami. The chapter identifies three discourses through which the concept of gender becomes intelligible in the context of post-tsunami Aceh and argues that gender is becoming intelligible primarily within the context of ‘shari’aization’ of Acehnese public debates. All these discourses ‘mainstream shari’a’ into the gender mainstreaming agenda, but through different discursive strategies: using the Islamic history of Aceh; arguing for the incompatibility of gender within Shari’a Islam; and by focusing on gender discourse ‘à la Aceh’. The rest of the book analyses gender mainstreaming initiatives and gender advocacy as attempts to ‘build Aceh back better’. By focusing on the processes of constructing social norms through gender mainstreaming, the book illustrates the normative boundaries and simultaneous subversive feminist potential of the gender mainstreaming approach. Each chapter addresses normativity of gender mainstreaming through a specific governmental practice: the use of the concept pair sex/gender (Chapter 3); framing of gender as an exclusive focus of social analysis (Chapter 4); and the use of project management tools (Chapter 5). All three chapters explore the subversive potential emerging from the counter-conducts of these practices. Chapter 3 deepens the intelligibility of gender in Aceh by focusing on the normalized distinction between biological sex and socio-culturally constructed gender. The chapter argues that the sex/gender divide is naturalized by a simultaneous use of biological, theological and feminist argumentation. However, instead of claiming that the ‘real’, neutral, or apolitical meaning of the concept of gender can be revealed, the chapter illustrates how the normalized meanings are constantly negotiated and challenged. By providing an account of subversive sites of gender – emerging LBGTI activism and use of Islamic concepts of zauj, tawhid and rahmatan nil alamin – the chapter challenges the priority given to the heteronormative and anthropomorphist gender order in feminist analysis and activism, and points to alternative formulations of the concept of gender, feminism and feminist politics in Aceh – alternatives that fall under the premise of Islamic law, developmentalist state, and emerging forms of homonormativity that reiterate the liberal logic of subjectification. Chapter 4 provides a close reading of the Oxfam International radio drama production Women Can Do It Too! broadcast in Aceh in 2006. The chapter provides an intersectional analysis of a radio drama that specifically focuses on gender equality and women’s rights in post-tsunami Aceh. The chapter illustrates how radio drama reiterates the sex binary and the monogamous heterosexual nuclear family as the norm of modern Acehnese subjectivity. This could be seen as a strategic decision by the gender advocates: a focus on equal rights and opportunities of women in relation to men could be regarded


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

as a subversion of the ongoing Shari’a law codification process in Aceh. However, reducing the debate to one about equal rights and opportunities of women, and framing the concept of equality solely as a concern with the relations between men and women, omits other social inequalities from the analysis and normalizes liberal feminist ideals into gender mainstreaming practices and tsunami reconstruction efforts. These other contextualized social differentiations are analysed through two normative images of ‘better’ that emerge from the narrative: ‘adolescent girl as a future hope’; and the ‘harmonious home’. Chapter 5 turns the analytical gaze towards the project management practices of gender mainstreaming and argues that the ultimate normalization process entails the normalization of Acehnese temporality as linear and progressive, and normalization of Aceh into reconstructed development spatiality. Village and community are normalized as natural and harmoniously existing entities, which further become signifiers of certain understandings of time: progress and the move towards modernity. With this focus on community empowerment, aid-expert and gender-expert knowledge become invisible. The chapter makes a conscious effort to locate disruptions and cracks that subvert the chronological narratives of progress and suggests that ‘Aceh’ could be understood as simultaneous multiple landscapes that are in a constant process of ‘becoming’. The conclusion of this book returns to the sites of normative boundaries and the subversive potential of gender mainstreaming initiatives in the posttsunami reconstruction efforts. It is maintained that the normative boundaries and subversive potential derive simultaneously from all three practices elaborated in this book: the use of the concept pair sex/gender; gender as an exclusive focus of analysis; and project management practices of gender mainstreaming. As a conclusion of this research, I argue that it is in the process of repetition that people become ‘better’ women and men and a reconstructed house becomes a home. Bodies are sites for the deployment of ethical and political values. Similarly, home, family or community are not prediscursive elements of a society, but rather a product of active processes of making one. Production of norms is a dynamic site of contestation, which, while producing the norm, simultaneously creates the potentiality for subversion to emerge. This creates the possibility for the listener and reader to reflect on the authenticity of gender advocacy campaigns, such as Women Can Do It Too! and take them as a representation, not as a description of reality. Subversive moments provide moments of true drama: parody and performativity, and sometimes tragedy, making the painful, invisible and unspeakable visible and loud. Thus finally, as an attempt to answer Jennifer Hyndman’s and Malathi de Alwis’s (2003) call for feminist approaches to development and disaster relief, I ask: where is feminism located in the post-tsunami disaster response? One of the conclusions of this book is that feminism is located at the critique of multiple and localized antagonisms, in subversive sites where lives are lived at

Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’


the margins of the society. These lives gain recognition and agency though the alternative life worlds, the queer spaces and temporalities, yet remain invisible in formal aid policies. Critical feminist practice and feminist analysis remain in a constant movement.

Notes 1 The official name of the province has changed several times since the independence of Indonesia in 1947. The new name ‘Province of Aceh’ was formalized in 2009. At the time of the tsunami the legally settled name was Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD). 2 West Aceh, Aceh Besar, Aceh Jaya, Nagan Raya, Pidie, Pidie Jaya, Bireuen and North Aceh, see the map in Figure 0.1. 3 The estimated population of Aceh before the tsunami in 2004 was approximately 4.271 million, compared with 4.031 million in 2005 after the tsunami. 4 The amount of 74.8 trillion Indonesian rupiah as of the currency rates in January 2009. The biggest flows of funds came from the USA, Germany, the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Ireland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Norway. The funds disbursed were divided between the government’s development agencies and international organizations (the United Nations, World Bank Group and development banks), and INGOs and NGOs (BRR 2009a). 5 The slogan ‘build back better’ has been used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the US government in its disaster recovery and preparedness discourse. It was initially used in connection to the reporting of the April 1997 Grand Forks, North Dakota floods, but was used again in relation to recovery efforts after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004 and hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and the earthquake in Pakistan in January 2011. 6 Nias is an island belonging to the province of Northern Sumatra that was hit by the tsunami in 2004, but also another earthquake in March 2005. BRR was established to coordinate efforts both in Aceh and Nias. 7 Aceh is often called the ‘Veranda of Mecca’ as it was one of the first areas in the Indonesian archipelago that converted into Islam in its early centuries from animism, Buddhism and Hinduism (Saby 2005: 17). The Muslim population is said to account for between 90 and 99 per cent of the population. However, there are also Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and animist communities, each approximately 1 per cent of the total population. According to the last census, out of Indonesia’s population of 250 million, some 80 per cent report themselves to be Muslims. The Indonesian Constitution requires citizens to adhere to one of the six officially recognized religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism). In order to obtain an identity card, an Indonesian citizen has to choose one of the six officially accepted religions. There is no category for animism or atheism. Thus, statistics on religious communities should not be read as an indication of religiosity, or necessarily as an active choice of a religious identity. 8 Throughout this book the term ‘Islamic feminist/feminism’ is used to describe women’s activism grounded in the Islamic tradition (see e.g. van Doorn-Harder 2006: 7–8), recognizing, however, that ‘Muslim feminist/feminism’ is also used by some scholars (see e.g. Muttaqin 2008), and that some women’s activists and scholars refuse to be named as feminists (see e.g. Barlas 2008). 9 For a detailed discussion of the revision process and an alternative proposal produced by the gender mainstreaming working group at the Department of Religious Affairs, see Fealy and Hooker 2006; White 2006; Mulia and Cammack 2007. 10 Three governmental organizations have formally promoted the integration of gender into policy making in Aceh: the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment BPP


Introduction: ‘Build Aceh back better’

(2000–07, since 2008 known as the Agency for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection BPPPA) and its district offices; the women and children’s empowerment section of the BRR (2005–09); and the Aceh Peace-Reintegration Board (BRA), established in 2006. Each of these formal gender structures has received funding from international aid organizations, such as the Canadian International Development Agency, UNIFEM, Oxfam and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). 11 New Order refers to the years of Suharto’s presidency 1965–98, differentiated from the Old Order (1947–65), the period of the presidency of Sukarno. 12 Gender mainstreaming is one of the three institutional mechanisms identified in the outcome document of the Beijing Conference. The other two measures are the establishment and strengthening of national machinery and other governmental bodies to promote gender equality, and generation of gender-disaggregated statistics and knowledge for policy-making purposes (UN 2001: 115–21). For detailed accounts of the history of UN policies on Women in Development (WID), Gender and Development (GAD) and gender mainstreaming, see Jahan 1995; Razavi and Miller 1995. 13 The group was chaired by the BPP/BPPPA and the status of the GWG was debated several times between 2006 and 2009, the last time in 2009. Whereas the BPP/ BPPPA) considered the group as being part of the temporary post-tsunami coordination structures, the active NGO members of the group regarded it as a permanent advocacy group in Aceh. In one brochure the GWG member organizations were identified as: the Agency for Women’s Empowerment (BPP), the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Meutuah, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), SPMAA (Pendidikan Mental Agama Allah), MiSPI (True Partner of Indonesian Women, Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the gender study centres of the two Banda Aceh-based universities, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), Care International, Oxfam, Department of Shari’a Islam, the National Population and Family Planning Board (Badan Kordinasi Keluarga BerencanaNasional, BKKB), and Putroe Kande.


Becoming better men and women Gender mainstreaming as a technique of governmentality

Since the formal endorsement by the United Nations (UN) member states in Beijing in 1995, gender mainstreaming has become the dominant mode for promoting gender equality, equality between men and women, globally (Squires 2007: 1–3). A strong aspiration of transformation lies at the heart of the gender mainstreaming agenda: transformation of social and institutional structures, and lives of both men and women, towards better futures: ‘so that women and men can have equal access, participation, control and benefits on resources and opportunities’ (Minister for Women’s Affairs), and so that they ‘benefit from development itself ’ (MOWE 2002a: 62). Consequently, this book approaches gender mainstreaming through Michel Foucault’s analytical work on governmentality, referring to ‘a range of forms of action and fields of practice aimed in a complex way at steering individuals and collectives’ (Bröckling et al. 2011: 2). Gender mainstreaming is treated as an attempt to govern post-tsunami Aceh and ‘conduct of conduct’ that shapes ‘aspects of our behaviour according to particular sets of norms and for a variety of ends’ (Dean 1999: 10). Government understood in this way turns analytical focus on norms, discourses, expert knowledge, and subjectivities that are constituted by the very practice of governance (Manicom 2001: 8). In fact, govermentality has become the focus of a wide range of scholarship and diverse disciplinary orientations. Central to the question of governmentality and governmental practice is the question of subjectification, assujettissement, which has a double meaning: subjection as subordination, and becoming a subject (Butler 2004a: 188). The process of becoming a subject is tied to social sphere: subjects are generated performatively, and these processes are dependent on orders of knowledge and power relations (Foucault 2007: 14). Accordingly, Martin Hewitt, reading Foucault, has suggested that: … the norm is more than just a normative component within a system of values or an ideological system. It is active; it is practiced, learned and researched as knowledge. It is not totally dominant, a power imposed by


Becoming better men and women one section of society on another. It is dispersed around different centres of expertise and practice. (Hewitt 1992: 164, emphasis added)

Thus, it is the gender expertise and practices of gender mainstreaming at which this book takes a critical look. How are feminist goals of empowerment, transformation and freedom entangled in questions of power and subjectivity and technologies of self ? What are the existing relationships between the various techniques of power and forms of feminist knowledge? The analytical framework proposed in this chapter is threefold: first, it treats gender mainstreaming as a technology of government aiming to ‘conduct conduct’, and to govern people through gender norms, drawing special attention to the intersecting nature of these norms. Second, the framework locates the subversive potential of feminist counter-conduct within gender mainstreaming, and finally, these theoretical considerations are translated into a multi-method ethnography on gender mainstreaming practices in Aceh.

Feminist trouble with Foucault Approaching gender mainstreaming as governmentality continues the long line of feminist attempts to appropriate Foucault’s concepts since the 1990s, challenging naturalized categories and concepts within feminist thinking: the use of a sex/gender binary in constructing normality of heterosexuality (Butler 1990), or racialized categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ (Bailey 1993). In fact, feminist research, influenced by the work of Michel Foucault, has flourished since the late 1980s and, for example, has contributed to an important body of literature elaborating on the theory of feminist discourse analysis (Bacchi and Eveline 2010; Lombardo et al. 2009). However, according to Elisabeth Prügl, few feminist scholars have engaged in the analytics of governmentality of feminist knowledge production (Prügl 2011: 73). For many feminist scholars, Foucault was unable to account for feminist activism, and on the other, for the masculine domination of politics and governance. In fact, Foucault’s concepts of power/knowledge and subjectification gained heavy feminist critique in the 1980s and 1990s, warning of relativism, nihilism and pessimism and threatening the emancipatory project of feminism (McLaren 2004: 214). Consequently, ‘an unresolved tension’ between feminist methodological frameworks and commitment to feminist politics remains (Squires 2002: 220–21). On one hand, deconstruction and discourse analysis are considered valuable methodologies with which to understand the historicity of concepts and with which to critically examine the essentialism and universalism of concepts such as the sex/gender distinction. On the other hand, mainstream feminist strategies continue to focus on ‘women’s oppression’ as a central feminist normative and political concern (Squires 2002: 220). In fact, critics of

Becoming better men and women


postmodern and poststructural feminism have argued that if one loses stable identity categories, or the stable subject, it will also mean the end of feminist politics. Moya Lloyd identifies four factors relevant to why feminism has continued using ‘woman’ as a unitary and stable liberal subject as its basis. First, despite the many differences separating women, there is a desire to emphasize the unity among all women in order to pursue the goal of universal feminist politics. Second, feminism is a product, although a critical one, of the Enlightenment and uses the notions of Cartesian subject, i.e. the idea of a rational subject that strives towards freedom from suppression in order to pursue feminist politics. Third, for some feminists the loss of a stable subject means a loss of agency and, consequently, the possibility of universal feminist politics and claims for human rights, for example. Finally, the focus on the stable and universal subject, according to Lloyd, may be a cover for a certain racial subtext within Western feminism, i.e. positioning the white woman as the norm of the universal advocacy for women, most often articulated implicitly (Lloyd 2005: 29). In fact, criticisms of feminism by women of colour, queer theorists and postcolonial feminists, such as M.E. Bailey and Caroline Ramazanog˘ lu, have demanded recognition that women do not share a universal, timeless identity, based simply on being essentially, biologically, women (Bailey 1993: 116). Instead, bodies should be regarded as gendered, sexualized and racialized battlegrounds (Ramazanog˘ lu 1993: 15). Responses to this criticism point out that the poststructuralist critique of subject is not the end of feminist politics, but means a fundamental change to the ways in which the concept of politics is understood (Butler 1992; Lloyd 2005; Repo 2011). Accordingly, instead of aiming to give voice to the ‘marginalized women’ and other ‘oppressed groups’ in the Third World (D’Costa 2006; Stern 2006) and thus, securing sovereign notions of subjectivity (Halberstam 2011: 128), this research suggests an analytical framework through which the complexity of positions, and voices or agency are recognized in a specific context of Acehnese (post)coloniality (Sajed 2012: 143), yet avoiding treating all differences as an ‘undifferentiated “pile of subversive marginality”’ (ibid.: 157). Rather, the aim is to identify the ways in which ‘others’ ‘are also entangled in “the contradictions of modernity”’ (Rey Chow 1995: 196, quoted in Sajed 2012: 163).

Technologies of gender: heteronormativity of the sex/gender divide The distinction between sex (male/female), a matter of biology, and gender (masculine/feminine), a set of culturally and socially defined characteristics, is central to attempts to gender development aid practices, as it is to a significant body of gender theory and Anglophone feminism since the 1960s: ‘sex is a natural, biological fact, but gender is a cultural, historical and linguistic production or achievement’ (Chambers and Carver 2008: 56). Based on this construct, ‘one can be only one gender, never the other or both’ (Flax


Becoming better men and women

1997: 175), let alone be without a gender or be something else (Kantola and Valenius 2007: 17). Foucault-influenced feminist scholars were amongst the many who criticized feminist thought for naturalization of the sex/gender divide and gender binary and called for a radical separation of gender and sexuality in feminist studies in order to understand the dynamics through which gender theory produces categories of homosexuality and heterosexuality (Jackson 2006: 38; McLaughlin et al. 2006: 1; see also Butler 2004b: 54).1 For example, Teresa de Lauretis proposed that ‘gender is the product of various social technologies … such as institutional discourses, epistemologies, and critical practices, as well as practices of daily life’ (de Lauretis 1987: 2). This construction also takes place in intellectual practices, including feminism through the practice of the ‘sex/gender system’ (ibid.: 5). In the second edition of Gender Trouble Judith Butler reiterated that her aim was to counter the exclusionary gender norms in feminism, that to her carry within themselves homophobic consequences (Butler 1990: viii). Whereas the dominant debate on sex/gender draws from the stable sex to understand the culturally variable gender, Butler turns the discussion around and argues that it is the gender norms and the compulsory heterosexuality that produce the phenomenon of ‘natural sex’ (Butler 1990, 1993). It is through a long period of repetition and knowledge production that the construct appears as a natural configuration of bodies: the division into two sexes that exist in a binary relation to one another. Thus, for Butler, the question is not so much ‘how is gender constituted as and through a certain interpretation of sex?’ but rather ‘through what regulatory norms is sex itself materialized?’ (ibid.: 10). In simpler terms, Butler attempts to analyse the concept of gender as a mechanism that produces embodied subjects as gendered and sexual. According to Butler, the gender mechanism anchors all identities that are related to body, desire and social life, within the binary model of man/ woman: a model of a heterosexual matrix.2 Although it has been widely debated since the 1990s, contemporary feminists remain divided on the issue of the sex/gender divide and despite the attempts to move away from essentialism, ‘gender is still generally mapped onto sex’ (Sanger 2008: 43). Sex as a binary between men and women continues to be seen as natural, although critique has illustrated its normative and ethical problems. Sanger has suggested that those who challenge the gender binary remain largely invisible and continue to exist at the margins of ‘societal understanding’ (ibid.). Instead of reiterating the dominant narrative of sex as ‘natural’ and gender as ‘culture/nurture’, an alternative feminist conceptualization sees gender as the ‘ways that sex and sexuality become political’ (Carver 2004: 3). In fact, the move from ‘gender is’ to ‘governance of gender’ is fundamental to the ability to address existing normative boundaries of feminist thinking and practice, feminist theory and feminist politics. Furthermore, Saskia Wieringa has pointed to the awkward silence maintained by the Women in Development/Gender and Development

Becoming better men and women


(WID/GAD) experts in relation to the feminist debates on the sexed and gendered body. She claims that there is a divide between the development economics approach in feminism and feminist studies on sexual relations and the body politic: the former conceptualize bodies and identity politics and thus build their expert knowledge through the sex/gender divide, whereas feminist studies on bodies have aimed to politicize this divide. According to Wieringa, there is a need for critical analysis of the body, sexuality and identity politics (Wieringa 1997: 4–5 see also Cornwall et al. 2008, Lind 2010). The silence to which Wieringa is referring, however, does not necessarily mean that development aid mechanisms, or WID/GAD experts, have not engaged to some extent with sexuality and sexed and gendered bodies. Susie Jolly argues that aid agencies usually only implicitly deal with sexuality and body-related issues. Their focus is restricted to population control, health and disease, or violence (Jolly 2007: 9). Such a focus disregards the significance of sexuality and the body in other spheres, such as employment, livelihoods, security, housing, education and social protection (Cornwall 2006: 275). This narrow framing, which is used to justify social and economic public interventions in development programmes, delivers a modernist conception of the family, of the economy, and of the private-public divide. This leaves identities and bodies that are located outside the sphere of reproduction and the family nexus untouched and irrelevant (Ahmed 2000: 176). Despite these claims, some feminist scholars and policy makers have claimed that sexuality is not an important issue, especially for poor women, and further, that sexuality is a choice, whereas poverty is not (see details of the arguments in Cornwall 2006: 275; Lind and Share 2003: 63, 64). Yet, in Lind and Share’s account, the institutionalized regulation of sexuality does, in fact, affect the survival of the poor. Development funds and efforts that are channelled to arenas where acceptable sexuality is being defined, reproduced and monitored, for example, through family planning programmes, confine abnormal bodies and desires to the margins of development. Thus, analysis illustrates how development practices institutionalize, normalize and regulate heterosexuality. Andrea Cornwall further argues that the women’s movement takes an active part in reinforcing those roles, and that these normative assumptions have not been openly discussed within feminism (Cornwall 2006: 273–74). This is achieved explicitly by excluding those who are considered to be non-conforming from the analytical frameworks, and implicitly by assuming that all people are heterosexual (or sexual), that marriage is a given fact and all men and women fit neatly into traditional gender roles (Lind and Share 2003: 57, 64). However, as Penny Griffin has suggested, ‘the heteronormative reproduction of gender identities is crucial to and in contemporary neoliberalism because it allows for the maintenance of a particular vision of economic activity, one that is both highly masculinised and ethnocentric’ (Griffin 2009: 5). Thus, gender and sexuality are not the only dimensions of social relations being governed through politics of gender. If the analytics of governance is


Becoming better men and women

focused on gender only, there is a danger of silencing the simultaneous workings of other norms (Lombardo and Verloo 2009: 68). Accordingly, the following section suggests that the governmentality of gender norms should be regarded as intersectional.

Technologies of gender: intersectional gender norms Another criticism of feminism from the early 1990s onwards was its blindness towards the diversity of experiences of women, the complexity of subject formation, and the assumption that gender was the universal priority for all feminists and women activists worldwide (Crenshaw 1991; Mohanty et al. 1991; Phoenix and Pattynama 2006). This critique aligned with a wider postcolonial critique towards the attempts to universalize analytical categories that reproduce a binary between tradition and modernity. In this binary, modern usually refers to the Western-based subject positions and forms of sexuality: ‘The western body stands as the normative body in scholarly discourse and in public policy’ (Grewal and Kaplan 2001: 666, emphasis added). Joseph Massad has called this the ‘internationalisation of western sexual ontology’ (Massad 2007: 40). Most recent queer studies share a concern with postcolonial feminists about the effects of universalizing and stabilizing analytical categories and subject positions and how they are embedded in the liberal governmentality. These debates analyse critically (neo)liberal governance strategies in constructing new forms of ‘homonormativity’ and ‘homonationalism’, a politics of inclusion that does not question the dominant heteronormative ideals and institutions. On the contrary, these ideals are sustained through a construction of ‘gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption’ (Duggan 2002: 179) that problematically intersects with the idealization of whiteness and national norms, such as the American empire (Agathangelou et al. 2008; Puar 2007: 2). In the Indonesian context Tom Boellstorff has called the LBGTI politics and emerging LBGTI subjectivities as ‘dubbing’ or ‘playing back’ the nation, linking the LBGTI subjectification with the wider Indonesian postcolonial nationalism as an interplay between the quest for modernity, Indonesian statehood and practice of Islam (Boellstorff 2005b). As a consequence, a proposal is made to move towards a broad-based study of lives lived outside of the conventional confines of family and reproduction, with the focus on modes of resistance that survive between marginal subjects and dominant cultures, such as neoliberal capitalism (Eng et al. 2005). Thus, instead of focusing on questions of gender and sexuality or identity politics for gay and lesbian, or LBGTI subjects,3 the focus is on the broad critique of ‘multiple social antagonisms’, liminal subjects that are excluded from the ‘norms that govern the recognizability of the human’ (Halberstam 2003: paragraph 3). This approach, instead of deciding its focus in advance, analyses a wider field of normalization as potential sites of social violence and focuses on particular locations and contexts in which certain

Becoming better men and women


subjects are rendered ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ through the production of ‘perverse’ and ‘pathological’ others (Eng et al. 2005: 1–3). The queer concern towards the universal subject positions and processes of normalization is intimately linked to the critical interrogation of ‘intersectionality’ as a form of disciplining of subjects. During the last decade, ‘intersectionality’ has become, along with the concept of gender, hugely popular within feminist theory, research and policy advocacy and it is occasionally celebrated as a way to unite the different strands of feminism. Intersectionality is often conceptualized as an analysis of multiple ‘axes of power’ (Grabham 2009; Hancock 2007a, 2007b; Kantola and Nousiainen 2009; Puar 2005) or mutually constitutive models of intersectional social divisions (Yuval-Davis 2006). In fact, ideas of intersectionality have been adopted as a policy agenda parallel to and competing with gender mainstreaming, naming it either as diversity management or diversity mainstreaming, or tackling multiple discriminations (Kantola and Nousiainen 2009; Prügl 2011; Squires 2005). However, according to Davina Cooper, there are at least three problems in conceptualizing intersectionality as the ‘axes of power’: first, the axes metaphor produces bipolar positions such as the powerful and the powerless. This forced polarity omits the possibility of being located ‘along a race/class/gender continuum, rather than at its polarity’. Second, the axes approach seems to be unable to account for complex, or unknowable ways in which social axes combine and at times contradict general assumptions: ‘what may seem a subordinated identity in one context, may amplify power in another’ (Cooper 2004: 47). Finally, although groups are assumed to be constituted in relation to one another, groups/axes/identities are acquired prior to the relations of experienced inequality (ibid.: emphasis added).4 Thus, simply adding intersections or axes of power into the analysis, as suggested by some feminist scholars, is not critical of the formation of a liberal subject and the regulatory function of categories (Grabham 2009: 192). Instead, Emily Grabham refers to intersectionality, the experience of social inequalities, as an expression of trauma, the physicality of power relations that is intensely embodied on an individual level as emotions, physical encounters and intensifications of feelings (Grabham 2009: 196, 198) and suggests that: ‘it is possible to approach the complexity of inequalities without thereby contributing to the production of “new” categories … it is possbile to focus instead on how different histories of oppression converge through and across the way that people interact’ (ibid.: 198). Grabham, by reading Sara Ahmed’s work on emotions, argues that ‘paying attention to the impressions that subjects make on one another can allow for a political reading of encounters that go beyond the individual subject and beyond the law’s construction of individuals through disciplinary identities’ (ibid.). By investigating trauma as a mundane state of being, produced across physical and emotional encounters, it is possible to approach the


Becoming better men and women complexity of inequalities without thereby contributing to the production of ‘new’ categories … it is possible to focus instead on how different histories of oppression converge through and across the way that people interact. (Grabham 2009: 199)

Thus, instead of claiming to pin down the vectors of intersectionality beforehand, this book focuses on the histories of oppression and social inequality through narratives, and at times silences, of lived experiences in the posttsunami context in Aceh. In fact, Grabham’s notions of intersectionality as an expression of trauma resonates with the literature focusing on governmentality of post-war traumas and notions of linear reconstruction temporalities that I find particularly useful for understanding the reconstruction dynamics in Aceh: staying cautious of linear temporality of post-disaster ‘politics’ (Edkins 2003) and ‘citizen-subjects familiar to nation state-centric discourses’ (Shapiro 2013: xvii) and remain receptive to alternative subjects that emerge in ethnographic encounters. Furthermore, a critical postcolonial and feminist understanding of temporalities could offer possibilities for questioning the universalistic assumption that ‘all women occupy the same time’ or for refusing to ‘read temporal plurality in normatively hierarchical terms’ (Hutchings 2007: 85). Kimberly Hutchings argues that all critical theories share an orientation towards societal change and dream of possible futures that ‘do not reproduce the patterns of hegemonic power of the present’ (Hutchings 2007: 72). Consequently, instead of regarding the future as a singular, Hutchings argues, the critical analysis on ‘better futures’ could benefit from Deleuzian ideas of pluralist and multiple temporality, recognition of ‘plurality of spatio-temporal ways of being in the world’ (Shapiro 2013: xvi). Thinking of temporality as multiple offers the possibility of remaining cautious about ‘unwarranted and dangerous assumptions about both the unified nature of the future and our capacity to know it’ (Hutchings 2007: 89). Hutchings continues: ‘accounts of temporal patterns of clock time … are dangerous because they distract attention from political plurality, and thereby risk repeating the hubris of Western political imaginaries’ (ibid.). These observations translate to the focus on social inequalities in this book, expressed through public encounters, as claims of rights abuses, but in more mundane ways as an affect, emotions and feelings (Grabham 2009: 194). Thus, at the core of the investigation of intersectionality is Michael Peletz’s appeal: Symbols, idioms, and entire ideologies bearing on gender are rarely if ever simply ‘about’ gender. Because they are also ‘about’ kinship, human nature, and sociality, as well as relations of equality and hierarchy, inclusion and exclusion, and the like, we must be prepared to cast our conceptual and analytic nets as broadly as possible, and, in any event, must

Becoming better men and women


resist efforts to treat gender as an analytically discrete, isolatable domain of inequality or difference. (Peletz 1995: 77)

Feminist subversive politics: resisting governmentality One of the feminist critiques of Foucault’s work on power has been that with the focus on disciplinary power, there is very little space for alternatives or resistance to power (Sawicki 1998: 94). According to Jana Sawicki (1991: 13–14) Foucauldian feminist analysis has either focused on the analysis of disciplinary technologies of women’s bodies with the focus on victimization and domination, or on cultures of resistance to hegemonic power/knowledge formations with the focus on resistance and ambiguity of normalization. Similarly, Bröckling et al. (2011: 20) claim that studies of governmentality have often failed to pay sufficient attention to ruptures and disturbances of government.5 By arguing that studies of governmentality have not sufficiently addressed the question of subversiveness, seems to omit a wide range of studies that have, for example, focused on the subversive politics of development aid (Li 2007; Thurheer 2009) or more theoretical discussion of Foucault’s focus on power and subversion (Butler 2004a). In fact, Tanya Li has called her dual focus on governmentality and counter-conduct as an empirical focus on ‘practice of government’ and ‘practice of politics’ that challenges the logic of governmentality by refusal or opening up a struggle (Li 2007: 11–12). Thus, this section articulates the possibility of conducting ‘bifocal analysis’ (Sawicki 1991: 14): simultaneous focus on the practice of governance and the practice of politics (Li 2007). By focusing on norms, and the consequences of such norms, Judith Butler suggests that it is cracks and ruptures in norms that form a potential for feminism and feminist politics. Thus, instead of relying on the notion of feminism and feminist politics based on the idea of a known subject, stable identity and the ideas of representation and inclusiveness, politics is understood as ‘a challenge and resistance to dominant and debilitating norms of gender and sexuality’ (Chambers 2009: 2), being located in the constantly disruptive processes of repetition that exposes the norm and questions its dominance (ibid.: 14).6 Jana Sawicki (1998: 98) argues that Judith Butler’s work is a provocative effort to open up new possibilities for political agency, locating agency in the failures of dominant gender norms. However, Catherine Mills provides an important critique of the assumed Foucauldian effect in Butler’s theorizing on subversion and draws attention to the differences in relation to subjectification. Whereas Mills reads Foucault as focused on the technologies directed to the material body, Butler’s notion of power and subjectification privileges speech. According to Mills, ‘for Foucault, power relations are characterized by an intrinsic agonism between forces and counterforces and, hence,


Becoming better men and women

mechanisms of power are open to (re)appropriation by counter-hegemonic individuals or groups’ (Mills 2003: 262). Similarly, David Mosse has made an important criticism of the binaries that governmentality literature operating within the domination/resistance framework has produced in development aid practices and suggested a more nuanced analysis of the relationship between the dominant policy models and the ‘polytheism’ of experienced and lived aid practices (Mosse 2005: 7). Thus, instead of assuming feminism being co-opted into the technocracy and disciplinary power of tsunami aid, this research considers the concept of gender and gender advocacy as a continuous site of meaning making: disciplinary, yet also open to counter-conductive politics. Instead of reducing resistance to ‘anecdotal narration’ lacking the specificity of analytical emphasis, Bröckling et al. suggest that the analytical focus should be put on ‘making a performative relation visible in which governmental strategies and patterns of resistance encounter and define each other’ (Bröckling et al. 2011:18). Thus, instead of ‘romanticising resistance’ (Abu-Lughod 1990), or positioning people as heroes contesting power from the outside, the analysis aims to: show, rather, how their struggles have been formed within its matrices … Examining the ways political challenges are closed down by new programs of government, sometimes to be opened again in the moments of reversal intrinsic to power as a relation to ‘permanent provocation’. (Li 2007: 29)

Ethnography of gender mainstreaming practices In this book I explore the multiple and varying ways in which gender mainstreaming is practised in the post-tsunami and post-conflict context in Aceh. Carol Cohn drawing on the work of George Marcus calls this approach multi-sited ethnography in which gender is followed as metaphor and meaning-making system through multi-sited terrains (Cohn 2006: 93). This meant that I used the concept ‘gender’ as an anchoring point during the fieldwork in Aceh. My primary aim was to identify people and organizations that organized themselves and justified their reconstruction activities using the concept. This approach to ‘gender’ meant that divisions into gender policy realms such as GAD and gender mainstreaming were not presupposed. Rather, I treated gender as a practice, as a process through which social norms and ideals are being constantly constructed and subverted in multiple locations (Bacchi and Eveline 2010; Lombardo et al. 2009). A typical starting point for an analysis of gender mainstreaming in political science or international relations would be gender policy documents. However, I took David Mosse’s (2005) critique of purely text-based analysis of aid practices seriously, and focused on how gender and gender equality discourse become part of the post-tsunami reconstruction aid practices in Aceh and thus, part of how the ‘better Aceh’ is imagined and performed.

Becoming better men and women


It has been argued that the take on discourse analysis by mainstream international relations scholarship has been unnecessarily limited to textually based sets of research techniques with speech and writing as its analytical focus (Weber 2008: 137). As Cynthia Weber has pointed out, the focus on textual sources has led to the omission of other communicative practices, such as hearing, feeling and seeing (ibid.: 137–38). This methodological exclusion has prevailed despite the fact that Foucault’s understanding of discourse was not limited to written or spoken discourse, but included analysis of architecture and physical space (such as the prison and mental hospital), and art. It could be argued that discourses are ensembles of social practices and related linguistic expressions (e.g. ideas and concepts) that are produced by repetition and variation (Bleiker 2001: 512–13). Thus, discourse can be used to refer to linguistic – both spoken and written – products, images, combinations of images and written texts, such as posters and logos, but also aesthetics and affects (Grabham 2009; Shapiro 2009a). Visual representations, language and texts are all discursive forms that produce and influence our understandings of ‘reality’ or ‘what exists’ (Vänskä 2006: 13). This wider understanding of a discourse has informed the selection of the research data in this research. The key research data consists of the following elements:  Gender policy documents: key gender advocacy materials produced by the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment (BPP) and the Agency for the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (BPPPA) and Aceh Reintegration Board (BRA) of the provincial government of Aceh;7 documents produced by the Gender Working Group (GWG/KKG); gender mainstreaming policy documents, guidelines, gender training materials and reports of the central government, including those of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR);8 gender policies and reports of those international organizations that promote gender equality in the Acehnese contexts;9 and documentation produced by the local organizations that partnered in gender initiatives with the international organizations and governments.  Radio drama production Women Can Do It Too! produced by Oxfam International as part of its Aceh Nias Tsunami Response Programme (2005–08), and interviews with the production team.  Over 60 formal and informal interviews with gender advocates in Aceh, Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Helsinki between 2007 and 2009.  Gender Working Group email list discussions between January 2006 and January 2009.  Ethnographic field notes made between 2006 and 2009. The research involved a total of eight and half months of fieldwork in Aceh spread over the period of 2006–09. This included one ‘preparatory’ visit in 2006 for four and a half months when I was working as a monitoring and


Becoming better men and women

evaluation adviser to one INGO in Banda Aceh, two short visits in 2007 and 2008, and another longer visit in 2009. In this research, however, the terms ‘fieldwork’ and ‘data collection’ do not only refer to the physical presence in Aceh, but also to the various virtual spaces in which ‘Aceh’ and ‘gender policies’ were found. This included searching and downloading policy documents and reports, following several email discussion groups, reading online journals, and using chat rooms (Yahoo) and social networking sites (Facebook, Friendster). Such research was carried out on a daily basis between April 2006 and December 2009.

Method of close reading How does one read governmentality and practices of politics in gender mainstreaming initiatives? Mitchell Dean has proposed a four-dimensional ‘analytics of government’ in which the focus is on: 1) fields of visibility; 2) forms of truth and veridical discourses; 3) particular technologies and apparatuses it governs; and 4) subjectivities it produces (Dean 1999: 20), which Carl Death (2011) has further developed into an ‘analytics of protests’. Normativity could also be called ‘the cultural image-repertoire’ that passes for ‘reality’ through representations that both enable and constrain how we perceive others and ourselves (Koivunen 2003: 14). In my analysis I rely on a feminist method of close reading to locate the governance of norms and subversion to it. Sara Ahmed describes this process as: a reading which works against, rather than through, a text’s own construction of itself (how the text ‘asks to be read’). The disobedient reader … is a reader who interrupts the text with questions that demand a re-thinking of how it works, of how and why it works as it does, for whom. Being critical does not necessarily involve a dependence on the assumption that there is a ‘meaning’ or ‘truth’ which can be uncovered. Being critical is precisely being open to the (structuring) effects of the text in such a way that these effects become questionable rather than simply traced in the event of reading. (Ahmed 1998: 17) This way of reading refers to a method that pays attention to details, locating stability and continuity but also instabilities, differences, contradictions and exclusions (Koivunen 2003: 15). The method of reading is used to analyse the hegemonic norms within the gender advocacy, to locate the intersectionality of social inequalities, and subversion and ruptures that challenge the hegemonic normative positions. Whereas in Ahmed’s case she refers to written texts, in this research ‘text’ can be written, spoken, drawn or even motion or feeling. Lombardo et al. call this the process of locating discursive politics of gender equality, i.e. the fixing, shrinking, shifting and stretching meanings of gender equality (Lombardo et al. 2009: 3–4). The analytical focus is on the

Becoming better men and women


struggle of meanings of the concept in the socio-political context of the study, post-tsunami and post-conflict reconstruction context in Aceh. Furthermore, this method draws on the postcolonial feminist critique of academic knowledge production practices. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s main criticism of academic practices is that there is no space left for the subaltern subject to speak, and when s/he speaks, s/he is not heard but rather s/he is spoken for (Kapoor 2004; Spivak 1988). Kamala Visweswaran has called ethnographic research the ‘university rescue mission in search of [the] voiceless’ (Visweswaran 1994: 69) and further, Gayatri Chakravorthy Spivak described fieldwork as ‘information retrieval’, a form of imperialism where the Third World provides ‘resources’ for the Northern academic career and teaching (Spivak, quoted in Kapoor 2004: 628–31). Or in other words, the Third World provides the resources for empirical observations, whereas the First World, or metropolitan university campuses the space for elaboration on the theory (Connell 2009: 46). This observation should, argues Spivak, lead to a constant process of ‘unlearning our privileges as our loss’ (Spivak 1988: 287), to retrace the history and itinerary of our prejudices and learned habits. Spivak calls this the transformation of consciousness – a change of mindset (Kapoor 2004: 641). This, for Spivak, would require discovering how to ‘learn from below’: stopping oneself always wanting to correct, teach, theorize, develop, colonize, appropriate, use, record, inscribe and enlighten. Spivak is not necessarily looking for alternatives or specific research formulas that can be offered as a ‘to do list’ for researchers. Rather, she argues that ‘the possibility of subalternity for me acts as a reminder … when you seem to have solved a problem, that victory, that solution, is a warning … ’ (Spivak, quoted in Landry and MacLean 1996: 293). Further: … [I]t seems to me that finding the subaltern is not so hard, but actually entering into a responsibility structure with the subaltern, with responses flowing both ways: learning to learn without this quick-fix frenzy of doing good with an implicit assumption of cultural supremacy which is legitimized by unexamined romanticization, that’s the hard part. (Spivak, quoted in Landry and MacLean 1996: 293) Furthermore, Sara Ahmed remains critical of the assumption that a reflexive ethnography or the idea of a ‘postmodern informant’ would democratize the ethnographic tradition and that relations of force and authorization could be overcome (Ahmed 2000: 62–64, 186, footnote 6). Ahmed asks the researcher to pay attention to the forms of authorization and labour that are concealed by the fetishism of knowing ‘the other’ (ibid.: 65, 71–74). For Ahmed, conducting ethically sound research requires centring the research process on the recognition of structural differences and, for example, racist histories that structure the research process even before the ethnographer arrives. This approach does not attempt to isolate difference solely as an


Becoming better men and women

attribute of the researched, but is seen as a process that is embedded in the interaction. Respect for the ‘un-known’ should also be reflected in the research analysis. Thus, close reading of norms requires understanding of the research data’s wider socio-political context. It is through the context that the small details begin to speak alongside the obvious ‘given-to-be-seen’ interpretations of the texts and images (see e.g. Vänskä 2006: 15; also Palin 2004). As an analytical method, close reading comes close to what Chakraworthy Spivak has called ‘reading as translation’ in which the assumed meanings of concepts are unfolded by contextualizing them and narrating their histories (Davis 2005: 7; Spivak 1993: 179–200). The method of close reading requires patience with the displaced and unspoken signs that texts and visual images offer. Even the smallest details can be read as signs that subvert the iconographic10 coherence of the meaning (Palin 2004: 42). Once the focus is on the details, they become so ‘talkative and noisy’ that they can no longer be sidelined as unimportant (ibid.: 46). The process of analysis includes a focus on impressions, feelings and aesthetics (Bleiker 2001; Grabham 2009; Shapiro 2009a). Michael Shapiro (2009a) has suggested a move away from the analysis of psychological subjects of cultural representations (such as the narrative of the main character) to aesthetic subjects. This analytical repositioning means that subjects are not understood as static entities that have coherent stories to tell, but rather as beings ‘with multiple possibilities for becoming’ (Shapiro 2009a: 8). The analytical focus turns ‘away from personal drama toward the changing historico-political frame’ within which the cultural repertoire is produced (ibid.: 11). Thus, ‘reading detail – or detailed reading – allows dislocation of the apparently self-evident and canonised interpretations’ (Palin 2004: 42). The technique of close reading is used to locate the dominant norms and subversion emerging from the materials and operates with multiple reading techniques, such as dominant reading and oppositional reading. Dominant/hegemonic reading refers to the analytical process in which I identify dominant and recurring themes and topics (key words, phrases and visual images) from ethnography of gender advocacy. The aim is to understand how norms are produced as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ and where dominant/ hegemonic discourse is located. I focus on two characteristics when locating dominant discourses: first, the frequency with which certain aspects of a discourse are repeated, and second, identifying discourses that are represented as self-evident and/or without alternatives. Oppositional reading refers to a process where the spectator or reader actively seeks the subversion and negotiation that emerge to challenge the dominant norms or the discourse. This analytical idea draws from the feminist works of Adrienne Rich, Judith Fetterley and bell hooks. bell hooks has called this process ‘oppositional gaze’ in which the spectator (or reader) aims to look and resist the intended meaning of the text or images (hooks 2003: 94–95). It is a strategic attempt to alter meanings through complex

Becoming better men and women


negotiations between viewers, producers, texts and contexts – analytical subversion to the norm. This also includes the attempt to offer alternative ways of ‘becoming’ other than through the seemingly ‘natural’ self/other binary (Cohen and Ramlow 2006; Colebrook 2009; Hickey-Moody and Rasmussen 2009). However, reflecting upon the problematic distinctions between public and private, visible and invisible, the analysis in the following chapters raise a methodological concern in only focusing on public and visible subversion, and seeks to illustrate the limits of such of an analysis. Thus, although there is a temptation to consider subversion as visible disruptive processes of repetition in an openly performative way, such as ‘declaration of wrongs, the staging of disagreements’ (Chambers 2009: 11), such performativity should not automatically be celebrated as the heroic forms of feminist subversion. Rather, subversion can also be thought of as failures or withdrawals from the visible field of politics (Butler 2009; Halberstam 2011), and thus, they well may remain outside the ‘knowing and knowable gaze of the Western critic’ (Sajed 2012: 161). Jacqueline Siapno’s work on Aceh in the 1990s provides an excellent example of an analysis of subversive performativity or ‘impure opposition’ by focusing on women’s lived experiences in the context of the political conflict in Aceh. Siapno introduces an Indonesian equivalent to subversion, muslihat (in Acehnese peungeut), which may be translated as ‘using indirect means to attain a goal’, or ‘ambiguous or impure opposition which may appear as co-optation’ (Siapno 2002: 2, 10). Performing conformity to the norm creates space for alternative ways of being (Siapno 2009a).11 Instead of relying on resistance expressed as legitimate politics, ranging from engagement with formal political institutions to the politics of riots, boycotts and protests and to adherence to dominant norms and expectations regarding behaviour, Cathy Cohen draws attention to the possibility of oppositional politics being rooted in the daily lived experience (Cohen 2004: 32). Finally, critical analysis of governmentality and the subversive openings of gender mainstreaming of post-tsunami reconstruction efforts, offers possibilities to dislocate colonialist assumptions of where feminist (academic) analysis and theoretical contributions are being produced. According to a subversive understanding of feminism, feminism is located in the constantly disruptive processes of repetition of the norm. Thus, subversion does not require academic degrees or knowledge of feminist and/or gender theory, but rather is something that is experienced in everyday encounters with the norms as ‘patient, repeated, local action’ (Chambers and Carver 2008: 142), or even inaction (Halberstam 2011). The researcher’s position in this process is recognized as political and situated: seeing, listening, recording and interpreting the struggle over meanings is a conscious feminist process of making the negotiated gender-norm-making visible, yet remaining cautious of the Western (feminist, academic) desire to be the one who knows and determines authenticity (Sajed 2012: 161).


Becoming better men and women

Conclusion This chapter took issue with the limited feminist engagement with governmentality of feminist knowledge production and normativity of gender. To solve ‘the unresolved tension’ between feminist research’s methodological frameworks and commitment to feminist politics, the chapter suggested a move towards the understanding of feminism as subversion or ‘permanent provocation’, treating gender as a technology of government, and gender norms as intersectional forms of governmentality. Analytical attention was also pushed towards the simultaneously emerging feminist potential, subversive sites and counter-conducts that challenge the disciplinary gender orders. These theoretical underpinnings were then translated into a multi-method ethnography of practices of gender mainstreaming.

Notes 1 In the first volume of History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault set out his argument that the rise of social control in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with new knowledge of population, reproduction and genetics, gave rise to new categories of sexual perversions, such as homosexuality. However, it was the normalizing effects of new ‘unnatural’ sexual categories that made it also possible for homosexuality to appear as a ‘reverse discourse’, demanding acknowledgement of its naturalness and legitimacy (Foucault 1998: 38–39, 101). 2 Debates on ‘gender’ at the Beijing Conference, see Baden and Goetz 1997; Butler 2004b; Bunch and Fried 1996; Chan-Tiberghien 2004; Desai 2005; Gayatri 1996; Rothschild et al. 2005. 3 See Chambers 2009 and Giffney 2004 for the critique of the use of the acronym LBGTI, differentiation between ‘queer politics’ and ‘gay and lesbian politics’. 4 In her writings on gender norms, Judith Butler has engaged in dialogue with the writings of Gayatri Spivak, Gloria Anzaldúa and Homi Bhabha and has provided a critique of the understanding of intersectionality as ‘enumerative categories’ or ‘hierarchical rankings’, such as class, sexuality or age. Instead, Butler suggests an understanding of social oppressions as ‘plurality of identifications’ that are ‘imbricated in one another’ (Butler 1990: 18–19; Butler 1993: 116–17; Butler 2004b: 227–30). 5 See also Sabaratnam 2011 on her critique of ethnocentric and simplistic analysis of practices of state-building interventions. 6 See Chambers 2009 for a detailed analysis of the interlinkages between Butler’s ideas of subversive politics, intelligibility and Jacques Rancière’s idea of ‘the count of the unaccounted-for’. 7 The materials are from 2000 onwards; however, the list of documents available is not exhaustive, due to the tsunami destruction, but also because documents had to be retrieved from multiple locations (libraries, personal collections, etc.). This includes 19 editions of the tabloid Suara An-Nisa: Pemberdayaan, Kesetaraan, Persatuan dan Pengabdian [Women’s Voice: Empowerment, Equality, Unity and Devotion] from between 2002 and 2008. 8 The central government gender planning documents and guidelines made available during the interviews represent the documentation from mid-1995 onwards, when gender as a concept first appeared in the Indonesian government’s documents. 9 International organizations include the UNFPA, ILO, OI, and IOM. General gender policies are reviewed from 1995 onwards; Aceh-specific documentation focuses on the period between 2005 and 2009.

Becoming better men and women


10 Iconographic refers to dominant perceptions of certain symbols and signs representing certain subjects that are constantly produced culturally. 11 Furthermore, to be more sensitive to dominant discourses of the context of conflict in Aceh, subversive politics could be translated into ‘politics of muslihat/peungeut’ as in the Acehense and Indonesian context the word ‘subversion’ (subversi) has particularly negative and traumatic connotations. The anti-subversion laws, enacted since 1963, have been used to arrest and imprison people without trial on the grounds of ‘separatism’. See further details in Siapno 2002: 189; and Amnesty International 1993.


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming Intelligibility of gender in Aceh

Gender mainstreaming was formally adopted in Indonesia through a presidential instruction in 2000.1 It was a result of a preparatory project at the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment funded by the UNDP, UNFPA and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). UN agencies, the World Bank, bilateral development agencies and INGOs have played an important role in supporting gender mainstreaming at the central government and provincial government levels, but also in providing funds to the newly emerging women’s organizations and women’s study centres. Some scholars argue that the emergence of the word ‘jender’ or ‘gender’ in the Indonesian vocabulary dates back to the introduction of the English concept by the Asia Foundation and the Ford Foundation through its ‘gender programmes’ in the early 1990s. Today, the concept of gender is taught in courses dedicated to Women’s and Gender Studies, and widely used by government bureaucrats and women’s organizations (Rinaldo 2006: 21–35). The introduction of the gender mainstreaming approach in Indonesia coincided with the feminist critique at the UN that national ‘women’s machineries’, set up in the 1970s and early 1980s, had failed to fulfil their mandate – the advancement of women (Baden and Goetz 1997: 4–5). Thus, for example, in 1995 CIDA provided support to the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment in Indonesia to evaluate their Women in Development strategy and made the recommendation of moving towards gender mainstreaming. However, gender mainstreaming is also a prime example of the postSuharto reformation policies, and the move towards decentralized state planning in Indonesia: the role of the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment was set to give guidance on gender equality and equity to the provincial governments, rather than to develop national programmes controlled by the central government. Accordingly, local governments were officially mandated to ‘conduct gender mainstreaming socialization for all stakeholders’ (MOWE 2002: 71), and to establish provincial offices to support gender mainstreaming. For example, the BPP replaced the Team to Improve the Role of Women (Tim Pengelola Peningkatan Peranan Wanita, TP-P2W), established only four years earlier. This chapter traces the wider political landscapes within which the gender mainstreaming approach, and consequently the concept of gender, has been

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


made intelligible in the Acehnese context. In this chapter I illustrate how gender mainstreaming is an intimate part of the economic and political reforms of the post-Suharto era, continuous negotiation of the relationship between Islam and the state, the armed conflict in Aceh, and opening of Aceh to the international humanitarian organizations after the tsunami. Furthermore, the chapter identifies three discourses through which the concept of gender is made intelligible in the context of post-tsunami Aceh. It argues that gender is made intelligible primarily within the context of the ‘shari’atization’ (Ichwan 2007; 2001)2 of Acehnese public debates on norms and a better future for Aceh. All these discourses ‘mainstream shari’a’ into the gender mainstreaming agenda, but using different discursive strategies. The first discourse, drawing on the historical narratives of Acehnese queens and female military commanders, argues for women’s equal rights to political participation and leadership positions in order to counter the arguments that Islam unilaterally forbids women to take part in politics or lead a nation. History provides an important discursive strategy for the Acehnese women activists to historicize and politicize the current revivalist interpretations of Islam. However, the same historical examples are used, mostly by men, to argue that gender inequality is no longer an issue in Aceh simply because Acehnese history illustrates how women are already valued and respected in the society. The second discourse condemns the concept of gender as inherently Western and non-Islamic, and exemplifies the word ‘gender’ anti-Acehnese, and uses it to label ‘gender NGOs’ or anyone advocating gender equality, as infidels. The third discourse actively combines the concept of gender, the promotion of gender equality, international norms and human rights-based argumentation with the feminist reinterpretation of the Qur’an. This could be interpreted as a strategy to balance the accusations of being anti-Islamic, or being driven by a Western feminist agenda. This discourse promotes gender as ‘natural’ and actively uses feminist Islamic jurisprudence to allow the emergence of gender discourse ‘à la Aceh’. The chapter concludes by reflecting upon the social consequences of the ‘shari’atization’ of feminist activism in Aceh.

Post-Suharto reforms: neoliberalism and political Islam The gender mainstreaming policy approach was adopted in Indonesia just a couple of years after the economic crisis in 19973 and the fall of President Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998, known as the New Order. After the resignation of Suharto, Indonesia entered a transition period known as reformasi (reformation), which has included major changes in economic policy and in the overall political landscape: decentralization laws were passed by the national parliament in 1999 and came into effect in 2001, transferring the responsibility for development planning and budgeting from the central government to the district level, and the role of the military in the formal political sphere was reduced (Vickers 2005).


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

Thus, the introduction of the gender mainstreaming approach occurred as part of the wider political reforms aiming for ‘democratic, pluralist and decentralised government where government interacts with the population’ (MOWE 2002b). It coincided with ideas of reformation, combating corruption, collusion and nepotism, strengthened neoliberal aspirations of supporting democracy through an open market economy and reducing the role of the state. The discourse emphasizing the empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality was quickly incorporated into national development plans together with ideas of economic development and global competitiveness. All the major donors and international financial institutions supported these reforms. However, the reformasi not only focused on the reform of economic policy, but also meant the re-emergence of political Islam. One of the reforms included the lifting of the Suharto-introduced restriction that all public organizations must affirm the five principles of the nation (pancasila)4 as their ideological basis, making it possible to form Islamic/Islamist organizations and parties for the first time since the 1950s (Vickers 2005).5 The five-year national development plans (1999–2004, and 2004–09) reflect the new political landscape in Indonesia: the plans not only introduced the idea of gender mainstreaming, but also included elements of a ‘regime of morality’ – a regime that has attempted to provide gendered solutions for the perceived problem of declining morals (Sita Musdah Mulia quoted in Muttaqin 2008: 105). For example, the Broad Guidelines of State Policy for 1999–2004 outlines its aim to develop a nation that is ‘blessed, independent, just, prosperous, progressive and has strong and solid morals and ethics’ (Government of Republic of Indonesia 1998: 1) and further suggests that the economic crisis coincided with a wider moral crisis and a crisis of national identity. The 2000–04 National Development Master Plan on Women’s Empowerment identifies as one of its central tasks to consolidate the role and position of religion as the moral, spiritual and ethical base for managing the nation and to make sure all legislation is in line with religious moral codes (MOWE 2000). The master plan identifies narcotics and other drugs, alcohol and premarital sexual intercourse (‘free sex’) as particular problems facing teenage girls (ibid.: 19). The decentralization of power in the late 1990s has provided an opening for political Islam and Shari’a-inspired by-laws and local regulations. Those who oppose political Islam in Indonesia have labelled the introduction of Shari’a as ‘[A]rabianization of Indonesian politics and culture’ (White and Anshor 2008: 138). In fact, when the gender mainstreaming policy was being adopted in Indonesia, the central government’s gender policy documents identified regional autonomy as one of the threats to gender mainstreaming. From this point of view, decentralization is seen to lead to potentially discriminatory gender legislation and Aceh is referred to as the primary example of that threat (Noerdin 2007; Siahaan 2003). Islamic feminist scholars, Muslim women’s organizations, and other new civil society organizations focusing on

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


the Qur’anic principles of equality and social justice have attempted to counter this moralistic and gendered turn of Islamic politics in Indonesia (White and Anshor 2008: 137–39). Yet some Muslims, to whom the Qur’an and Hadith are sacrosanct, have argued that feminist reinterpretations are ‘supported by foreign money and influence in order to sow division within the Indonesian Muslim community’ (Mulia and Cammack 2007: 142–43). Thus, gender politics have become a controversial component in the battle for political power (Robinson 2009: 165).

Gendered impacts of the armed conflict and peace processes in Aceh The Beijing Platform for Action clearly identified armed conflicts as one of the 12 priorities for strategic action in the realization of women’s rights. At the time of the Beijing conference in 1995, armed conflicts in Aceh, East Timor, Papua, Moluccas and Kalimantan were controversial topics for the New Order regime at international forums – to the extent that the follow-up document of the Beijing Conference by the Ministry of the Role of Women stated that the theme of conflict was ‘not thoroughly significant generally because for the past three decades Indonesia is already in [a] peaceful and stable condition’ (Office of the State Minister for the Role of Women 1996: 1). This reading of the history of the Indonesian nation was common during the New Order regime: ongoing conflicts and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of communist suspects that followed the coup in 1965 were omitted from the official narrative of the history of the Republic of Indonesia.6 In fact, at the time of the Beijing Conference, Aceh was in the middle of a decade (1988–98) known as the ‘Military Operation Area’ (Daerah Operasi Militer, DOM). DOM was a military-led counter-insurgency campaign used during the New Order in Aceh, Irian Jaya (Papua) and East Timor, in which the decision-making powers of the civilian government were given to the military. The campaign included the establishment of village-based surveillance systems and military check points, curfews, house raids and arrests. Other tactics included burning houses, raping the wives and daughters of suspected supporters of the independence movements, arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and disappearances of people. It is estimated that 10,000 people died during the DOM decade in Aceh (Kamaruzzaman 2006). During the intensified conflict period in the 1990s, GAM is reported to have attacked transmigrant communities,7 intimidated villagers, and kidnapped and held businessmen and government officials to ransom (Aspinall 2009b). When reporting on the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action in 2000 the government of Indonesia acknowledged the existence of ethnic and armed conflicts in its territory, admitting that women and children had become the victims of violence. In the report, the government assured the world that it had ‘adopted several measures to help these unfortunates’ (Government of Republic of Indonesia 2000: 7). The tone of the report is patronizing and omits, for example, the involvement of the Indonesian


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

military and government-supported paramilitary groups in sexual violence, forced migration and restriction of movement of the internally displaced Acehnese, despite the international attention given to the ongoing human rights violations in Aceh. All in all, during the 30 years of armed conflict in Aceh, almost 33,000 people were killed and over 100,000 displaced from their homes. The conflict had the greatest impact on the north-eastern districts of North Aceh, East Aceh, Pidie and Bireuen, where it is estimated that 50 per cent of the rural infrastructure, including over 100,000 houses and 4,000 schools, i.e. two-thirds of all schools in rural Aceh, were damaged or destroyed. Over 7,000 km of roads, and rice and other agricultural fields were damaged, and livestock were killed in nearly all districts (Noble and Thorburn 2009: xiv). Psychological needs assessments conducted in all of the high-conflict sub-districts in 2006 found that communities had experienced high levels of traumatic events as a result of the conflict: living through combat experiences, escaping burning buildings, fleeing from danger and having a family member killed (IOM 2006: 3). Male returnees8 aged 41 and under were said to retain the highest threat to use violence, categorized as ‘conflict-carrying capacity’ by the International Organization of Migration (IOM 2008: 23). In 2002, the National Commission on the Elimination of Violence against Women released a compilation report drawing on the information provided by the local Acehnese NGOs reporting on acts of violence against women during the DOM. The report focused on the acts of violence by conflict parties, violence experienced in the refugee/internally displaced person (IDP) settings controlled by armed civilians, and conflicts between refugees and local communities. Reported cases of gender-based violence included rape, sexual harassment, sexual torture and slavery, interpersonal violence, and trafficking of women and children (UNFPA 2005: 9). Furthermore, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence reported on serious cases of violence against women during the DOM and even after it was lifted. These included cases of murder, involuntary disappearances, illegal arrests and detentions, physical torture, rape and sexual violence (Amnesty International 1993; Schultze 2006; UNFPA 2005). In fact, several women’s organizations9 were formed in Aceh during the DOM period to support the internally displaced people and victims of violence by providing food, medicine and psychosocial support. Women’s organizations also organized two All-Acehnese Women’s Peace Forums in 2000 and in 2005 to ‘engender’ ongoing peace talks and draw attention to gendered aspects of the ongoing political violence. Women’s involvement in the armed conflict in Aceh is a well-known phenomenon. However, the accounts of female combatants, their roles and significance in the independence movement have varied. For example, Edward Aspinall’s (2009b) nuanced account of the GAM movement and its role in constructing hegemonic masculinities in Aceh ignored the existence of female combatants in the movement altogether. Kristen Schultze argued that the

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


main function of the female combatant battalion (inong balee) established in 1999 was restricted to logistics, communications and intelligence (Schultze 2006: 228). Recent research suggests, however, that the stories and experiences of female fighters cannot be reduced into a single meaning: roles and tasks varied from region to region and women served in all-female combatant and mixed-gender units, at times as individual fighters (Aceh Institute 2009; Clavé-Çelik 2008; Wahyuingroem 2007). Some former Inong Balee members joined the local political parties formed in the aftermath of the conflict, others joined NGOs, whilst the ‘ordinary women’ focused on their daily livelihoods as vegetable sellers and rice farmers (Aceh Institute 2009: 46). In 2006, the Acehnese Women’s League (Liga Inong Acheh) was formed to support ex-female combatants and advocate their role in the post-conflict reconstruction process. The formal peace negotiation process, initiated in the aftermath of the tsunami,10 and its result, the MoU, have been criticized both locally and internationally for lacking a clear gender perspective. Only one woman11 participated partly in the negotiation process in the GAM team and no specific references were made to address gender-based violence or women’s rights in the MoU. However, to argue that no women have taken part in the peace process in Aceh neglects the grassroots activism and women’s organizing outside the major towns and the formal peace process (Aceh Institute 2009: 30–43), and the attempts of Acehnese women activists in formulating the Law on the Governing of Aceh (LOGA) (Grossman 2012: 102).12 The peace process leading to the signing of the MoU in August 2005 was not the first attempt to solve the armed conflict in Aceh (Aspinall and Crouch 2003). In attempts to negotiate with the GAM, the central government and some Acehnese political elites offered formalization of Shari’a Islam as an answer. Mainly this was because the Acehnese were known to be devout Muslims, and as the first Acehnese rebellion against the Indonesian state was solved in 1962 by granting Aceh a special status allowing it to implement Shari’a Islam. Four decades later, the central government established a new legal framework for Aceh (law no. 44/1999 and law no. 18/2001) and allowed the establishment of Shari’a courts and full implementation of Shari’a law in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia with this liberty (For detailed analysis of the politics of defining Shari’a ‘from above’ see Ichwan 2011: 198–203). From the beginning these laws were seen as an unacceptable compromise to the claims of independence and other key concerns raised by the independence movement. Further, it was argued that Shari’a law could not bring justice to Aceh if the conflict-related human rights violations were not to be dealt with (Miller 2004: 343). Accusations were made that the legal framework was part of a central government plot to cause new divisions in Aceh and reignite the conflict (Aspinall 2009b: 198, 214; Ichwan 2007: 202). Although some policy analysts (Schultze 2004) have argued that religion was the motivation behind the demands for Acehnese independence, GAM did not formally rely on religion (Islam) or religious discourse as a motivation for


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

its actions. Rather, Islam was regarded as an integral part of Acehnese identity and culture.13 Although the formation of an Islamic state was never part of GAM’s formal demands, the Indonesian government attempted to label GAM as an Islamic terrorist group. In fact, the local political elite in Aceh used the discourse of the special nature of Aceh and the introduction of Shari’a Islam as a way to recognize and distinguish Aceh while keeping the province within the Indonesian state, thus distancing themselves from the GAM agenda (Aspinall 2009b: 147). The process of formalization of Shari’a law in Aceh replayed the political divisions of the late 1980s when the religious judiciary was created in Indonesia (Ichwan 2007: 202). Some Islamic scholars have increased their demands to implement Shari’a law (kaffah) comprehensively, asserting that anything short of a total Islamic state regulated by Shari’a law is a betrayal of Islam’s promise. Using the concept tawhid (unity of all humanity), these proponents of an Islamic state hold that a society must be united by subordination to a single body of Islamic principles supervised by the state (Hefner 1997: 27). During the first nine years of the implementation of Shari’a law, religious leaders and bureaucrats of the new religious institutions gained new formal decision-making powers, and Feener (2012) suggests that Islamic law has been actively used for social engineering. Yet, as I will argue in the subsequent chapters, the implementation of Shari’a law has also made tensions between the modernist and traditionalist members of the Ulama Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Ulama, MPU) and Acehnese public more apparent (Lindsey et al. 2007: 225; Ichwan 2011: 194–98), which is also reflected in the ways in which gender advocacy is negotiated and made intelligible in the Acehnese context. Gender advocates have attempted to address these divides by providing gender training and gender-sensitive Islamic interpretations for the new religious establishment, members of the MPU, the Department of Shari’a Islam and other general bureaucrats of the Acehnese provincial government. Yet these advocates have, at times, been accused of spreading Western propaganda and being essentially anti-Islamic, as will be discussed shortly. With the introduction of the formalization of Shari’a law came a new, ongoing debate about which theological and legal school of Islam should inform the comprehensive implementation of Shari’a (Ichwan 2007: 205). This question forms a central concern for women activists who fear that symbolic, literal and de-contextualized interpretations of Islam would lead to stigmatizing Islamic feminist activism as anti-Islamic, or non-Acehnese, behaviour. These dynamics have had immediate consequences for the everyday lives of Acehnese Muslims. For example, after the tsunami some religious leaders and Islamic activist groups claimed that the tsunami was caused by the immorality of Acehnese people. They specifically focused on women and their role in causing the disaster: ‘the tsunami was a punishment sent by God’, and ‘it happened because women ignored religion’ (Lindsey et al. 2007: 243–44).

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


Others have argued that the presence of Western governments in Aceh is an active attempt to enforce Western hegemony in Aceh and Christianize Aceh (Aspinall 2009b: 196). One of the feminist strategies, discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, is the subversive use of the concept of tawhid to promote principles of equality and justice.

Gendered impacts of the tsunami It was estimated in 2006 that around 300,000 plots of land had been damaged by the earthquakes and tsunami, 50,000 people were living in tents and a further 80,000 people were housed in temporary barracks. The post-tsunami context posed specific concerns about women’s legal rights,14 amongst which concerns about land rights and guardianship rights were the most prominent. One of the biggest tasks during the reconstruction process was the registration of title to 600,000 plots of land, in many cases leading to disputes (Daly and Rahmayati 2012: 67). Before the tsunami only 25 per cent of the land was registered, and localized adat processes governed ownership of the remaining 75 per cent of the land. The concept of private land ownership was foreign to Aceh prior to the Dutch colonialism, and ‘user rights’ were more common than ownership rights (Bowen 2003: 40). Soon after land titling began in 2005, women’s organizations raised their concern that widows were being discriminated against in the process, even though under both the adat and Shari’a law women can inherit property. In 2006 the BRR announced a policy of joint land titling, whereby husbands and wives or orphaned siblings had equal rights in the titling process. This policy was seen as a major breakthrough for gender equality at the time. However, promoting gender equality through formalizing legal frameworks for land titling produced unanticipated and counter-intuitive results for Acehnese women. In fact, in some cases it left women worse off than they were under the pre-existing localized customary law (adat) arrangements (Fitzpatrick 2012: 116). In addition to land ownership issues, it was estimated that the tsunami orphaned 30,000 children, of whom some 20,000 had no legal guardian two years later (IDLO 2007: 20). Guardianship has three distinct purposes: responsibility for ensuring the ward’s welfare, managing assets (inheritance), and marriage guardianship (indicating the bride’s consent during the Islamic marriage ceremony). In Aceh it is common that a female maternal relative assumes the role of primary care giver, while a paternal relative is appointed as the inheritance/marriage guardian, although all three functions can also be given to one person in the maternal family (ibid.: 21). Women’s organizations were advocating women’s rights to land title and inheritance, as well as full guardianship. Their central aim was to increase the awareness of lawyers, judges and the general public and to counter the misconception derived from a specific interpretation of the Qur’an that women could not be appointed as guardians. When I first arrived in Aceh in May 2006, two forms of gender-based violence were reported in the local media: violence against women living in the


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

temporary barracks and Shari’a law-related violence against both women and waria, male-to-female transgendered people.15 In 2006, the majority of the tsunami-affected population was living in temporary barracks.16 OI was one of the organizations that publicly raised concerns about the reported cases of violence against women living in the barracks but the debate was politicized after the publication of the report As Victims, Also Survivors (Komnas Perempuan 2006). One gender adviser to the BRR accused the report’s authors of creating a ‘sensationalised picture’ of the situation in Aceh, in an opinion published in the Jakarta Post, an English-language newspaper mostly read by the expatriate community (Oey-Gardiner 2006). Local women activists responded to the accusations by demanding that the gender adviser should focus on ‘how we can use this report to improve the victims’ quality of life’, rather than spend time debating how many women were being abused (Hamid 2006). It seemed that the patience of local women activists, who had for years been working on conflict-related cases of violence against Acehnese women, in particular internally displaced communities, was running out, when facing a bureaucratic and institutionalized approach by a gender adviser representing the Indonesian central government (see also Felten-Biermann 2006). Furthermore, in 2006, local, national and international media covered a variety of cases of physical and psychological violence and harassment in relation to the implementation of the Shari’a law targeting specifically women and waria. Cases brought forward shared a focus on gendered Islamic morals: the Muslim dress code, i.e. wearing a jilbab and avoiding tight jeans or trousers, and moralizing about girls having intimate relationships outside marriage. Women activists complained that the Shari’a police were specifically targeting their operations towards women: women were stopped when walking alone in the evenings, or if they were not wearing a jilbab or not adhering to the separation of sexes at public events. For example, in February, three women activists at the peace education workshop organized by the UNDP were seized in Banda Aceh for not wearing jilbab (ICG 2006, for more recent documentation, see HRW 2010). Similarly, it was reported that local vigilante groups carried out moral patrolling addressed to the waria, male-to-female transgender, community by verbally and physically harassing them, confiscating their ID cards, sweeping beauty salons to trace down prostitution and violations of the rule to separate unmarried members of the opposite sex (ICG 2006). Katrina Lee-Koo has suggested that politically active women have become specific targets of accusations of immorality, revealing an ongoing tension between the government of Indonesia, provincial government and women’s rights organizations that seek to negotiate gendered notions of politics in Aceh (Lee-Koo 2012: 71). This book illustrates, however, that the moralistic focus is not only on politically active women, but also on other subjects that do not reiterate dominant ideals of the heteronormative gender order and religious piety, and thus locates the gendered notions of politics in a more complex nexus of state, religion and modern gendered subjectivity.

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


Artificial division of Aceh into separate post-tsunami and post-conflict spheres At the time of the tsunami and the earthquakes in December 2004, Aceh had been under civil emergency rule since May 200317 and thus had been closed to aid workers and international media. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, the government of Indonesia (GOI) allowed foreign troops from the USA, Singapore, Australia and Japan, and hundreds of humanitarian organizations, to enter the province. However, already in mid-January in 2005 the government was indicating plans to limit the movements of aid workers and force them to leave by March 2005. The conflict levels had dropped immediately after the tsunami, possibly due to the losses experienced on both sides, but there was a steady increase of reported human rights violations and violent GAM-GOI incidents again in 2005. Although conflict incidents were reported to be concentrated in certain ‘conflict hot spot’ areas, it was widely reported that the lives of ordinary people were severely affected by them, and GOI/GAM sympathies at the village level caused tensions and difficulties for aid delivery. Aid organizations were caught in between the conflict dynamics: the Indonesian Army was controlling their movements, and the GAM building its shadow economy with the tsunami aid by taking over contracts, asking for illegal payments and ‘taxing’ project budgets (Aspinall 2009a; Barron et al. 2005). However, what was clear from the outset was that Aceh was to be artificially divided into post-tsunami and post-conflict reconstruction contexts, primarily enforced by the government of Indonesia, but actively followed by the international humanitarian response through separate victim categories, programming and budgeting.18 This despite the fact that surveys of coastal Aceh had demonstrated that it was impossible to separate tsunami victims from conflict victims: many of the tsunami-affected areas were also areas of high conflict (see the map in Figure 2.1). Assessments made in 2007 and 2008 by Liga Inong Acheh illustrate how the conflict dynamics in the pre-tsunami context created complex situations for the post-tsunami programs. For instance, conflict-affected communities from the hinterland areas in Aceh Besar and Aceh Jaya had settled in the coastal areas, which were then destroyed by the tsunami. The settlers included transmigrants who had left their villages after being caught up in the conflict. Almost all the women reported having been beaten, and some were forced to take refuge in the coastal areas after their houses were burnt. These people were already suffering the consequence of the armed conflict before the tsunami occurred in December 2004.

Intelligibility of gender in post-tsunami Aceh To deepen further the understanding of the dynamic context within which gender mainstreaming is being promoted in Aceh, this section provides a


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

le~el or damage at Kecamatan level (RP per thousand or population) Above 2.3 trillions

10 2.3 trillions 1.4 tri~ions 756 billions 10 1.4 trillions 285 billions 10 T56 bi~ion$ Below 285 bdlions No damage

l evel or conflict al Kecamatan


High Med ium


Figure 2.1 Combined sub-district map of the tsunami damage (Indonesian Rupiah per thousand of population) and the level of conflict Source: (Reproduced with permission from Conciliation Resources/Accord, 2008,

close reading of the ways in which the concept of gender is made intelligible in Aceh, and argues that the concept of gender is primarily debated within the context of ‘shari’aization’ of Acehnese public debates on norms and better futures for Aceh. All these discourses ‘mainstream Shari’a’ into the gender mainstreaming agenda, but through different, and at times, conflicting discursive strategies: using the Islamic history of Aceh; arguing for the incompatibility of gender within Shari’a Islam; and by focusing on gender discourse ‘à la Aceh’. Historical romanticism vis-à-vis gender equality As part of the attempt to shape a new future for Aceh in the post-tsunami context, many Acehnese actively interpret the region’s history with the aim of defining religious and cultural identity of Acehnese society. The past has become a contested site, in which varying interpretations of history are used

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


to legitimate authority to define what Aceh, Acehneseness, or Acehnese norms are (Feener 2011: 19). This includes narratives of gender in Aceh. The Islamic history of Aceh includes a period of four consecutive queens in the seventeenth century19 and has been documented, amongst others, by Fatimah Mernissi in her book The Forgotten Queens of Islam (Mernissi 1990). Research of the gravestones in Aceh and elsewhere in Muslim Southeast Asia has revealed that female rulers were not only an innovation of the seventeenth century, but had existed already in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (Khan 2010: 4). Yet, the four queens emerged in the sultanate of Aceh in a specific context: the first queen Safiatuddin (r.1641–75) was chosen because the Sultan had killed all his male heirs before his own death, thus there was no other choice if the power was to be kept within the family (Reid 2005: 106; Riddell 2006: 41). The reign of queens came to an end when the Sheriff of Mecca issued a fatwa in 1699 condemning female rulers as non-Islamic (ibid.: 47). However, to point the finger at Mecca as the reason for such a fatwa downplays the political dynamics and conflicts between the noble district chiefs controlling trade (uleebalang) and religious leaders (ulama) (Reid 2005: 8). In fact, those whose interests were threatened by female rulers have opposed the emergence of female rulers throughout Islamic history, and this is usually done in the name of Shari’a (Mernissi 1990: 30). Several historians have portrayed the reign of queens rather negatively arguing that the Sultanate was shrinking in the hands of women and that the real power was in fact in the hands of the male nobles. These pessimistic views have been contradicted by evidence illustrating how the queens were not only accepted by the majority of the political elite (orangkaya) but also by religious leaders (ulama), and how the queens were able to maintain Aceh’s peace and prosperity in exceptionally challenging times when politics in Aceh suffered from interference and influence from Dutch and English companies. In fact, throughout the period of the four queens, Aceh is said to have maintained its economic and political independence from Europeans (Khan 2010: 3). Thus, contrary to the dominant views of the historians, the period of the first queens included expanding the Sultanate, building a parliamentary system that included female members, building literary and intellectual centres and recruiting a female navy officers (Chuzaifah 2007: 67). Apart from the four queens, well-known Acehnese female political figures include the military commanders Cut Nyak Dien (1850–1908), Cut Meutia (d. 1910), and Pocut Baren Biheue (d. 1933) who fought in the war against the Dutch. Furthermore, historical accounts include other women holding the positions of admiral, district chief or ulama, and being owners of Islamic boarding schools (Khan 2010; Noerdin 2007). These historical narratives of the four queens and female fighters opposing the colonial power have become an important way in which women’s activists argue in the current context in Aceh for women’s equal rights to political participation and leadership positions in order to counter the arguments that Islam unilaterally forbids women to take part in politics or to lead a nation


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

(Nursiti et al. 2007: 26–29; Sofyati n.d.: 1–4). Thus, it seems that the times of the queens and war heroines provide an important discursive strategy for the Acehnese women activists to historicize and politicize the current interpretations of Islam.20 Furthermore, the same historical examples are used, mostly by men, to argue that gender inequality is no longer an issue in Aceh simply because Acehnese history illustrates how women are already valued and respected in the society. Farid Muttaqin (2011) has called this gender discourse historical romanticism which draws on a static understanding of gender relations, relying on the romanticized historical image of strong female leaders, as queens (seventeenth century) and as military commanders (around 1600 and 1900 CE) as a mirror of gender relations or gender norms in Aceh. The argumentation attempts to pre-empt efforts arguing for the need to mainstream gender through building institutional structures, recruitment of gender experts to governmental offices, or analysis of gendered impacts of the post-tsunami and post-conflict contexts. It further dismisses arguments made by women activists and gender bureaucrats aiming to draw attention to existing or emerging new forms of gender inequality as irrelevant. By drawing from the documented history of female elite leaders, it reduces gender to the ahistorical situation of Acehnese women; it does not recognize differences amongst women across time, space or other social categories such as ethnicity, socioeconomic position, nor women’s outspoken experiences of inequalities in the current context; and finally, it does not comprehend gender to be related in any way to men or masculinities. Gender: essentially an anti-Islamic agenda? Those who are critical of implementation of Shari’a are accused of being anti-Islam, pro-secularism, pro-Western, exclusive, radical, strange, naïve and denying the kodrat. (Djohar 2008: 97, transl. by MJ)21 Another discursive strategy is to condemn the concept of gender, and its users, as anti-Islam, ‘foreign agents’ or ‘infidels’. Some local authorities in charge of implementing Shari’a law argue that ‘only women NGOs activists and people from outside Aceh challenge the moves taken by the local authorities, while most other Acehnese women have shown their support’ (Afrianty 2009: 11). Afrianty goes on to suggest that those in favour of the full implementation of Shari’a law use women’s religious differences in their own political interest with a divide and conquer strategy: ‘It is best to set women NGOs against women members of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Hizbut Tahrir’ (ibid.).22 The accusations of outsider influence in relation to gender advocacy seem to stem from at least two intertwined factors in Aceh: the appearance of international organizations in the aftermath of the tsunami and the wider

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


conflict context. Prior to the tsunami the central government and the military had restricted Indonesians’ and foreigners’ access to Aceh. During the first eight months after the tsunami, aid for tsunami victims was delivered in a context of ongoing conflict. The presence of foreign military personnel and Christian aid organizations was seen by hard line Islamist groups, such as the Front of the Defenders of Islam, the Council of Indonesian Islamic Fighters,23 and by some Muslim leaders, as attempts to proselytize Acehnese tsunami survivors into Christianity. On the other hand, Islamist groups were blamed for being aggressive towards (Christian) international aid organizations and for accusing them of imposing Western ideas, and of causing problems of drinking, prostitution, disrespect for Islamic principles, and of general depravity (Jemadu 2006. On North American Christian Missionary activities in Aceh see Miller 2010: 36–37). Furthermore, the Indonesian military had used similar language in the pre-tsunami context, arguing that human rights groups using secular argumentation were splitting and dividing Islamic unity. This is argued to be a conscious strategy to shift the focus away from reported human rights violations by the military towards ‘anti-Islam’ and westernization (Aspinall 2009b: 141, 198, 219). Acehnese civil society organizations actively invoked international human rights instruments during the armed conflict in the 1990s and the same normative frameworks are continuously used in the post-tsunami context to make arguments for gender-sensitive post-conflict legal frameworks and transitional justice. For example, local women’s organizations that were mostly established in the mid- or late 1990s actively used the international human rights norms to raise their concerns of the gendered violence of the armed conflict. However, when put into the context of armed conflict and Islam, using human rights frameworks was not only considered as a positive framing. During the armed conflict, the independence movement was being portrayed internationally as an Islamic terrorist group, although at the same time the domestic state-led military propaganda claimed GAM was anti-Islam and violated the unity of the Islamic community (Aspinall 2009b: 212). In the context of the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, GAM supporters, human rights and pro-referendum activists who sought to bring the Acehnese conflict to the world stage through intergovernmental forums such as the UN and the European Union (EU), were condemned as anti-Islam and being supporters of Western domination in Indonesia (ibid.: 195–96). Gender mainstreaming and gender equality initiatives in post-tsunami Aceh are not implemented in isolation from these debates. In fact, some organizations have strategically dropped the word ‘gender’ from their vocabulary, and focus instead on ‘women’s empowerment’ and ‘promotion of equality/justice between men and women’. For example, the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment had asked for permission from the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment to remove the concept of gender from its vision and mission statements and during my fieldwork I met with researchers who


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

would narrate stories of how villagers were open about their ‘gender allergy’: an aversion to ‘gender NGOs’ that were promoting a Western concept in Aceh.24 In interviews, gender advocates told me about occasions where gender experts and women activists had been verbally attacked, or that gender training had to be cancelled due to resistance from the community. In an edited book focusing on the politicization of the traditional justice system or customary law (adat) in Aceh, discussed in more detail in Chapter 5, Nurlaila describes a divorce case in the district of Aceh Besar where the wife is satisfied after the Shari’a court has formally ended the marriage, whereas the husband is angry, accuses ‘gender NGOs’ of disrespecting the Acehnese customary law, and considers the court decision false. Nurlaila illustrates with this case how the appearance of the concept of ‘gender’ is considered to break down the Acehnese traditional systems (such as family), and further, how the government has become a handmaiden of foreign NGOs, especially ‘gender NGOs’ that are responsible for breaking down Acehnese society (Nurlaila 2010). In this particular case, ‘gender NGO’ refers to KKTGA (Kelompok Kerja Transformasi Gender Aceh in English Working Group to Transform Gender in Aceh), an Acehnese women’s organization established in 1995 to provide counselling, psychosocial support and legal advice for female victims of gender-based/domestic violence. Divorce is an issue dividing gender advocates and activists and was reflected in a Gender Working Group (GWG) email list discussion about the increased divorce rates in Aceh. Some list members argued that increased divorce is the product of a Western feminist agenda, which is considered to be against the family institution (Ramly 2008). The most negative response to the concept of gender, according to my interviewees, was a situation in which any attempt to discuss ‘gender issues’ was likely to be labelled anti-Islamic, ‘a Western import’, and thus not part of Acehnese culture (for a detailed debate, see Zain and Mahdi eds. 2008). NGOs that use ‘gender language’ have been accused of ‘using the tongue of Europe’ (Ramly 2008), and being influenced by aspects that are foreign to Acehnese culture. In one interview, the director of the local NGO providing legal assistance to women listed the opponents explaining gender as kafir25 but whilst doing that illustrating profoundly how for the majority of Acehnese the understanding of gender is limited to surface (kulit luar) (Director of a local women’s organization). One of the email list discussions described it thus: ‘x told me that [the] artificial [concept of] gender originates from advocates of capitalism who wish to damage/corrupt Aceh. He also said that women activists, who struggle for gender justice, have forgotten their duty’. Promoting gender equality and women’s activism in this discourse is connected to critique of capitalism, moral degradation of Acehnese women (Inöng Aceh), causing fitnah, wearing immoral clothing, free sex and not respecting muhrim regulations (Rizki 2011). Many of my interviewees referred to the heated debate on gender on the website of the Aceh Institute, a Banda Aceh-based research institute, in 2007.

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


The debate, a compilation of 18 web-based articles, was published as a book Timang: Aceh, Perempuan, Kesetaraan26 (Getting it Straight: Aceh, Women, Equality) in 2008 (Zain and Mahdi 2008). The original article ‘What’s with Gender?’ written by Efendi Hasan, a PhD student based in Malaysia, accused ‘gender’ of being a Western product, being primarily used by women with foreign or anti-Islamic influence and thus being incompatible with the practice of Islam (Hasan 2008). The strategy of opposing the concept of gender as a Western and capitalist concept is often justified in the name of protection of Acehnese culture. Although this opposition to the concept of gender exists primarily outside women’s activism, it divides the wider group of (Indonesian) women activists and academicians (Robinson 2009; Muttaqin 2008) and is reflected in statements like this: We are not the same with [sic] activists in Jakarta, who are not married, divorce[d] or involve[d] in same sex relations. (Afrianty 2009: 15)27 This discursive strategy ‘we are not the same as’ organizes itself around the idea of an independent Acehnese identity, ‘our culture and values’, apart from Western, Indonesian and Javanese (Jakarta), or non-Muslim/Shari’a-based subjectivity. Binaries constructed with this discourse include: East-West; Muslim-non-Muslim/secular Muslim; moral-immoral; rootedness in Acehnese culture-dislocated from Acehnese culture.28 The ‘anti-gender’ and Westernization discourse assumes that the promoters of gender equality are Western and non-Muslims, and therefore not Acehnese. Those Acehnese who promote gender equality are said to be brainwashed by Western ideologies or are not truly Acehnese. This binary attitude holds that there is only one correct way to construct being Acehnese, thus constructing simultaneously understandings of Acehnese nation and good and proper citizenship. The situation remains deadlocked, downplaying the fact that although gender is articulated in the language of justice and human rights, gender norms were already contested in various ways in the Islamic tradition by male Islamic scholars in the pre-modern period (Shaikh 2009: 786, see also Peletz 2002: 157–258). However, this constructed binary is a reminder of the feminist argument that the illusion of the stability of the nation is constructed through gendered and moralistic notions (Berlant 1997) and continuously repeated normative and binary notions of what constitutes ‘good and acceptable Acehneseness’ make the construction and hard work visible. Thus, ‘gendering Aceh’ could be seen as an active process of negotiation and contestation of local understandings of what constitutes the Acehnese nation, culture, norms and morals. As one of my interviewees also reflected upon it, those who are critical of women’s rights in Aceh find ‘gender talk’ an easy target, and thus for some organizations it is more strategic to drop using the concept altogether in public and create critical spaces and perspectives


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

quietly. This remark provided an important reflection of the limitations of focusing solely on publicly advocated gender activism, as it potentially misses out those forms of feminist action that are not officially labelled as such. Gender à la Aceh: ‘As long as it does not mean that men start wearing lipstick and high heels’ To balance the discourse of gender as a Western and anti-Islamic concept, Acehnese women’s activists and gender advocates have actively invoked Islamic discourse and active participation of male ulamas in the debate to gain popular support for the promotion of international norms and humanrights instruments, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ratified by the Indonesian government in 1984. For example, UNIFEM contracted a well-respected Acehnese male Islamic scholar Danial to produce advocacy material focusing on Shari’a Islam, CEDAW and the protection of women’s rights. The aim was to engage local government and civil society in order to gain their support for the women friendly implementation of Shari’a law in Aceh through provincial local regulations (Danial 2008). KKTGA, articulates this strategy in the following way: In order to avoid collision, debate and even rejection of gender issues, as Western ideology and so on, the material on gender in Islam is provided as an introductory material. Which is more easily understandable for participants. This material can then be further used to conduct social analysis. (Nursiti et al. 2007: 8) The director of KKTGA said the organization has consciously chosen to use the word gender in its name. Furthermore, in order to contradict the accusations of being anti-Acehnese, the organization uses experts who are highly respected experts in Islamic jurisprudence to convince that there is no anti-Islamic agenda in their work. Whereas some named it as a strategy to avoid criticism, the head of the BPPPA specifically argued that the legal framework in Aceh (Law on the Governing of Aceh 11/2006 and Law on Special Region of Aceh Province 44/1999) requires that gender and gender mainstreaming has to be socialized in the language of Shari’a Islam – Acehnese people would not otherwise accept it. According to her, the problem lies in the patriarchal culture, whereas the religion itself is tolerant, elastic and dynamic (Director of BPPPA). Although this perspective on ‘gender’ was primarily brought up by Acehnese interviewees and provincial government bureaucrats, it is worth noting that international humanitarian organizations and central government’s gender machinery had actively reflected upon the importance of combining gender with religious discourse by, for example, producing materials

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


on the topic (KPP 2004; BKKBN and UNFPA 2005). In fact, several interviewees emphasized gender to be ‘acceptable in Islam’ or ‘already existing in the Qur’an’. Perhaps the most comprehensive attempt to draw from the existing provincial and national legal frameworks was the preparation of the qanun on Women’s Empowerment and Protection of Women’s Rights (Qanun 6/2009). The qanun is contextualized using the currently existing provincial regulations and national legislation, which include the following opening statement: ‘Women, as noble and dignified, need to be empowered to their full capability and assured their right for protection, in accordance with the Shari’a Islam’. The regulation introduces the concept of gender, referring to it to mean social construction that varies according to the socio-cultural context of the community in question. Gender justice is defined specifically to refer to justice that exists within the relationship between a man and a woman. Furthermore, the regulation refers to gender equality as a just condition between men and women in relation to their opportunities, and rights as humans, so that both men and women have equal abilities, roles and participation in politics, economics, social and cultural affairs, defence and national security, and have the same possibilities to benefit from the results of ‘development’ (Gubernur Aceh 2009). Thus, it could be argued that the local regulation adopted in 2009 is a translation of the presidential instruction on gender mainstreaming but ‘mainstreamed with Shari’a Islam’. Another attempt, which is not a legally binding document but rather an expression of the good will of its signatories, was the preparation of the Charter of the Rights of Women in Aceh (Piagam hak-hak perempuan di Aceh), signed in 2008 by the Governor of Aceh, chairman of the regional parliament, representatives of the Indonesian government, judiciary, police, Islamic institutions and a number of NGOs (see also Grossman 2012: 106–8). It was advertised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ), a German government-owned development agency that provided financial support for the preparatory process, as the first one in the Islamic world. The charter has in total 18 articles that generally stipulate women’s demand for equal treatment with men. We the signatories of the Charter of the Rights of Women in Aceh, believe that the equitable treatment of women is in accordance with the fundamental principles of Islam – justice, consensus, equality, tolerance, piety and peace – so that violation of these values constitutes a violation of the values of Islam, which brought peace and blessings into the world. (Anonym 2008: 3) Article 2 of the charter states that women have rights to religion and practice of religion through the implementation of Shari’a Islam that is peaceful and just. What is significant, though, is that in this discourse formalization of


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

Shari’a law and Acehnese cultural norms are constructed as one (BPPPA 2008b). This assumed harmony of Acehnese Islamic feminist conceptualization and formalization of Shari’a law is constructed by producing a discursive binary between ‘gender à la Aceh’ and gender from the West. This juxtaposition was most openly used by the head of the BPPPA by condemning ‘free for all action’ (Muhammad 2001: ii; Muhammad 2008a: 23; Muhammad 2008c: i): Although Aceh is mainstreaming gender, adds Raihan,29 Aceh does not apply sameness of genders à la Western, which uses the concept ‘free for all’. Aceh applies gender that is in line with Islamic perspective, which still has boundaries. (Serambi Indonesia 2009a: emphasis in the Indonesian original version, transl. by MJ) Condemning ‘free for all action’ in the Acehnese context is used to refer to sexual relationships outside of marriage, attempts to blur the clear boundary of binaristic gender order and sexuality outside the heteronormative frame. This discourse uses the concept of ‘gender’ and draws from feminist Islamic scholarship and Qur’anic principles. It attempts to argue that the use of the term ‘gender’ does not inherently advocate a Western agenda, but rather is compatible with Islamic principles. The discourse ‘gender à la West’ and ‘gender à la Shari’a Islam’ advocated most actively by the provincial government’s gender bureaucrats, reiterates the binary between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and could be seen as a response to the emergence of ‘gender allergy’ in post-tsunami Aceh. This binary constructs both the feminist agenda in the West, and Islamic feminism in Aceh as fixed and opposite to one another. This binary was reiterated in some of my interviews with such a strong emphasis that it made me reflect upon my presence as a white, European, non-Muslim and openly feminist researcher as a potential provocation for such binaristic performativity. Thus, my embodied presence in this research cannot be separated from the increasingly gendered Islamophobic attitudes in Europe in relation to Muslim immigrant communities, focusing particularly on the question of oppression of women, bans on Muslim veils, or homonationalism. However, to argue that such a polarization is purely a result of international humanitarian presence in Aceh ignores the ongoing debates on the issue of religion within the Acehnese women’s movement. For example, Dina Afrianty has argued, ‘as followers of Islam, local women activists in Aceh acknowledge that their gender activism is based on Islamic teachings and the Acehnese adat and therefore seek a familiar discourse within which to locate their activities’ (Afrianty 2009: 16). In fact, this could be seen as an active attempt to differentiate Acehnese women’s movement from Western feminism, of which the concept of gender is seen to be an inherent and naturalized part (Grossmann 2009). However, holding up to this binary does not allow analytical space for reflecting upon pluralism of feminism in Aceh, which includes, for example,

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


an unresolved debate of the role of religion within the Acehnese feminist movement, or constructed binary between conservative and patriarchal male leaders and urban middle-class female activists (Kloos 2010), politics of shari’atization (Ichwan 2007; 2011) nor sensitivity towards the politicization of ‘traditions in Aceh’, such as adat (Li 2007; Avonius and Shadiqin eds. 2010; for wider connections to governance and democracy promotion, see Abrahamsen 2000). Furthermore, Haideh Moghissi has been critical towards forms of feminism that reduce women’s identity to their Islamic or Muslim identity. For her, such a framing loses the sensitivity towards heterogeneity, plurality and diversity of the social realities of women (Moghissi 1999: 135). Turning this argument back to governmentality and subjectification of gender politics, I argue that one effect of the shari’aization of gender discourse in Aceh is that it constructs Acehnese women’s subjectivities and identities primarily around Islamic identity, which has several social consequences for feminist agency and forms of politics: first, activism using secular, such as the purely human rights-based argumentation, becomes marginalized as a non-Acehnese form of activism; second, the discourse strengthens the position of activists and advocates who have an Islamic studies background and who are considered capable of providing convincing interpretations of the Qur’an and the Hadith. Finally, it also has meant that there are no debates on gender that draw on Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism, although each of these religious minorities exist in Aceh. Indeed, some Bureau for Women’s Empowerment publications argue that ‘100% of the Acehnese society follows Islam’ (Muhammad 2002b: 7), or that ‘there are, however, in various locations in Aceh, followers of other religions (Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist and so on), however they, as a minority group, exist in harmony and peace in the midst of the dominant Muslim community’ (Muhammad 2005: 27). This raises questions about the effects of formalizing Shari’a Islam: what are the effects of the codification of Islam on non-Muslim lives in Aceh, or Acehnese feminist debates, or feminist activists, that do not invoke Islam?

Conclusion This chapter has illustrated how the introduction of the gender mainstreaming policy approach in Aceh is intimately linked to the economic and political reforms of the post-Suharto Indonesia, continuous negotiation of the relationship between Islam and the state, the armed conflict in Aceh, and opening of Aceh to international humanitarian organizations after the tsunami. The chapter further identified three discourses through which the concept of gender is made intelligible in the context of post-tsunami Aceh and argues that gender is made intelligible primarily within the context of ‘shari’aization’ of Acehnese public debates. All these discourses ‘mainstream shari’a’ into the gender mainstreaming agenda, but through different discursive strategies. This chapter demonstrated how in the contemporary political context in Aceh the


Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming

concept of gender is used to build an argumentation of gender advocacy as anti-Islamic and anti-Acehnese, yet also to support the emerging Islamic feminist discourse and human rights campaigning in Aceh. Thus, the debates around the concept take part in a continuous process of subjectification of Acehnese women’s activists and gender advocates – how their agendas are shaped, their activities mapped and named.

Notes 1 A presidential instruction is an important tool within the Indonesian legal system, to concretize the approved national laws, and ratified international conventions. 2 By ‘shari’atization’ Ichwan refers to ‘government efforts “from above”’ to re-Islamize Muslim society by imposing a certain understanding of what constitutes Shari’a and exemplifies a position in which one stands against ‘shari’atization’ without standing against Shari’a (Ichwan 2011:184 footnote 3). 3 The 1997 East Asian financial crisis resulted in economic and political turmoil, which had a severe impact on the everyday lives of Indonesians. The Indonesian Rupiah fell to one-fifth of its value against the US dollar, annual inflation in 1998 was 77.63 per cent, and the percentage of the population living in poverty rose from 14 per cent in 1997 to 40 per cent in 1998 (Siahaan 2003; Vickers 2005). The conditions attached to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, worth US$43 billion, forced the government to undergo major political and economic reforms. The crisis escalated and led to the fall of the Suharto regime in May 1998. 4 Pancasila, or five principles of the Indonesian nation, are belief in one God, just and civilized humanity, unity of Indonesia, deliberative democracy and social justice. 5 The relationship between Islam and the state in Indonesia has been and continues to be antagonistic. When the Indonesian constitution was negotiated in 1945, two competing nationalist movements were dominating the debate: one supporting the formation of an Islamic state, and the other arguing for recognition of Indonesia as a multi-religious state. The compromise, ‘obligation for adherents of Islam to practice Islamic law’, known as the Jakarta Charter, was finally rejected by both Islamic and non-Islamic groups. As a consequence, the sentence was removed from the Constitution just one day after the declaration of independence and a monotheist element, the ‘Belief in One God’, was added. Bahtiar Effendy argues that there are two main reasons for the removal: first, the refusal by the nonMuslim eastern parts of the archipelago to join the republic if Islamic law was included in the Constitution; and second, the fear of the Dutch re-occupation once the Japanese occupation was over (Effendy 2003: 13, 20–33). In the post-1998 political map of Indonesia, several political parties have actively advocated the formalization of Shari’a in Indonesia. Three parties, PPP (Partai Persetuan Pembangunan), PAN (Partai Amanat Nasional) and PK/PKS (Partai Keadilan/ Sejahtera), proposed the formalization of Shari’a as a way of unifying the Indonesian state and played a crucial role in drafting the Aceh autonomy laws and in the post-2006 context in pushing the Shari’aization of Criminal Law (Aspinall 2009b: 196–97, 211). 6 In contrast to the central government’s silence on the ongoing internal conflicts around the mid-1990s, Acehnese nationalist narratives of the history of Aceh often focus on the long history of violence and conflict since the Dutch war in the late nineteenth century, the Darul Islam revolt (1953–62), and the most recent movement resisting the Indonesian state rule (1976–2005). The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) that aimed to achieve independence for Aceh from the Indonesian state was established in 1976, just a few years after vast natural gas and oil fields were

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


8 9


11 12




discovered in North Aceh. Most attempts to explain the Acehnese conflict emphasize three factors: the centralization of political power during the New Order regime in Jakarta; continued poverty in rural Aceh despite the exploitation of natural resources in Aceh; and the Indonesian military’s violence against suspected Acehnese nationalists. Edward Aspinall’s recent research looks beyond these factors by focusing on the movement’s nationalism and its periodically uneasy relationship with Islam (Aspinall 2009b: 49). On communist killings in Aceh, see details in Arskal 2009; Crouch 2010; Sjamsuddin 1985. The transmigration programme is a central government programme to provide land and other benefits to landless people from densely populated islands from other parts of the archipelago, such as Java. The term ‘transmigrant’ is usually used for a migrant and his/her family members and the naming persists over generations. Critics have accused the programme of causing land disputes, conflict and violence between settlers and indigenous populations. In Aceh, transmigrant communities were the targets of GAM intimidation as the pro-Indonesia government-supported militia was mainly recruited from the transmigrant communities. ‘Returnee’ is used for those people who returned to their place of origin/habitual residence after the signing of the MoU in 2005 (IOM 2008: 4). Such as Yayasan Flower Aceh, established in 1989 to collect data about the victims of violence and organizing women at the grassroots level; MiSPI (True Partner of Indonesian Women, Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia) established in 1998, and Women Volunteers for Humanity (RPUK) established in 1999 as a response to the intensified conflict in Aceh. The peace negotiation was initiated before the tsunami, but it is argued that the damage and devastation were major factors prompting both sides to commit themselves to the process. During the negotiations GAM changed its position from the demands of full independence to self-governance. For a detailed analysis of the Helsinki peace process see e.g. Törnquist 2009; Aspinall 2008. Activist Shadia Marhaban later established the Acehnese Women’s League (LINA) in 2006 to support the former female combatants. LOGA was passed by Indonesia’s national parliament in June 2006 and incorporated some, not all, provisions of the MoU. For a more detailed analysis of the ‘deviations’ see May 2008. Out of the 15 proposals made by the women activists, less than half were included: deputy governor, deputy regents and mayors are charged with the responsibility of ensuring the empowerment of women (articles 44 and 45); 30 per cent quotas to political parties (article 75); women’s representation in the Ulama Consultative Council MPU (article 138); economic empowerment through women’s business groups (article 154); enhancing education through women’s groups (article 215); women’s organizations may have a role in the provision of health sector services (elucidation of the article 225, clause 2); and central government, Acehnese provincial government, district governments and Acehnese residents are obliged to promote and protect the rights of women and children as well as to conduct the empowerment effort with dignity (article 231) (President of the Republic of Indonesia 2006). Until the Helsinki Peace Agreement in 2005, GAM’s central aim was independence from Indonesia, political self-determination (Ichwan 2007: 195; Aspinall 2009b). The independence movement exploited the special nature of the Acehnese ethnic identity and argued that the incorporation of Aceh into the Republic of Indonesia was illegal, and while the Indonesian government also considered Acehnese as a distinct ethnic group, it maintained that the province and its people were a constituent part of Indonesia’s multicultural nation (Aspinall 2009b: 3, 76). Aceh has a pluralist legal system which means that legal cases can be processed either through the formal system (national law; Shari’a law), or through the informal (adat-based) justice system. Most of the post-tsunami legal cases were brought


15 16

17 18




22 23



Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming into the Shari’a courts, which were either dysfunctional or underperforming due to the tsunami losses, and newly emerging due to the new legislative framework provided by the LOGA (Law on the Governing of Aceh) in 2006 (IDLO 2007). See Oetomo 1996 for detailed discussion on the history of terminology for transgender people in Indonesian language. See also Chapter 3. ‘Relocation to Barracks’ was a central government programme, funded by international organizations, with which displaced people were relocated from the emergency tents. Many of the international organizations remained cautious about the process, arguing that the relocation programme shared many of the elements of the transmigration programme and forced relocations that had taken place in Aceh during martial law in 2003. Further, it was feared that the barracks would become another target for the military to limit the freedom of movement of the IDPs and that they were potential locations for other human rights violations. Surveys of the IDP communities had confirmed their reluctance to be relocated further away from their homes due to their fear of losing their lands and income (Hedman 2005). Emergency rule was lifted in May 2005 during the peace talks in Helsinki. The generous tsunami reconstruction funding is in stark contrast to the few efforts that aimed at repairing houses, restoring livelihoods and infrastructure in areas affected by the armed conflict (Siapno 2009b; Waizenegger and Hyndman 2010: 67; Zeccola 2011). Sultanah Tajul Alam Safiatuddin Syah ruled between 1641 and 1675, Sultanah Nur Alam Naqiatuddin Syah ruled between 1675 and 1677, Sultanah Inayat Zakiatuddin Syah ruled between 1677 and 1688, and Sultanah Kamalt Zainatuddin Syah ruled between 1688 and 1699. With the focus on the possibility of female leadership, very few sources, however, analyse critically the socio-economic position of those women in their societies, or compare the situation between the royal and ordinary women (Muttaqin 2004: 2011). Rather, narrating the history of women’s movement through Acehnese queens and female warriors reiterates the patriarchal nationalist discourse that constructs the division into domestic and public spheres and ignores the lives of the majority of women (ibid.). Some Jakarta-based women activists interpret this quote as an indication of the threat of Shari’a Islam to feminism, women’s activism and pluralism. Most women activists in Aceh, however, would (at least in the context of 2006–08) align with the framework of Shari’a Islam. This position does not reflect some private views, since being labelled anti-Islam could potentially mean public humiliation or punishment, or at the very least difficulties in social interaction with the rest of society. PKS, originally called the Justice Party, was established in 1998. Hizbut Tahrir established in 1953 Indonesia and has gained popularity in the post-Suharto context in Indonesia. For details of the emergence of Islamist movements in post-tsunami Aceh see Ichwan 2011: 192–93; 207–09. It is argued that the Komite Penganggulangan Krisis and Medical Emergency Relief Charity have received Saudi funding, and prior to relief activities in Aceh, supported Lashkar Jundullah and Laskar Mujahideen paramilitary operations in Moluccas and Sulawesi. It has been further suggested that various Islamist organizations got support from the Indonesian military (such as vehicles, transportation) during the first few months of the relief period. Similarly, the concept of ‘feminism’ was attacked on several email lists and the Aceh Institute website and condemned as Western (Zulkhairi 2009a,b), and as pointed out on one of the lists, omitting the rich Islamic feminist activism and scholarship based in the Middle East and Asia. ‘Kafir’ translates into ‘infidel, pagan, disbeliever’ but was also used to describe the ‘colonizers’, i.e. the foreign (non-Muslim) soldiers fighting against the Acehnese during the Aceh war in the nineteenth century (Aspinall 2006: 151).

Political landscapes of gender mainstreaming


26 Timang in Indonesian refers to a verb to coddle, fondle or pet, but it also has a meaning of straight, harmonious, equal, just, but also in the Acehnese to think over and organize (Shadiqin 2009b). 27 In November 2009 an email titled ‘Jakartan vs. Acehnese Feminists’ circulated on several email lists going back and forth on the issue of feminism/women’s activism as Western ideology or ‘religion from the West’. 28 Some of the women activists and wider civil society activism have, on the other hand, called Shari’a Islamization of Aceh ‘Arabianization’. They argue that Shari’a Islamization is not inherently Acehnese and thus they actively take part in reiterating the binary of Westernization-Arabianization. 29 Raihan Putry Ali Muhammad lecturer at Ar-Raniry University and former head of the BPPPA.


‘This is gender!’1 Normalized sex/gender divide and subversive gender

Those who would codify the meaning of words fight a losing battle, for words, like the ideas and things they are meant to signify, have a history. (Scott 1986: 1053) The issue is not only about words and concepts, it is also about perceptions and understandings concerning the relationships of men and women in society and culture.2 (Pietilä 2007: 76) It was a reminder that when you negotiate with words, you’re fundamentally negotiating people’s lives, their choices, their lifestyles, their integrity.3 (Rothschild et al. 2005: 97) As discussed in Chapter 1, the distinction between sex (male/female), a matter of biology, and gender (masculine/feminine), a set of culturally and socially defined characteristics, has been central to a significant body of feminist theory and activism, the promotion of gender mainstreaming included. Further, as the controversy over the concept of gender at the Beijing Conference in 1995 (Baden and Goetz 1997) and the quotes above illustrate, definitions on gender matter in that they are always normative, and thus raise questions of exclusions that take place within the process of describing something (Butler 1992: 16). The previous chapter located the wider political landscapes within which the gender mainstreaming approach, and the concept of gender, has been made intelligible in Aceh. This chapter further deepens the intelligibility of gender by focusing on the use of the normalized distinction between biological sex and socio-culturally constructed gender. It treats the distinction as a field of knowledge through which subjects emerge and become intelligible. However, instead of claiming that the ‘real’ meaning of the concepts can be revealed, or defined for good, this chapter illustrates how meanings of gender are constantly negotiated and challenged in the Acehnese context.

‘This is gender!’


The first part of the chapter makes the politics of citation visible and illustrates how gender policies in Aceh reiterate normalized division into sex and gender by using knowledge that draws simultaneously from human biology and anatomy, Islamic theological argumentation and feminist theory. The second part of the chapter focuses on counter-conducts that subvert this normalized heteronormative gender order. Using the example of public celebrations of two international commemoration days, International Woman’s Day (IWD) and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), I will illustrate how Banda Aceh-based LBGTI (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex) activism produces new subject positions into the Acehnese gender equality discourse. The examples illustrate how simultaneous to the heteronormative constructs of gender, in accordance with the liberal logics of governmentality, this activism creates space for emerging Acehnese homonormativity, combining ideals of modern and urban citizenship, religious identity and Acehnese/Indonesian nationalism. This activism uses strategically the vocabulary and funding of the transnational LBGTI liberation and rights movement, but also significantly emerging feminist Islamic jurisprudence, to argue for recognition of waria and gay people as citizens of Indonesia, children of Aceh with a Muslim identity – through ‘dubbing the modern Indonesian nation’ (Boellstorff 2005a: 8–9). This public LBGTI activism addresses specific experiences of violence in Aceh bringing to light violence that is targeted to those deviating from dominant sexual and gender norms in Aceh. Paying attention to the silences I argue, however, that this activism simultaneously acts as a field of knowledge production normalizing categories into disciplining subject positions and leaves other sexual practices and affective relations unintelligible and invisible. Furthermore, I explore the strategic use of three Islamic concepts: zauj, tawhid and rahmatan nil alamin, and suggest that these concepts challenge the priority given to the concept of gender within Acehnese feminist analysis and open up a space for intersectional understanding of normativity and feminism that goes beyond anthropomorphism – space that falls under the premise of Islamic law and the developmentalist state.

Human anatomy and sex difference in the body Some people think gender is about women or specific issues related to women. It is not. The term gender is about the socially and culturally accepted ideas, roles and responsibilities of what it means to be a woman or a man and are changeable over time. (BRR 2006b: 6, transl. by MJ4) Gender is a term that refers to social construction and values within a society about men’s and women’s roles. Gender does not mean sex, but gender implies that there are two sexes: men and women. (KKG n.d.: transl. by MJ)


‘This is gender!’ Gender is a difference that refers to roles and responsibilities of men and women which exist as a result of a social construction and which change according to the social and cultural norms of a community. (Pemerintah Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam 2009: transl. by MJ) Gender: socialized differences between men and women that change over time and place and are informed by society, culture, religion etc. … [Gender] differs from sex that [sic] describes the biological/physical differences between females and males. [Sex] [g]enerally cannot be changed. (OI 2004)

The above examples illustrate a common way of defining gender: to refer to it as socially and culturally constructed roles/responsibilities/differences/ideas between men and women. A common way to explain the concept of gender is to draw a distinction between gender and the concept ‘sex’. Sex is described as the biological differences between men and women and is thought to be universal, unchangeable, something that we are born with (BRR 2006b: 6).5 What is ‘sex’ anyway? … Is it natural, anatomical, chromosomal, or hormonal … [Is there a] history [of] how the duality of sex was established, a genealogy that might expose the binary options as a variable construction? (Butler 1997: 280) Anglo-American feminists adopted the concept gender initially to counter the biological determinism argument that biological sex determines one’s social and cultural characteristics and roles. ‘Gender’ was used to argue that there was no natural basis for the roles expected of women or men (Butler 1997: 279–80; Eveline and Bacchi 2005: 498; Scott 1986; Squires 1999: 54–55). The dominant notion of bodies in gender policy documents draws from the biological explanations of the differentiated sexes and reiterates a position that these bodies are different and separate, oppositional and exclusionary. In the Acehnese context, the notion of the binary of sexes and genders is reinforced with visual images (see Figure 3.1).6 Further, a review of the various gender policy documents reveals that the introduction of the concept pair sex/gender is often supported with visual symbols, such as male and female symbols from biology, two distinct human figures recognizable due to a gendered dress code, physical appearance and so on. At times the binary is constructed with reference to ‘natural’ duality and the interdependence of things, such as the legs and wings of the eagle.7 The brochure, ‘This is Gender/Apa Itu Gender’, published by the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment in Aceh, depicts ‘natural sex difference’ through a representation of the division between primary and secondary physical characteristics (see Table 3.1).

‘This is gender!’


Figure 3.1 Bureau for Women’s Empowerment, cover of the ‘This is Gender’ brochure Table 3.1 Bureau for Women’s Empowerment, ‘sex difference’

Primary physical characteristics Additional physical characteristics



Penis Testicles Semen/sperm Moustache and beard Broad chest

Vagina (lubang senggama)1 Ovum (Sel telur) Breast Soft skin Wide pelvis

Note: 1 ‘Lubang’ refers literally to a ‘hole’ and could also thus mean ‘womb’, but the function of the organ is made specific by combining it with the word ‘senggama’, which translates into ‘sexual intercourse or coitus’, normalizing the womb’s natural function as being for sexual intercourse ( n.d.).

A number of historians have, however, challenged the ‘naturalness’ of this construct drawing from the European and Arabic-Islamic scientific contexts (Foucault 1998; Laqueur 1990; Ze’evi 2006).8 Similarly, research in the Indonesian context suggests that various realms of gender and sexual liminality, also referred to as ‘sacred gender’, have had their specific space in various religious rituals, often drawing on their ability to mediate between gods and humans (Blackwood 2005: 866; Davies 2010; Peletz 2006; Wieringa


‘This is gender!’

2010: 149, 151–53). Gender ambiguity has played a role in the courts of the sultanate of Aceh, and Acehnese folklore tradition (Andaya 2006; Siapno 2002).9 Literature commissioned by the ruling sultans and written in old Malay (Hikayat Aceh, Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai)10 includes, for example, the story of the ‘Bamboo Princess’ (Puteri Betung). The Bamboo Princess is described as having had long, white hair growing from her chin, which the king tries to get rid of although the princess warns that doing so will kill her. The attempt to transform the princess into a ‘normal’ person kills her and leads to a bloody war between two kingdoms (Siapno 2002: 77–79). Historians (Andaya 2001; Andaya 2006: 177–78; Andaya 2008: 134–35; Khan 2010; Peletz 2006: 312–13) have further illustrated the important role played by androgynous capados or sida-sida11 in the Acehnese royal court. Sida-sida resided in the inner chambers of the palace and were common especially during the regime of queens, acting as intermediaries between the throne, her guests and officials. One of the capados, Raja Adona Lela, was considered equal to ministers of state. In fact, most known capados exercised considerable power, as they acted as gate keepers, controlling access to the throne (Andaya 2001: 95; Peletz 2006: 313). Furthermore, two popular Acehnese dances, biola Aceh and seudati, usually performed at weddings, involve cross dressing/male femininity. Sufism has a long history in Aceh and Sufist practice has included embodied performances that included competitions between male teams with a young ‘dancing boy’, known as sadati, dressed in female attire and performing youthful femininity. The boys were usually children of slaves from Nias or poor Acehnese from the highlands (Oetomo 2001: 52; Peletz 2009: 34). Manuscript literature has also descriptions of intercourse between younger boys and older men in the court, but also in the context of men immigrating in search of work (Ranto, rantau or merantau) (Karsh-Haack 1911: 185–218, quoted in Wieringa 2000: 450; Hurgronje 1906 on Hikayat Ranto, quoted in Oetomo 2001: 49–54).12 In contemporary Aceh, however, cross-dressing or crossing the sexed and gendered binary is publicly condemned based on a reading of the Qur’an according to which there should be clearly demarcated boundaries between the two sexes or genders. As a consequence, the two dance forms have gone through significant changes or been banned. Margaret Kartomi relates these changes to the formalization of Shari’a law and interpretations by Wahhabi and other orthodox ulama according to whom wearing female clothes is forbidden for men (for further details of these traditions see Kartomi 2003, 2004, 2005). Michael Peletz, in his analysis of religious regulatory processes in Malaysia, has called it ‘cleansing of locally defined masculinities, femininities and sexualities’ (Peletz 2002: 257). Finally, although Sufism has a long history in Aceh, in the contemporary context of formalization of Shari’a Islam, no Islamic feminist accounts in Aceh specifically refer to Sufism as a potential feminist alternative

‘This is gender!’


interpretation of Islam as text and law (see Ahmed 1991: 65–66; Shadiqin 2009a; Shaikh 2009) although Sufi and Neo-Sufi groups have criticized the shari’atization process in Aceh (Ichwan 2011: 214).. However, oral traditions in Aceh use the concept of keramat, which refers to sacred and supernatural powers. The Acehnese have narratives about human beings with supernatural powers, transforming themselves into other bodily forms (both human and non-human), having multiple flexible identities, having the power of invisibility and invulnerability. Many of these creatures are females who have chosen an ascetic life outside the bonds of familial relations and worldly power. These ascetic supernatural creatures are only found in oral traditions, not in the manuscript literature, which is considered to privilege upper-class and elite values. Siapno argues that there is a difference in the way in which female characters are portrayed in the manuscript literature and in the oral traditions, particularly related to movement and the politics of mobility: in the manuscript literature females are portrayed as passive and immobile, whereas oral traditions emphasize women’s physical activity and high mobility (Siapno 2002: 83–85, 89). As Saskia Wieringa suggests, however, ritualistic or folklore traditions of gender ambiguity do not automatically translate into a widespread acceptance of other forms of gender or sexual diversity, but rather they might go together with the condemnation of same-sex practices outside of the ritual context (Wieringa 2010: 151). Yet, historical and ritualistic gender ambiguity has become part of the rights discourse advocated by sexual rights activists in their claims for universal rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity (Boellstorff 2005b: 35–36; Davies 2010: 58–60; Oetomo 2006: 331; Wieringa 2010: 158).

Sex difference and gender in the Acehnese interpretation of Islam ‘Islamic tradition has, by and large, remained rigidly patriarchal until the present time, prohibiting the growth of scholarship among women particularly in the realm of religious thought’ (Hassan 1987). Islamic feminist scholarship has risen to this challenge and has primarily focused attention on the question of religious authority: who has the power to make interpretations, who is listened to as a religious authoritative figure, and how is Islamic law interpreted? The feminist reinterpretation focuses on the same key sources as those from which the Islamic law tradition draws: the Qur’an, Hadith and fiqh.13 It is argued, for instance, that the subordinate position of women within the Islamic context is, amongst other things, based on misogynistic interpretations of key verses of the Qur’an such as Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:34 and Q.S. al-Baqarah [2]:228. These verses are used to justify men’s authority over women. Feminist scholars argue that this justification is based on a literal reading of the texts, neglecting to connect the verse to the context or to other texts (Muhammad 2007: 87–88). Based on this literal reading it is often concluded that ‘God made men the leader[s], the authority,


‘This is gender!’

the controller[s] and the teacher[s] of women, while women are to be led, restrained, controlled, and taught’ (ibid.: 88). This interpretation has become fixed, and provides the basis for legal decisions, and thus has consequences for all other aspects of gendered human life (ibid.). In the following, I focus on how gender policy documents use feminist Islamic reinterpretations of the Qur’an, construct new reinterpretations in order to discuss gender and gender equality in the Acehnese context. By participating in the reinterpretation of Islam, Islamic feminist scholarship reproduces knowledge of Islam, and as such is an interesting focus of analysis. A growing body of literature has started focusing on the study of Islam, and more specifically the study of Islamic law, as a discursive tradition (see Asad 1986: 17–18, quoted in Feener and Cammack 2007: 3). Although this is also the case for Indonesia, and increasingly for Aceh as well, until now there have been no specific studies of the discursive practices of Acehnese Islamic feminists and their relationship to the official discourse of gender mainstreaming. What follows does not attempt to provide a comprehensive study of the discursive practices of Islamic feminism in Aceh. Rather, it provides an insight into how Islamic discourse appears in gender policy documents relating to gender equality, and how this discourse participates in naturalizing the distinction between sex and gender, the naturalization of the binary of sexes and of heterosexual desire. Most of the provincial government’s gender documents reinforce principles of gender equality and equity using reinterpretations of various verses of the Qur’an: men and women are from the same creation (Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1; Q.S. al-A’raf [7]:189; Q.S. az-Zumar [39]:6); have equal rights and duties (Q.S. alBaqara [2]:187); have the same duty and mandate to manage the world and make it prosperous (Q.S. al-Fathir [35]:39); men and women can be equally pious, altruistic and dedicated (Q.S. al-Ahzab [35]:35 and [35]:73, Q.S. anNahl [16]:97) (KPP 2002; see also Ismail 2007c: 29; and Ismail 2007a). I argue that whilst challenging the literal interpretation of the Qur’an by focusing on the aspect of equality between men and women, the naturalness of the binary of sexes is simultaneously reiterated. This can be illustrated by focusing on two examples: first, how gender policy documents interpret the first verse of Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1. This verse is one of the most quoted verses used to elaborate the creation of humanity, on the one hand,14 and to argue for inequality/equality of humans on the other. Second, I will show how gender documents naturalize women’s reproductivity. Creation of humanity in pairs The first verse of al-Nisâ is: à yâ ayyu-hâ al-nâs ittaqû rabba-kum al-ladhî khalaqa-kum min nafs wâhida wa khalaqa min-hâ zawja-hâ wa baththa min-humâ rijâ kathîr wa

‘This is gender!’


nisâ’, wa ittaqû Allâh al-ladhî tasâ’alûn bi-hî wa al-arhâm. Innâ Allâh kâna ‘alay-kum raqîba. Hai manusia, bertaqwalah kepada tuhanmu yang telah menciptakan kamu dari diri (nafs) yang satu, dan darina Allah menciptakan isterinya (zaujaha) dan dari kedua-duanya Allah mengembang biakkan laki-laki dan perempuan … (Syam 2007: 9, emphasis added) O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) he created his wife [Hawa (Eve)], and from the both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. (Adnan 2004: 9, emphasis added) Reverence, Your [Rabb], Who created you from a single nafs [‘Person’], created, of like nature, [its] zawaj [mate] and from them twain, scattered (like seeds), Countless men and women; – Reverence God, through Whom Ye demand your mutual (rights). (Ali 178, quoted in Barlas 2002: 133, emphasis added) The starting point for Islamic feminists’ re-interpretations has been the way in which the verse is interpreted in the classical texts to justify the subordinate position of women: arguing that Hawa/Eve was created after Adam and/or from his rib bones (Abubakar 2005a, 2005b; Ismail 2008: 69; Sofyati 2005: 8). This is particularly the case in the Hadiths by Bukhari and Muslim that state that ‘a woman is like a crooked rib or she was created from rib: it will break if you try to straighten it’ (Muslim book 8, #3468, accessed from USC 2007–9). Najib Qibtiyah accounts for three distinct attitudes towards the Hadith.15 First, scholars argue that the Hadith is authentic (shahih) and that woman was created from a man’s rib and as a result woman is inferior to man. Second, some scholars agree that the Hadith is authentic, but they interpret the Hadith as a metaphor, women are weak, and thus women should be treated nicely and carefully. The third group of scholars reject the Hadith arguing that its meaning does not fit the Qur’anic spirit. Rather, they relate the verse to other verses (such as Q.S. al-Nisâ [5]: 1 and Q.S. al-A’raf [7]:189) that confirm that man and woman are created from a single soul (Qibtiyah 2007). Those feminist Islamic scholars who attempt to reinterpret misogynist readings of the Qur’an usually begin their argumentation with a reinterpretation of the verse Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1. By providing an historical analysis of the Hadith, it is argued that the interpretation that Hawa was created from the rib of Adam originates from the biblical tradition (Genesis 2:18–24) and Isra’iliyyat stories rather than from pure Islamic reasoning (Adnan 2004: 8;


‘This is gender!’

Munir 2004: 3). On other occasions, alternative interpretations of the verse are provided arguing that Hawa was in fact made from the same material as Adam (Adnan 2004: 76; Danial 2008: 8; Husein 2008: 40–45; Ismail 2007c, 2008).16 The primary argumentation is that this re-reading of the verse implies that the equality of men and women is one of the basic principles in the Qur’an (Kodir 2007: 22). In order to counter the notions of inequality between men and women, Acehnese Islamic scholar Nurjannah Ismail (2007b, 2008) provides an analysis of the verse Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1 and of the concepts nafs wahidah and zaujah, concepts that are commonly interpreted as Adam (man) and Hawa (woman). Using the feminist interpretations provided by Riffat Hassan and Amina Wadud, Ismail argues that the important question is not about who was created first, but rather whether Hawa was created from the same soil as Adam, or whether was she created from part of Adam’s body. Ismail (2007b) argues that the concept nafs wahidan does not refer to Adam, because the term is neutral in gender and singular, and thus, does not automatically refer to a man or woman, but rather to a single soul. Similarly the word zauj is neutral in gender and is used in the Qur’an to refer to mate, partner, or group (Ismail 2008: 69). Ismail concludes that Adam and Hawa were created from the same substance, and thus there were no differences between two of them (Ismail 2007c: 30; see also Adnan 2004: 10, 19, 157–58). Raihan Putry Muhammad, lecturer at Ar-Raniry University and the former head of the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, uses the same verse to argue that both women and men have human rights since both are from the same origin and both are God’s creations. Muhammad aligns herself with Amina Wadud’s interpretation and argues that women and men have equal tasks and responsibilities and in the end will both receive a just reward from God. However, the argument that men and women are from the same soul is used to argue further that each is needed to complement the shortages or inadequacies of the other (Muhammad 2005: 27; see also Adnan 2004: 159). According to this idea, Hawa/Eve was not an addition to Adam’s creation, but an integral part of it: the two could not be separated from each other (ibid.). Using Pakistani Sheikh Abdurrauf ’s interpretation of the verses Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, Q.S. al-Baqara [2]:30 and Q.S. az-Zuriyat [51]:56, Muhammad concludes that ‘men and women have the same status within the existence of humanity’, and further that this is confirmed in a Hadith originating from Ahmad, Abu Daud and Tarmizi: ‘Indeed, women are men’s “sisters with [a] womb”’ (Muhammad 2005: 27).17 Remarkably, according to this view, the reproductive parts of the female body (womb) remain at the core of human relations. However, the notion of reproduction as an inherent function of the female body has divided secular feminist debates. Judith Butler (1990) would argue that there is nothing natural about the way in which motherhood is thought to belong to the female body, whereas Julia Kristeva posits that the maternal body belongs outside of discursive construction. For Butler, the understanding of the maternal body

‘This is gender!’


reiterates the notion of motherhood as compulsory for women, and she argues it is time to ‘cure ourselves of the illusion of a true body beyond the law’ (Butler 1990: 127). The reproductive body as a natural body? The naturalness of reproductive roles provides an important discursive strategy to stabilize the binary of two distinctive sexes, and their primary physical characters: Sex refers to sex difference between men and women, which is biological, kodrat, blessing by the God18 which cannot be changed, namely: menstruation, pregnancy, giving birth and breast feeding. (BPPPA 2008a, transl. by MJ, emphasis added) Anatomical sex differences and the reproductive role is naturalized using the term kodrat, i.e. the intrinsic nature of woman and man established by ‘God’s will’ and the ‘creation of God’ (BPP n.d.; Nursiti et al. 2007: 30; Tiwon 1996: 48). Most of the gender policy documents articulate the existence of kodrat only in relation to the female body and none challenge this normalized understanding of reproduction. An exception to this is a slide used by the Women’s Study Centre at IAIN Ar-Raniry based in Banda Aceh in their gender training sessions, which explains men having a kodrat: insemination (spermatozoa) (Anonymous n.d.; see also Jamil and Lubis 2003: 61). Although kodrat is a social construction, it is built on various local ideals, which are often portrayed as universal and pre-discursive (Dzuhayatin 2001: 256–60; Wieringa 2003: 72).19 In fact, I only heard one gender training facilitator suggesting that pregnancy was a choice (pilihan), thus opening a possibility for new interpretations of what constitutes kodrat. The construct of kodrat as reproductive destiny can be read as a feminist attempt to respond to the biologically deterministic reading of gender roles which had become prominent in the New Order period in Indonesia, and which also emerged from the classical and literal interpretations of the Qur’an: due to kodrat men are the breadwinners of the family whereas women are meant to stay home. In these contexts kodrat is associated with men’s position as the head of the household (in accordance with the marriage law from 1974), and women’s responsibility to cook, do laundry, nurture and stay home (Abubakar 2005a, 2005b; Ismail 2007c, 2008). This naturalness is further supported with the idea of a complementary relationship and partnership between a man and a women,20 for example: Indeed Allah created creatures in this world always in pairs, there is day and there is night, there is sun and there is moon, there is earth and there is heaven, there are men and there are women. All these are signs of the greatness of Allah. (KPP 2002: transl. by MJ)


‘This is gender!’ In its essence, humanity was created to become women and men. The two were created as different [from one another] in order to be mutually equipped to use the development of a new strength (synergy) that is stronger, and beneficial for the sustainability of the humanity on this earth. (BKKBN and UNFPA 2005: 3, transl. by MJ, emphasis added) Shari’a Islam positions relations between women and men within the domestic sphere as a husband and a wife, which forms the basic principle of equality. (Muhammad 2008b: 3, transl. by MJ)

The distinction between sex and gender and the emphasis on how sex as kodrat, a creation of the God, is stable, has become an important discursive strategy with which to advocate gender equality. However, although gender policy documents repeatedly emphasize the principle of ‘sameness’ as a key principle of the Qur’an,21 it is clarified that equality does not mean that all differences should disappear (see e.g. Muhammad 2001, 2008b). What are those differences that would remain? For example, Muhammad (2008b) draws attention to two key differences maintained in the Qur’an: regulation of sex differentiation in Muslim clothing (Q.S. an-Nur [24]: 31) and the division of gender roles within a family (taklif nafkah): YUSUFALI: The mothers shall give such to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. (Q.S. al-Baqara [2]: 233) Whereas in places gender policy documents clarify that kodrat only refers to ‘natural’ reproductive roles (pregnancy, giving birth, breast feeding), these ‘kodrat roles’ are on other occasions used to ‘naturalize’ the division of labour in the household: caring for children is primarily a woman’s task, whereas livelihood is the man’s. This illustrates that although gender advocates make a differentiation between biological and social gender roles in attempting to explain the difference between sex and gender, on other occasions they provide examples of ‘natural’ roles that contradict their own logic. As a consequence, some go on to argue that the word equality (kesamaan, kesetaraan) should not be used in Aceh, as it assumes sameness between men and women and that this could potentially lead to situations in which ‘men start wearing lipstick and high heels’. These arguments relate to the fear of transgressing the boundaries between male and female or losing sight of the difference between men and women. Some argue that instead of equality it is better to use the word equity (keadilan). However, to replace the word

‘This is gender!’


‘equality’ with ‘equity’ opens up another debate: what is considered ‘just’ can be argued from both literal and contextual readings of the Qur’an. These examples illustrate how articles on gender, produced by both academics and the Acehnese provincial government bureaucrats, deploy feminist Islamic interpretation to argue for equality between men and women. Their analysis provides evidence that Adam and Hawa were created equals in the eyes of the God, and consequently reiterates the idea of ‘equal partnership between men and women’ and the ‘naturalness of two sexes’. Although it is designed to argue for equality between men and women, this reading of the Qur’anic verse also naturalizes the existence of two sexes within a heterosexual matrix. Indonesian scholar Etin Anwar, in her research of systems of gender norms and construction of self (nafs in Arabic) in Islam, uses Butler to make her argument. The ontological self, the self that is given by God through the creation of the human being, provides the basic foundation for the commonality of all humans insofar as they share a common origin and a similar human form. However, the way the material or embodied self is sited, and the knowledge it produces, is normatively bound to the geo-political locality of the Muslim world (Anwar 2006: 3). Understandings of masculinity and femininity and the making of material/embodied self are shaped by religious knowledge, power and cultural practices. These are articulated in religious narratives and opinions (fatwa), social institutions, legal systems and norms that foster the construction of the material self (ibid.: 94). In Anwar’s reading of Islam through Butler, the Islamic concept of ‘self ’ (nafs) is multifaceted and constructed within the framework of Islamic teachings. ‘Self ’ to Anwar appears as a constituent of self-becoming that is constructed within certain social, religious, philosophical and cultural worldviews. Thus, the self is not static. It is influenced by constant exposure to what is religiously ethical and psychologically acceptable in one’s immediate environment and society (ibid.: 118–20). Anwar makes an interesting use of Butler’s concept of performativity of self, and draws from Islamic teachings producing an idea of self as constructed by locally defined norms and expectations, interpretations of the Qur’an and the Hadith. This opens up the possibility of analysing the normative boundaries of the hermeneutics through which Islamic norms are legitimized (Sharify-Funk 2008: 23). For example, Samar Habib (2007, 2008) provides what she calls ‘queer-friendly Islamic hermeneutics’ through a detailed reading of the works of fiqh scholars who have provided counter-narratives to the strictly prohibitive interpretations of homosexuality and transgenderism. In the last section of this chapter I will illustrate the different ways in which Islamic feminist scholars have produced new readings of the Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1 and the concept of the ‘unity of all humanity’ (tawhid), thus opening up new possibilities for the discussion of gender and sexuality that go beyond the heteronormative framework and human-centred notions of feminism and how that is strategically used in Acehnese and a wider Indonesian context.


‘This is gender!’

Feminist theories as a discursive practice Chapter 1 outlined how governance feminism, feminist engagement at national and international forums, has changed the normative basis of understanding ‘national development’, and ‘development and post-disaster aid’ contexts. ‘Recycling’ or integrating feminist definitions and theoretical ideas forms an important way in which gender policy documents establish knowledge on gender. Thus, academic feminist practice participates in both reiterating and subverting the normative boundaries of gender mainstreaming. In fact, the review of gender policy documents provided here reveals how certain texts and references in government policy documents and advocacy materials originate in women’s studies course materials and academic articles. Remarkably, the various government documents that elaborate the concept of gender in the Acehnese context seem to reference only a limited number of Anglo-American (or Anglo-American influenced) sources, such as Webster’s New World Dictionary, the Women’s Studies Encyclopaedia, and the writings of Hilary M. Lips, Linda L. Lindsey, H.T. Wilson, Elaine Showalter, Julia Mosse, Ann Oakley, or Mansour Fakih, a well-known Indonesian NGO activist. In the Indonesian context, the sex/gender binary has been an integral part of the secular and Muslim/Islamic feminist discourse since the 1980s. One of the most influential references has been Mansour Fakih’s book, Gender Analysis and Social Transformation (Analisis Gender & Transformasi Sosial), published in 1996. Fakih argues that: gender refers to differences that are neither biological nor God’s destiny. Biological difference, namely sex difference, is God’s destiny and therefore permanently different. (Fakih 1996: 71, transl. by MJ) Fakih references his definition of gender to Ann Oakley’s book, Sex, Gender and Society: Towards a New Society, published in 1972. A closer look reveals, however, that Fakih’s definition is a simplified version of Oakley’s original one and the part that ‘got lost in translation’ in Fakih’s text provides a subversive crack into the dominant heteronormative sex/gender definition. Oakley’s version reads: ‘Sex’ is a biological term; ‘gender’ a psychological and cultural one. Common sense suggests that they are merely two ways of looking at the same division and that someone who belongs to, say, the female sex will automatically belong to the corresponding (feminine) gender. In reality this is not so. To be a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, is as much a function of dress, gesture, occupation, social network and personality, as it is of possessing a particular set of genitals. (Oakley 1972: 158, emphasis added)

‘This is gender!’


Oakley highlights the possibility of looking at the sex/gender divide and of performing one’s gender differently yet, significantly, this is omitted from Fakih’s text. Another remarkable omission happens in reference to Hilary M. Lips’s book Sex and Gender: An Introduction. Several sources written in 2007 refer to the 1988 version of the book and refer to a section of the introductory chapter in which Lips defines gender as cultural expectations for women and men (Hasan 2008; Ismail 2007a; Umar n.d.). A newer edition of the same book published in 2005 includes a new chapter titled ‘Masculinity and Femininity: Myths and Stereotypes’, which analyses how theorizing the concept of gender has changed since the first version of the book. By referencing the first edition, the sources miss the analysis of gender theories, including the feminist critique of phallocentrism and gender identity, gender roles and sexual orientation (Lips 1988: 54–100), and thus participate uncritically in normalizing the heteronormative analytical framework of gender policies.22 These examples illustrate why, for Judith Butler, categories are ‘never merely descriptive, but always normative’ (Butler 1992: 15–16). Feminism, when discussed at all in the policy documents, is introduced using a list familiar to any student of women’s studies: for example, the central government’s gender guideline introduces liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, ecofeminism and the Third World women’s movement, whereas the Acehnese sources seem to differentiate between ‘radical, liberal and social feminism’, on the one hand, and ‘Islamic and Islamist feminism’ on the other (BPP 2007: 16), or ‘liberal, radical, Marxist and socialist feminism’ (Nursiti et al. 2007: 59). The KKTGA’s (Kelompok Kerja Transformasi Gender Aceh) training manual, furthermore, refers to varying feminist traditions in different parts of the world by acknowledging pluralism, respect for justice, equality and solidarity within feminism, and refers to ‘respect and openness towards differences in relation to religion, ethnicity, race, ideology, sexual orientation, gender, social class, and nationality’ (ibid.: 59). Radical feminism is introduced as a ‘school of thought’ that aims to destabilize biological essentialism; it is represented as an approach that sees anything related to ‘male creatures’ as negative and oppressive. One particular document connects radical feminism with lesbian identity politics by arguing that radical feminism aims to ‘reject [the] family institution, both theoretically and practically, break off relations with men, form lesbian groups and develop women’s culture’ (BKKBN and UNFPA 2005: 30). This comment echoes the official statements made by government ministers and President Wahid of the impossibility of Indonesian lesbian citizens existing. According to these government representatives, ‘lesbianism’ is in conflict with the ideals governing Indonesian women’s citizenship. According to this view, there cannot be such things as lesbian mothers, lesbian families, or lesbian Indonesian citizens. Consequently, references to ‘lesbianism’ in the government’s gender documents are used to strengthen the heteronormative ideal of gender equality in the discourse of the state. The KKTGA training manual also reflects upon


‘This is gender!’

this tendency: ‘those who oppose [feminism] harshly, often are of the opinion that feminists violate the power of God by becoming lesbians and burning their bras’ (Nursiti et al. 2007: 58). Thus, the radical feminist position is represented by the state actors as the ‘other’, elevating harmonious relationships and partnerships23 as the desired model for gender mainstreaming, constructing an ideal home (see the discussion in Chapter 4), and thus aligning with the wider heteronormative ideals of gendered and sexualized citizenship.24 Accordingly, the government policy documents continuously emphasize social harmony, partnership and the combination of both. Such norms have wide resonance with the national discourse on Indonesian national unity and the Indonesian or Acehnese ‘character’ (BPPPA 2008a; BPP n.d.; KPP 2002; Wieringa 2005: 23).25 Disturbance to the seemingly harmonious situation can be caused by ‘knowledge of facts that might rupture the tenuous and unstable religious or social consensus’ (Wieringa 2005: 23). As long as people are not confronted with certain behaviours or ways of life then those ways of life are not condemned (ibid.). It has become common practice to value silence about sexualities, to hide underlying heteronormative power relations and mask violence and discrimination (Siapno 2009a). Such silence in relation to nonheteronormative ways of life can potentially offer a positive private space for those who do not conform with the heterosexual norms, but it also potentially isolates them and makes violence and discrimination invisible.

Subverting the naturalized sex/gender divide While in Aceh, it became obvious to me that simultaneously with the formal attempts to govern gender through the heteronormative gender binary, public activism, especially on international commemoration days, was an important venue for Acehnese activists to perform and subvert the dominant gender regime within the post-tsunami reconstruction landscape. Thus, I argue that the subversive use of international commemorative days26 led to the emergence of new political subjects in Aceh. I focus here on two occasions of counter-conducts that challenge the normalized division into ‘natural’ sex and ‘socially constructed’ gender, the binary of sexes, and the naturalized assumption of heterosexual desire. International Women’s Day in 2007: waria challenge the notion of ‘human’ IWD, celebrated each year on 8 March, was widely celebrated in Indonesia until 1965, when the Suharto regime banned it due to its assumed ideological association with communism. In Aceh, however, it has been continuously celebrated both during the conflict and after the tsunami, and has been popularly regarded as a form of resistance to central government gender ideologies (Bianpoen 2000). In 2007, the Banda Aceh-based Gender Working Group (GWG) prepared a gender analysis of the reconstruction and rehabilitation process for IWD, pointing out the missed opportunities of past

‘This is gender!’


reconstruction efforts (KKG 2007). They recommended a clear focus on women’s concerns, such as ending violence against women and raising concerns about the discriminatory implementation of Shari’a law (ibid. see also discussion in Chapter 2). The evaluation report was presented to the provincial governor after the ‘long march’ across the town. Banners held by the participants included: ‘End the violence against women’ and ‘only kodrat differentiates men and women from each other’ (Rakyat Aceh 2007). These banners were indicative of the politics of mainstream women’s empowerment and gender advocacy activism in Aceh: highlighting the continuing violence against women and hard line interpretations of the gender roles of men and women using literal interpretations of the Qur’an. What is remarkable about the event is that for the first time waria (male-tofemale transgender) joined the Gender Working Group demonstration with a banner, ‘Waria are humans too’ (AK News 2007). The first reading of the statement ‘waria are humans too’ could rather easily be seen as an attempt to demand that the governor include and hear them in the overall post-tsunami reconstruction context as waria. This demand could also be seen as a continuation of a longer process of campaigning for recognition of waria as citizens of Indonesia. In 1997 in Indonesia, the association of waria, Himpunan Waria Musyawarah Keluarga Gotong Royong, asked the Social Department of the Republic of Indonesia to acknowledge them as an identity group and to recognize their existence as a kodrat (MUI 1997).27 The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), in its official answer (fatwa) referenced al-Bukhâri,28 and stated that men who behave and dress intentionally as women are forbidden (haram) and banned by the religion. The MUI requested that those who had deviated revert to their original kodrat with the help of psychologists, and demanded that the waria organization be dissolved (ibid.).29 However, the statement can be seen to have more nuanced meanings, when put into the more specific context of Aceh. In Aceh, the Social Department of the provincial government recognized waria as one of the groups that requires ‘reintegration’, or a return to ‘normal society’: Acehnese regulation 23/2001 mandates one section of the Social Department to ‘serve, construct and develop former convicts, child convicts, tramps, beggars, prostitutes, waria and scavengers’ (Gubernur Daerah Istimewah Aceh 2001). Further, the formalization of Shari’a law has had a specific gendered impact on the waria and their livelihoods. Local regulation 11/2002 prohibits mixed-sex salons and massage parlours in Aceh. Beauty salons have been one of the major sources of livelihood for waria, and largely the only occupation where they are accepted (Serambi Indonesia 2007). In 2008, the Ulama Council in Aceh (Majelis Permusyawaratan Ulama, MPU) ruled that all transgendered people and transvestites (bencong) must have a complete set of female genitalia through a surgical operation in order to complete their status as ‘proper women’, and that waria should comply with Muslim dress regulations for women (Harian Aceh 2008). The head of the Ulama Council, H. Muslem, interpreted the Qur’an arguing that there are


‘This is gender!’

three ‘types’ of gender transformations that are recognized: one who changes from male to female; one who changes from female to male; and those who are neutral (musaqqal). Waria, according to this perspective, are part of humanity, but their gender has to be confirmed, since ‘whoever is not woman or man is sick and has to be treated/cured’ (ibid.). The Head of the Ulama Council mentioned waria in conjunction with gays and lesbians, stipulating that if waria, gays and lesbians violate Shari’a law, they will be prosecuted, as will anybody violating the law (ibid.). These pronouncements point to the wider threat of forced surgical operations and reparative therapies, a commonly documented form of homophobia in different parts of the world, including in Indonesia (Butler 2004b; Habib 2007). This can be seen as a conscious attempt to return ‘deviant forms’ of sex and gender to the dominant binary. A long as gender policies reiterate the construction of a binary of sexes using the anatomical distinction, this normative violence remains invisible (Komnas Perempuan 2008a, 2008b). Thus, I suggest, drawing on Indonesian Islamic feminist scholars who have produced new interpretations of the verse Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, that the statement ‘waria are humans too’ can be seen as an attempt to subvert the meaning of the ‘human’ and what is ‘God given’, or kodrat. Furthermore, the banner ‘waria are humans too’ could also be read as a subversive act in relation to feminism and gender advocacy: subversion of the heterosexual matrix of gender advocacy and women’s activism, focusing on the regulatory norms and mechanisms that have clear consequences for a queer body. Thus, the statement can also be read as resistance to normativity and exclusion, making the legacy of trauma and violence visible (Chambers 2009; Cvetkovich 2003). By returning to readings of the verse Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, I will demonstrate how the Islamic feminist interpretation of the verse can go beyond the heteronormative frame. In his book Women and the Glorious Qur’an, Acehnese scholar Gunawan Adnan (2004) provides a hermeneutic analysis of the concept of gender equality by analysing the work of two interpreters/commentators (mufassirs), the Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Mutawali al-Sha’râwî (1911–98) and the Indonesian Sheikh Hasbi as-Siddiqi (1905–75). He examines their interpretations of the Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1 and compares them with those of four Muslim feminist thinkers: Amina Wadud, Asghar Ali Engineer, Riffat Hassan and Sharur. Adnan provides an extensive account of pre-Islamic Arab culture and identifies the epistemological and methodological backgrounds of the various interpretative frameworks. As for the Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, Adnan argues that Adam and Eve/Hawa are not specifically mentioned in this verse at all. Thus, to read the verse as narrating the creation of Adam and Hawa comes from the reading of other verses such as Q.S. al-Baqara [2]:30, or Q.S. al-Imran [3]:59, and from a Hadith that explicitly states that Hawa (woman) was created from the rib of Adam (Adnan 2004: 154). Adnan provides a detailed analysis of two different and contradicting interpretations of the verse: that Hawa was created from the rib of Adam, and that the verse has no relation to the discussion of Adam and Hawa at all (ibid.: 151–57).

‘This is gender!’


Riffat Hassan’s article ‘Equal Before Allah?’ provides further evidence. Hassan argues that nowhere in that verse is it stated that Adam was the first human being, or that Adam was a male, as the term ‘Adam’ although being a masculine noun, is not the same as a masculine ‘sex’. Furthermore, ‘zauj’ is not necessarily a woman, as the term is a masculine noun, and has a feminine version ‘zaujatun’. Also, ‘zauj’, according to Hassan, should not be translated as a ‘wife’, ‘husband’ or ‘spouse’, but as a ‘mate’. In fact, Hassan argues, ‘zauj’ is used not only to refer to humans but to all of creation, including animals, plants and fruit (Hassan 1987). Remarkably, this wider conceptualization opens up the possibility of questioning the ‘naturalized’ binaries between human/nature, human/non-human and the overall anthropocentrism of feminism, the idea that feminism is focused on humans (see Butler 2004b; Cohen and Ramlow 2006; Giffney and Hird 2008). Instead of using the verse to reiterate the creation of sex differentiation and binary sexes (Adam and Hawa), in Hassan’s re-reading the verse is used to refer to all God’s creations, opening the way for questioning the sexual duality of human creations, and emphasizing the partnership between all creations. This potentiality is taken up by the Indonesian feminist scholar Siti Musdah Mulia (2008a, 2008b), who argues that the Indonesian translation of the verse reproduces heteronormative terminology: using the words Adam and Hawa and sometimes equating them with ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. Taking on board Hassan’s suggestion to use the word ‘mate’ instead, addressing a diverse seminar audience in Jakarta in 2008, Mulia argued that one could read the verse as on relationships that go beyond the heterosexual partnership of a wife and a husband. Mulia’s interpretation of the verse was later used in an article in the Jakarta Post titled ‘Gays, lesbians face discrimination in Aceh’, published in January 2010. ‘A local transsexual figure, Edy Saputra’, interviewed for the article, reiterated that in Islam humans were created in couples. However, s/he stated further that ‘there is not a detailed explanation on whether that couple is a man and a woman, two men, or two women’ (Simanjuntak 2010). In conclusion, sex difference is intentionally both reiterated and subverted in the narratives of the creation of humanity in Aceh. Judith Butler has argued that attempts to destroy the dominant narrative in order to give ‘rise to [a] more humane and radical set of gender practices’ does not work, as it would only ‘reiterate a culture of divide that makes no analysis possible’ (Butler 2006: 288–89). For Butler, another way forward is to engage with the narrative (the verse), and see what alternative readings are possible. Butler argues that such close reading does not deny biology, but rather asks ‘whether and how biology and social practice are understood in relation to one another’. She concludes: let a thousand conflicts of interpretation bloom … not because pluralism alone will ease our minds but because the proliferation of possible interpretations may well lead to the subversion of an authority that grounds


‘This is gender!’ itself in what may not be questioned. In such a world, questions, loud and clear, remain intrinsic goods. (Butler 2006: 288–89)

Thus, a closer reading of Riffat Hassan’s argument allows an alternative account that goes beyond the normative boundary set out in the gender documents that draw from the same verse. The statement ‘waria are humans too’ actively challenges the feminist practices of reading bodies through the heteronormative matrix: the binary and naturalness of two sexes and two genders. Although visible throughout the Indonesian archipelago including Aceh, waria – male-to-female transgendered – people remain invisible and excluded within the gender mainstreaming framework and most public policies. It is significant that none of the organizations working on gender issues have included waria as a category in their gender analysis, official documents or advocacy.30 As noted by Sa’ddiya Shaikh, ‘recovering marginalised histories is invaluable for those living religious communities who want to create new, expansive visions and future possibilities for their own humanity within their traditions’ (Shaikh 2009: 785). Yet, this opening is critically analysed against the disciplinary emergence of an Acehnese form of nationalism ‘played back’ at the commemoration of International Day for Eradication of Poverty in Banda Aceh in 2009. LBGTI anti-poverty campaigning in Aceh in 2009: playing back the nation? The International Day for Eradication of Poverty (17 October) was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. In Indonesia, the commemoration has been part of the advocacy events by various UN agencies, local NGOs, especially part of the advocacy on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, aiming to halve the population living in poverty globally. In the Acehnese context, the World Bank and UN Development Programme (UNDP) have indicated that although the poverty levels, i.e. income sufficient to cover basic living costs, have fallen from 30 per cent in 2002 into 22 per cent in 2009, the province of Aceh is one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia, the national average being 14 per cent (UNDP 2010: vii). The commemoration of the International Day for Eradication of Poverty in 2009 took place at Taman Sari (translated as fragrant gardens), a public park that has a history going as far back as the Acehnese sultanate, originally functioning as a private garden of the royal family. The park was later transformed into a public park and reconstructed after the tsunami in 2004. From the point of view of subversive queer politics, the park has a strategic location in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh: first, the park is surrounded by the office of the mayor of Banda Aceh (town administration), main mosque Baiturrahman (religion), tsunami museum (post-tsunami reconstruction context), but the park is also home to the memorial of the proclamation of

‘This is gender!’


independence of the Republic of Indonesia (state authority). Second, the park has become since the tsunami and the peace process a popular recreational space for emerging middle-class families in the evenings, especially during the weekends. The celebration of the International Day for Eradication of Poverty culminated in a march through the streets of Banda Aceh and a play performed by a waria theatre group at the park. The play was part of the public advocacy campaign of Violet Grey, a Banda Aceh-based LBGTI advocacy organization established in 2007. Some of the Violet Grey activists had worked in partnership with HIV/AIDS organizations active in Aceh, such as the National Commission on HIV/AIDS and Medan-Aceh partnership on HIV/AIDS, but the idea behind Violet Grey was to move beyond HIV/AIDS work and focus on empowering the LBGTI community in Aceh. Violet Grey uses the vocabulary and funding of the transnational LBGTI liberation and rights movement.31 Its initial funding for 2008–10 was provided by a Dutch humanitarian organization Hivos and the aim of the financial support was identified by Hivos to ‘strengthen LGBT organizations to claim the rights and interests of LGBT individuals’ (HIVOS n.d.).32 The anti-poverty event at Taman Sari was opened with ‘Indonesia Raya’, the national anthem of Indonesia, and followed by a prayer conducted by local ulama. The actual theatre play was opened with a poem titled ‘Puppet State’, recited by the executive director of Violet Grey and the director of the play: ‘Puppet State’ Welcome to the puppet state To a state where masks and phoniness is praised and worshipped Where false promises and songs are heard every day Whilst hunger is a cuckoo/parrot that celebrates the disorder There you can find those who build palaces reaching the sky With glittering and twinkling bath tubs While they feast on the bones of ordinary We live in a puppet state, my friend Which is the greatest, the most arrogant one and masked in hypocrisy Meanwhile slaves and servants crawl on their feet Now it is getting older and older, its hands crawling into all corners Tightly binding our feet and sucking our blood Welcome to the puppet state Let us witness this history! * Poverty is forced morality Poverty is a corrupted state Poverty is a fake state … The short play continued along the lines of the opening poem by addressing the question of poverty through practices of corruption, stigmatization of the


‘This is gender!’

poor and, significantly, representation of waria as street prostitutes. The latter is a commonly recognized image that is moralized by the media and the Acehnese government as a ‘social ill’ through its social rehabilitation policies. Organizations raising awareness of the situations of waria in Aceh, but also in other Indonesian contexts, have increasingly brought up the issue of poverty amongst waria as a violation of their social and economic rights. Although condemned as immoral by society at large, the beauty salon business or prostitution seem to be the only means of livelihood available for them. The mise-en-scène, staging or placing on stage, of the event at Taman Sari follows neatly what Tom Boellstorff (2005b) has called ‘dubbing the nation’ or ‘play back of the nation’: framing the event through the Indonesian anthem and the prayer. Thus, the activism in Taman Sari contextualized the lived experiences of poverty, harassment and stigma of waria through the Indonesian nationalism, Islam, but also through the heteronormative recreative space of Taman Sari. This framing was further reiterated in January 2010 when an Acehnese newspaper Aceh Kita News published an article titled ‘Gays and lesbians ask not to be banned’. This short article was based on interviews with a waria, a technical adviser to Violet Grey, and a representative from the local women’s organization RPUK (Women Volunteers for Humanity). The activists reiterated that: although society does not appreciate it, LBGT citizens surely are and will be part of the society, as part of humanity we are the same and have also the same rights. Perhaps it is not easy to understand, but it has to be tried … the state has to condemn discrimination and ban all forms of discrimination, referencing the Indonesian constitution that recognizes the right for family, right to legal certainty and justice, freedom of threat, discrimination and violence, which applies for all citizens of Indonesia. (Dara 2010) These public events resonated with the activism of the transnational LBGTI liberation and rights movement in other parts of Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and the USA, and in particular with the ongoing LBGTI advocacy at the UN on sexual orientation and gender identity. The emergence of LBGTI activism in Aceh has received attention within the transnational LBGTI movement primarily through the documentation of violence and the criminalization of homosexuality in Muslim countries. For example, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission rather problematically identified Violet Grey as ‘fight[ing] against the “Talibanization” of Aceh by advocating for Acehnese, Muslim LGBT people’ (IGLHRC 2010). The effects of such naming, however, should be analysed carefully, as at times references to events in Aceh have reinforced the circulation of Westernized, decontextualized and Islamophobic stereotypes of Islam in the Western media, neglecting the diverse Muslim contexts, and the pluralism of

‘This is gender!’


sexual practices that do not necessarily translate back to LBGTI identity politics, vocabulary or subject positions (Massad 2007). Significantly, the establishment of Violet Grey in 2007 took place in the aftermath of the widely debated incident of the beating up and sexual abuse of two suspected gay men by the residents of a local community and the local police in Banda Aceh in January 2007. During this incident, the two victims were forced to perform oral sex, which was videoed by the police (Amnesty International 2007). The Acehnese victim received protection from the Violet Grey activists and ‘went into hiding’, not wanting to press charges against the police. The non-Acehnese victim received support from both Acehnese and Jakarta-based women activists, fled to Jakarta, and raised the issue of violence conducted in the name of punishing abnormal sexualities and genders, taking the case through the Acehnese court system, and making his experience known both nationally and internationally. In November 2008 during the court procedures in Aceh, the judge lectured the victim, pronouncing that the police had ‘done the right thing in their treatment of him, thereby preventing another tsunami hitting Aceh’ (Emond 2009). The three police officers in charge were sentenced for a ‘minor offence’ and fines equivalent to that given for a failure to wear a motorbike helmet on the road (Rp.1,000 each, equivalent to €0.06). The allegation of torture made by the victim was not upheld. Discussions initiated on the GWG list server during 2007 and 2008 about this case led to further intimidation of the victim by a list member using a pseudonym, who was later expelled from the group. The debate caused strong division among the active members of the list and was reflected in my interviews conducted for this research. Some list members condemned the ‘LBGTI issues’ as haram (forbidden), did not want to be involved in the discussions and requested that the moderator remove the topic from the list server. Others condemned the issues in public, but remained supportive of the case in private, and yet others openly supported the victim, for example by attending the court session and preparations for it in Banda Aceh. Two other incidents drew international and Indonesian national media attention and illustrate the politicization of non-heteronormative and LBGTI activism locally. First, in September 2009, the provincial parliament passed the Islamic Criminal Law Bill (known locally as Qanun Jinayah). This bill criminalized all sex outside marriage alongside consensual same-sex acts: married adulterers could be punished by stoning to death and consensual sexual conduct (non-married adultery, same-sex relations) would be punishable with 100 lashes, a fine of 1,000 grams of gold, or 100 months in prison (Gubernur Aceh 2009).33 Both supporters and opponents of the bill demonstrated in front of the provincial parliament house at the time the bill was debated. Some of the anti-bill demonstrators said they were shouted at for being ‘kafirs’. Governor Yusuf Irwandi (2006–12) refused to sign the bill, and the bill is going through a new redrafting process. Second, the first waria ambassador contest (kontes duta waria) organized in Aceh in February 2010 was protested against by a group of students from the


‘This is gender!’

Syiah Kuala University and the Association of Acehnese Dayah ulama (Himpunan Ulama Dayah Aceh, HUDA). The representative of the students said they did not want Acehnese waria to be sent to the national-level contest as ‘the contest has already contaminated the name of Aceh’ and the executive director of HUDA reiterated: ‘the contest has stained the implementation of Shari’a Islam in Aceh’ (AK News 2010a, 2010b). Similarly the representatives of the Ulama Consultative Assembly in Banda Aceh (MPU) withdrew their permission for the event afterwards saying they were misled into thinking the permission was asked for a general social cause, such as a charity event. Event organizers explained in the media their primary motivation having been to show Acehnese society that waria can do positive things, and wanting to alleviate the stigma of waria as the ‘waste of society’ (Vivanews. com 2010). Thus, it seems, that whilst some of the gender advocates in Aceh draw normative limitations to gender advocacy through the heteronormative gender order, the reconstruction efforts, of which gender advocacy is part, have simultaneously offered, although at times reluctantly, spaces for local LBGTI activism. This activism uses strategically performative commemoration day demonstrations to challenge dominant gender norms, simultaneously reiterating Indonesian and Acehnese nationalism and citizenship through the ‘play back’. In the Acehnese context it is significant that although Violet Grey uses the acronym LBGTI or LBGT in its materials and interviews with the local and national media, female-to-male transgendered, bisexual and lesbian relationships remain invisible in their public appearances and advocacy.34 The invisibility from the public eye was remarkable throughout my fieldwork in Aceh between 2006 and 2009, and experiences and people were always referred to me in the third person. Closer attention to remarks made in interviews, discussions and meetings revealed that the invisibility did not mean ‘one does not exist’. These invisible spaces were highly protected from the outside gaze, including from researchers like myself, yet their existence was expressed with subtle expressions and gestures: as in a silence in the middle of an interview when discussing the social consequences of normative violence against those suspected of engaging in same-sex relations. All of a sudden there was a silence, yet the tears were falling on both of our faces. The recorder was on, but nothing could be heard, nor notes were made. In fact, invisibility/inaudibility, and un-naming, creates queer intimacy and withdrawal from the public performatives of global LBGTI activism, suggesting that intimacy is not always attached to sexual identity (Gunkel 2010: 536–7) nor ‘activist identity category’ (Blackwood 2001:6). Secession from the visible field of politics into a less invisible one can erupt and restructure the field of the visible (Butler 2009; Halberstam 2011; see also Siapno 2009b). As pointed out by some interviewees, women’s organizing had provided private and safe spaces for discussion of same-sex relations and female sexuality without turning it into an openly declared politics or policy advocacy on

‘This is gender!’


female sexuality. Similarly, as the implementation of Shari’a law in Aceh has enforced a separation of the sexes in public spaces, this separation is at times said to have caused same-sex acts. However, as suggested by Tuula Juvonen, this explanation avoids the possibility of homosexual desire and choice. Therefore sex separation could be said to make space for same-sex intimacy (Juvonen 2002: 149). However, to romanticize this space would be naïve and to overlook the publicly enacted violence and sexual abuse and harassment by their surrounding community, security forces (army, Shari’a police), or religious authorities.35 For example, in August 2011 the local Acehnese media reported a case of ‘same-sex marriage’ in Nagan Raya: two palm oil plantation workers, femaleto-male transgender Ranto and his spouse Nuraini, who had formally married using Ranto’s false identity card. Prior to their marriage, the local community was concerned that the couple was violating the local regulation banning intimate relationships for persons of the opposite sex prior to marriage (khalwat), yet after their marriage the community started suspecting that the husband indeed was ‘a woman’ and turned the couple in to the Shari’a police (Reuters 2011). After three days of detention, the Shari’a police forced the couple to sign an agreement never to meet again, religious authorities dissolved their marriage certificate and the couple returned to their parents in order to wait for the later adat punishment. In interviews Ranto explained that since his childhood he had felt he was a boy and had dressed as ‘a man’ ever since. Just two months earlier, a woman in Aceh Tamiang had filed criminal charges of an identity fraud against her husband three months into their marriage after realizing that ‘her husband was a woman’ (Suara-Tamiang. com 2011). Both cases circulated in local, national and international media and the religious authorities were quoted complaining of the lack of local regulations to help to resolve such cases: ‘In the Prophet’s book, people committing such a thing should be beheaded or thrown into the sea, but we don’t have that in our regulations’ (Reuters 2011). This comment could be seen as religious authorities supporting the proposed Qanun Jinayat criminalizing same-sex acts, which was shelved two years earlier, leaving volatile the space available for same-sex desires or transgenderism. Pluralism and tauhid: dislocating the focus of Acehnese feminism? As discussed in Chapter 1, feminist writing on gender has been strongly criticized by postcolonial feminists and women of colour for universalizing and prioritizing gender over other social differentiations and inequalities (Crenshaw 1991; Mohanty et al. 1991; Phoenix and Pattynama 2006). Furthermore, there is a more recent critique of the anthropomorphism of feminism (Braidotti 2006), i.e. the idea that feminism is focused on humans. This section illustrates how GWG email list discussions on the Islamic concepts tauhid/tawhid and rahmatan nil alamin challenge the dominant normative boundary of gender mainstreaming: the focus on gender inequalities restrictively.


‘This is gender!’

It is not that gender policy documents or gender reference guides do not discuss intersectionality at all – quite the contrary.36 For example, the presidential instruction on gender mainstreaming defines gender analysis: as a systematic process to identify and to understand the gender division of labour, access and control toward development resources, participation, benefit, unequal relations between men and women, and other factors such as caste, class, races and ethnicity. (MOVE 2002a: 62, emphasis added) ‘The other factors’ are then turned into a visual (Figure 3.2), which was produced as both a poster displayed on the wall of the Agency for Women’s Empowerment in Banda Aceh and an illustration in the ‘What is Gender?’ brochure (BPP n.d.). The Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) goes on to state in its gender equality strategy, that: a community is not a collection of equal people living in a particular geographic region. It is usually made up by [sic] individuals and groups who command different levels of power, wealth, influence and the ability to express their needs, concerns and rights. (BRR 2006b: 21, emphasis added) The BRR seems to promise an analytical focus on lived inequalities, which are not reduced into ‘factors’ or categories, such as in the first example.

is not given by birth

can change

social construct

place time ethnicity/race/nation

depends on


culture social status

religion not 'kodrat' forms humanity can be changed

relative characteristics can be obtained by both men and women


Figure 3.2 Agency for Women’s Empowerment, understanding gender

‘This is gender!’


However, a closer study of the indicators used in all key gender mainstreaming documents reveals that the analytical focus is, in fact, exclusively on inequalities between men and women and not on differences between women – implicitly assuming that all women share the same problems (BRR 2006a; BRR n.d.a, n.d.b, n.d.c, n.d.d, n.d.e, n.d.f). Gender inequality, understood as an inequality between men and women, is the primary, and at times the sole, focus of gender analysis. Thus, it leaves intersectional sensitivity hanging in the air. Furthermore, the formal response from the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment to my question ‘How does regional, ethnic, age, class, religion and sexuality, etc., appear in the gender mainstreaming initiatives?’ was, ‘Gender mainstreaming strategy does not take into account different class, religion ethic [sic], etc. It solely refers to different needs, problems and aspirations of men and women in family and society and different gender roles in our each [sic] society’ (Minister for Women’s Affairs). From Figure 3.2 we can infer that whereas gender is depicted as socially constructed and changing, the same does not seem to apply to the list of intersectionalities of place, temporality, ethnicity/race/nation, culture, social status, religion, or state/ideology. However, challenging the stability of these categories could open up the possibility of seeing the category ‘Acehnese’ or the ‘Acehnese Muslim women’ as politicized, constructed and changeable. In the current context in Aceh, it could raise an important, yet highly difficult question regarding the politicized nature of the interpretation of Shari’a law through which the norms of ‘proper Muslim behaviour’ are stabilized and normalized (see also Chapter 4). Furthermore, projects and initiatives that focus on post-tsunami reconstruction efforts all seem to focus on women as ‘tsunami victims’, as if all women were the same, or that all discrimination and violence could be discussed under the same rubric of ‘tsunami women’. When I approached local women activists and explained that my research focus was on gender advocacy, some of them refused to be seen as part of a movement that uses gender and/or sexuality as the basis of their activism, and said rather that they focus their activism on the eradication of wider social inequalities, gender included. For example, KKTGA’s gender training manual takes the wider questions of social inequalities as its starting point (Nursiti et al. 2007: 2) and that such an analysis provides understanding of social inequalities that are related to ideology, religion, government policies and development processes (ibid.). Furthermore, GWG list server discussions offered two Islamic concepts, tauhid/tawhid and rahmatan nil alamin, for the widening of the understanding of gender analysis by drawing on the idea of intersectionality of social inequalities and moving beyond human-centred feminist analysis. These concepts can also be seen as a feminist strategy to shift the focus of Shari’a from gendered morality as an end to the ideas of Islamic principles of social justice and welfare (see Miller 2010: 30) Tauhid/ tawhid is an Islamic concept that refers to the ‘fundamental equality and unity of all humanity’ (Mulia 2007: 39). The only difference between humans


‘This is gender!’

is the degree of their devotion and obedience to God, and the only one capable of judging this devotion is God (ibid.): YUSUFALI translation: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Q.S. al-Hujurat [49]:13)37 Mulia explains that: on a social level the power of the principle of tawhid gave the Prophet the courage to defend the weak, the oppressed and those who were rendered structurally and systematically powerless, such as women, slaves, and children, as well as those who were abused by their leaders and others who hold positions of power and hide their cruelty behind the name of God. (Mulia 2007: 42) Although Mulia and other Islamic feminists (Mulia 2004, 2007; see also MiSPI 2008: 74) often use the concept of tawhid to argue for gender equality between men and women, or protection of minority groups, the above quote can be read as establishing a wider agenda against discrimination and inequality, as in the concept rahmat nil alamin, which translates into ‘mercy/ grace for all creatures’ and refers to a universal principle towards all God’s creations (Kugle 2003: 195). Thus, both concepts allow recognition of intersectionality of norms and challenge the anthropocentrism of feminism, the idea that feminism is focused only on humans (Braidotti 2006). Considering the concern that the Acehnese environmental organizations have raised about the potential environmental damage of reconstruction efforts and effects of climate change in Aceh (Eye on Aceh 2006), such a new opening has the potential to change dramatically the current feminist focus from policy advocacy on ‘women’ or ‘gender’ in natural resources and climate change, towards a more holistic approach.

Conclusion This chapter has focused on providing a picture of the normative boundaries and potential subversiveness of the concept of gender in the Acehnese gender mainstreaming policies. Three discursive practices were identified that normalize the sex/gender division, the naturalness of sex and the reproductive function of women: arguments that draw from biology, theology and a selected use of feminist theory.

‘This is gender!’


Drawing on examples of activist demonstrations in Aceh, such as the celebration of IWD in 2007 and IPED in 2009, the chapter documented an emerging subversion to the dominant gender advocacy discourse. This subversion emerges through narratives of gendered and sexualized violence and abject bodies that simultaneously provide alternative ways to construct sex, gender and sexuality and thus push the normative boundaries of gender advocacy. These alternative constructs on gender point towards possibilities for alternative formulations of the concept of gender and feminism: ones that are released from the assumption of a naturalized binary of sexes, the assumption of compulsory heterosexuality and the assumption that a female sex automatically corresponds with feminine gender identity or gender roles. Thus, in accordance with liberal logics of governmentality, gender mainstreaming creates space for emerging Acehnese homonormativity, combining ideals of modern and urban citizenship, religious identity and Acehnese/ Indonesian nationalism. By bringing to light violence that is targeted at those deviating from dominant sexual and gender norms in Aceh, this activism acts as a field of knowledge production: it normalizes universal LBGTI categories and celebrates ‘coming out’ and public visibility. It leads, potentially, to new forms of disciplinary subject positions and leaving other sexual practices and affective relations unintelligible and invisible. The chapter further suggested that within gender advocacy in Aceh, gender oppression is not necessarily the only priority for feminist activism, nor gender the only source of discrimination faced by women. The chapter illustrated how understanding of ‘intersectionality’ is debated by using the Islamic concept of zauj, which is used in the Qur’an not only to refer to humans but all of creation, including animals, plants and fruit, and the discourse of ‘unity of all humanity’ (tawhid), and ‘mercy/grace for all creatures’ (rahmat nil alamin). These concepts challenge not only the priority given to gender, but also the human-centredness of feminist analysis, but function under the premise of Islamic law and developmentalist state. All in all, the subversive strategies of gender illustrate how the norms and the focus of feminist analysis are in a constant process of negotiation. In the following chapters the analytical gaze is turned on the intersectionality of norm production, i.e. how norms on gender contribute to normalizing other categories and differentiations and silences of experience.

Notes 1 The title of this chapter uses the title of the ‘gender brochures’ produced by both the central and provincial government, Apa Itu Gender. 2 A quote from Hilkka Pietilä, who has participated in all four UN World Conferences on Women as one of the Finnish civil society representatives. 3 Rachel Kyte on the Beijing Conference. 4 Translations made by the author are marked as ‘transl. by MJ’. 5 Judith Halberstam uses the terms ‘female/male born’ to indicate a social practice of assigning one of the two genders to babies at birth, emphasizing that these



7 8



11 12

13 14



‘This is gender!’ assignations might not be lifetime assignations and that individuals may fail to comply with these assignations altogether (Halberstam 1998: 280, footnote 10). See Jauhola 2010 for a detailed analysis of this image in relation to constructs of ‘modernity’, ‘moderate Muslim’ identity and the ‘heteronormative harmonious home’. The image was an alteration of the logo of the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment portrayed in Figure 4.4. For a subversive reading of the logo see Jauhola et al. 2012. In 2008, the name of the ministry was changed to the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, and the new logo consists of two adult figures holding a child figure in the middle. See Jauhola 2010 for the analysis of the use of the Garuda bird, the Indonesian national symbol, the wings of which are constructed as gendered and heteronormative in the context of national development and progress. For a detailed description of how the Islamic medical scholars and medieval scientists explained sex difference, see Laqueur 1990; Ze’evi 2006; and Foucault 1998. Dror Ze’evi (2006) and Paula Sanders (1991) also provide accounts of how Ottoman surgery manuals set out how ‘deviant body formations’ were to be ‘normalized’. Although Islam in Aceh can be traced back to the ninth century, historians have also established clear evidence of the Hindu and Buddhist communities based there since the fifth century onwards. See Janet Gyatso (2003) for a detailed analysis of Hindu-Buddhist constructs of sex, gender and sexuality. At least two deities, Ardhanary, a Hindu deity created by the union of Shiva (male) and Shakti (female), and Avalokiteshvara, alias Guan Yin (bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism), belong to a long line of transgender sexualities in the Indonesian archipelago and beyond (e.g. China). Both Ardhanary and Avalokiteshvara transcend gender/sex binaries and are used by Asian-based LBGT organizations to signify gender identities and sexualities as a spectrum and transformative (Bhaiya and Wieringa 2007: 54, A6–A11; see also Wieringa 2000). The most recent work on the Hikayat Aceh (Braginsky 2004) argues that it was compiled not during the reign of Iskandar Muda (the most famous sultan who ruled 1609–36), but his daughter Tajul Alam Ratu Safiatuddin (1641–75), the first queen of Aceh. Capados is the Portuguese word for castrated, used by Dutch and English. The Acehnese word sida-sida refers to ‘an aide to a religious leader’ or ‘palace officer’. Ranto, rantau or merantau refers to men’s traditional roles in Aceh as traders, travellers and militants spending extensive amounts of time outside the household and village. Rantau is also used to refer to the East, where men often went seeking work and it literally means ‘to leave one’s home area’. Hikayat Ranto, written in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by Leube Isa from Pidie, describes work on pepper plantations of the west coast of Sumatra and is a moralistic description of pederasty, male prostitution, drugs, gambling and cock fighting (Vickers 2003: 9; see further on rantau, e.g. Siapno 2002; Siegel 1969). For Indonesian training materials and analysis on feminist reformist methodologies see: Kodir 2007; Muhammad et al. 2007; Nurmila 2008. Four different narratives of the creation of humanity exist in the Qur’an: 1 creation from the soil; 2 creation from a single self; 3 birth of prophet Isa (Jesus) from a virgin Maryam; 4 creation as a result of coitus between man and a woman (Adnan 2004: 152–53). See Kodir 2007 for the methodology of evaluating the content and the narrative chain of the Hadiths. Nella van Doorn-Harder also reminds us of the politics of ‘classical interpretations’ that are at times treated as sacrosanct. Traditional interpretations were altered in an attempt to establish authority amongst the believers (van Doorn Harder 2007: 29). This argument is also provided by Malik ibn Anas, a well-known Imam born in Medina in 93 AH (Adnan 2004: 76).

‘This is gender!’


17 The word kandungan refers to pregnancy, uterus, gestation and womb. In the Indonesian translation of Q.S. al-Nisâ [4]:1, the word kandungan is replaced with the word silaturahmi, which refers to fellowship, friendship and fraternity. The root word rahim means womb. 18 In the Indonesian context, the concept ‘Tuhan yang maha esa’ is used when religious pluralism is referred to. In English it translates into ‘belief in one God’, referring to monotheist religiosity. 19 For how kodrat and fitrah (natural or original characteristics) are discussed in mainstream books justifying biological essentialism and gender division based on the natural difference of two sexes, see e.g. White 2006. 20 See note 23, below, for details of how the concept of ‘partnership’ is a specific reading of the Qur’anic concept ta’arafu. 21 For references made e.g. to at-Taubah: 71, see Muhammad 2008b: 3. 22 Remarkably, Teuku Zulkhairi, an openly critical Islamic scholar in Aceh, references the newer edition of Lips’s book and the theory of the ‘third gender’ in his attack on gender in November 2009 (Zulkhairi 2009b). 23 Partnership, or mutual respect, in the gender policy documents is reserved for describing the relationship between the husband and the wife. A closer look reveals (see e.g. Ismail 2006; Muhammad 2001: 4) that the word partnership (kemitraan) seems to be a very specific interpretation of a Qur’anic concept ta’arafu (Q.S. al-Hujurat [49]:13). Ta’arafu is often translated into English as ‘you may know each other’ or ‘mutual knowing of one another’. In the wider Islamic discussion on pluralism and equality, the same concept is used to emphasize unity and understanding amongst people, reciprocity, or even ‘ethical principle of right to just treatment and responsibility to be just to others’ (Wadud 2009: 102). 24 See e.g. Ramly 2008, for how the similar logic is then used in the Acehnese context to refer to how feminists confront the institution of the family. 25 The full name of the tabloid published by the Office for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection is Suara An-Nisa: Pemberdayaan, Kesetaraan, Persatuan & Pengabdian, which translates into English as ‘Women’s Voice: Empowerment, Equality, Unity and Devotion’. 26 See Jauhola (2010) for other examples of subversive politics in relation to biological motherhood in relation to the celebration of mother’s day (hari ibu), which is institutionalized and incorporated as part of the central government’s gender mainstreaming initiatives. This includes a ‘subversive reading’ of the logo (Figure 3.1) and the Garuda bird, the national symbol of the Republic of Indonesia. 27 In Surabaya, a major city in East Java, there is a separate category for waria on ID cards. 28 Sahîh al-Bukhâri, author of one of the six canonical Hadith collections in Islam, is a widely cited and respected commentator on the Qur’an in the Indonesian context, and his interpretations are used in Islamic boarding schools (Muttaqin 2008). 29 See the work of Samar Habib (2007, 2008) for ‘queer-friendly’ Hadith tradition that challenges the better-known tradition that condemns homosexuality or transgenderism. 30 Oxfam America in its post-tsunami work in Tamil Nadu in India produced a gender mainstreaming evaluation, and a gender-sensitive disaster management toolkit that aims to incorporate issue of transgenderism into the gender analysis framework. However, sexuality is not discussed (Pincha 2008). 31 For a critique of LBGTI identity politics and Western coding of sexual practices and affective relations, see Blackwood 2010; Grewal and Kaplan 2001; Massad 2007; Spurlin 2010. 32 However, due to insecurity of international funding, the group established a modelling and fashion company, Zero-V Management, to do fundraising for the group.


‘This is gender!’

33 The bill refers to the Arabic concepts liwath and musahaqah in condemning consensual same-sex ‘sexual relationships’ without defining ‘consent’ or ‘sexual relationship’. At the national level, the law on pornography, passed in December 2008 (law 44/2008) by the Indonesian parliament defines necrophilia, bestiality, oral sex, anal sex, and ‘lesbian and gay sex’ as ‘deviant sexual intercourse’. The law has been strongly opposed by several civil society organizations, including the LBGTI activists, and is going through a judicial review. 34 The KPI (Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia untuk Keadilan dan Demokrasi, Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy), established in 1998, has had one of its ‘groups of interests’ or ‘sectors’ focusing on lesbian, bisexual and transgender. The KPI has an office and membership base also in Aceh. Lesbian organisation Atapku (in English my roof) was established in 2011 and is under the umbrella of Violet Grey. 35 For example, activist Hartoyo (2009) reflects upon the narrative of Anto, who was sexually abused and raped by men and who experienced same-sex sexual abuse and harassment, but also consensual erotic same-sex relations in Acehnese Islamic boarding school with students and also with teachers. Same-sex erotic relations (female and male) in Islamic boarding schools has been studied in other Indonesian contexts, see e.g. Dzulkarnain 2006; Nurish 2010; Qudsy 2006; Rahayu 2005; and Zuhri 2006. 36 The preamble for the Strategic Objectives and Action of the Beijing Platform for Action includes a paragraph that specifically states that the barriers for women fully to reach ‘equality and advancement’ include their race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion or disability, because they are indigenous women or because of other status. Other reasons listed include family status, economic status, living conditions in rural, isolated or impoverished areas, and the situation of refugee and displaced women (UN 2001). 37 The Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1981, refers to this verse in its preamble ( 2009).


Women Can Do It Too! Governing post-tsunami gender norms through the radiowaves

This chapter introduces the family of Umar, Pocut, their daughter Ida, son Adi, and grandmother Limah: an Acehnese family living in an anonymous tsunami-affected village and the main characters of the Oxfam International (OI) radio drama production Women Can Do It Too!, which was broadcast on local radio stations in the tsunami-hit coastal areas of Aceh in 2006 and 2007.1 The 12 episodes of the radio drama were broadcast once a week over a period of three months by five radio stations,2 aiming to reach as many as 20,000 radio listeners (Oxfam Business Unit 2006: 5) in Banda Aceh, Sigli, Lhokseumawe, Meulaboh and Lamno, all locations that were damaged by the tsunami, and where the OI had ongoing project activities (Info Aceh 2007: 2–3).3 Although not explicitly introduced that way, the setting of the radio drama suggests that all the characters in the story have settled into their new houses and throughout the episodes they utilize the services of successful post-tsunami initiatives.4 The radio drama production was part of OI’s internal gender mainstreaming strategy titled Promoting Gender Equality in the Aceh/Nias Programme, which describes its desired outcome as: enhanced commitment and capacity in promoting gender equality as well as increased recognition of women’s role in the family and community development by women and men within OGB5 and in the communities, manifested through changed attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. (Oxfam Business Unit 2006) Thus, this chapter explores the radio drama production as a technique of governance and draws on understanding of gender mainstreaming advocacy, such as the radio drama production, as productive and constitutive: technique that gives shape and meaning to the ‘problems’ they claim to ‘address’ (Bacchi and Eveline 2010: 111) and further, produce intelligible subject positions (ibid.: 118). The theoretical framework of intersectionality of gender norms guides the analysis of governmentality in this chapter and has a dual purpose: first, to identify what norms are explicitly and implicitly reiterated whilst promoting gender equality between men and women, and second, to


Women Can Do It Too!

pay attention to the silences of the radio drama as a strategic attempt to locate subversive narratives of intersectionality. The examples given in this chapter have emerged from a close reading of the research data and should not be treated as an exhaustive, or a final, analysis of the complexity of social inequalities in Aceh, but rather as an attempt to illustrate what happens to feminist advocacy when the encounters with other social inequalities are made visible. The data6 used in this chapter form what I call a ‘web of intertextuality’. I situate the radio drama production as a linguistic and an aesthetic ‘text’ that is located in a web of intertextual meanings. The analytical focus will be on the storyline, but also on the details, the mise-en-scène, and the silent and invisible moments (Shapiro 2009b). Furthermore, the radio drama production is analytically situated within the wider global gender regimes, and Acehnese and wider Indonesian gender equality debates. The chapter illustrates how the storyline of the radio drama reiterates the sex binary and the monogamous heterosexual nuclear family as the norm. This could be seen as a strategic decision by the gender advocates: a focus on equal rights and opportunities of women in relation to men could be regarded as a subversion of the ongoing process of codification of gendered Shari’a law in Aceh. The dominant discourse on Shari’a implementation and moral norms in Aceh draws the normative boundary along the line of binary sex difference and heterosexual marriage as the only morally sound option for women. However, as I will illustrate, reducing the debate to one about equal rights and opportunities for women, and framing the concept of equality solely as a concern with the relations between men and women, omits other social inequalities from the analysis, and normalizes liberal feminist ideals into gender mainstreaming practices and tsunami reconstruction efforts. Furthermore, I argue that the ideal of the heteronormative nuclear family actively participates in normalizing other social differentiations. These other differentiations are analysed through two normative images that emerge from the data: ‘an adolescent girl as a future hope’, and ‘a harmonious home’. First of all, the radio drama reiterates the significance of a heterosexual adolescent girl as the signifier of the success of the tsunami reconstruction process, the progress of the nation, and ultimately the progress of the globe and global feminism. It constructs ideals for the ‘new Acehnese citizens’ in relation to their rights and responsibilities. The adolescent girl appears as an ultimate signifier of modernity and progress, epitomized by economy, employability, Islamic religiosity and reproduction. The radio drama reconstitutes the ideal of liberalism: anything seems to be possible for ‘Ida’, reiterating a liberal ideal whereby subjects have limitless capacities for realizing their dreams. Whilst it does this, it omits a variety of social inequalities that prevent ‘Ida’ from achieving the dream (Grabham 2009: 189). Using the example of higher education, the chapter demonstrates the complexity of the social inequalities within the Acehnese context and illustrates the

Women Can Do It Too!


shortcomings of an exclusive analytical focus on gender in the post-tsunami context in Aceh. Second, the idealization of a reconstructed home is essential for sustaining the normative image of the adolescent girl’s heteronormatively better future. An image of a harmonious home is constructed within a nuclear family setting and requires two simultaneous transformations to occur: women become ‘multitasking’ citizens who balance successfully their ‘triple gender roles’ – reproduction, production and community participation – whereas men transform into sharing and caring husbands and fathers. However, by omitting the context of conflict, gender analysis as a tool is incomplete and misses the gendered dynamics of the post-conflict context. The invisibility of gendered experiences of conflict in the conflict-affected communities, particularly in relation to the constructed female and male masculine identities, leaves out an important part of the context in which experiences of social inequalities are reiterated. Finally, by using examples of the diversity of household arrangements to be found in Aceh, the chapter attempts to problematize the hegemonic position of the nuclear family ideal within the gender policy documents.

Setting the stage: from gender analysis to gender advocacy Before the first episode of Women Can Do It Too! was aired in June 2006, the production process had included several phases of preparation. The first step was the initial gender analysis, conducted by OI’s gender unit to identify potential ‘gender issues’ to be chosen as key themes for the radio drama episodes. The initial gender analysis process included a baseline survey in four geographical areas in Aceh (Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar, Pidie and Aceh Jaya), and the initial analysis was complemented with reports produced by other organizations that had elaborated on the situation of women in Aceh, such as the UNIFEM, the UNFPA and the BRR. Further data were gained from experiences of gender mainstreaming in ongoing OI projects. Based on this analysis, in total 12 themes were chosen as the focus of the radio drama episodes, one theme per episode. The next step was the contracting of a local radio station to produce scripts, record and broadcast the radio drama episodes. Additional airtime was bought from five local radio stations and a local artist was contracted to produce the poster advertisements for each episode. Finally, a local media consultancy company was contracted to conduct a post-production assessment in three villages in Aceh Besar following the original broadcast (Info Aceh 2007). The topics chosen for the radio drama were a result of considering the potential positive and negative impacts of the radio drama. As one of the staff members explained, the final selection took into account both ‘cultural aspects’ and the potential ‘reaction from the community’ (Gender Officer of an INGO). For example, it was decided not to include the wider theme of women’s control over their own bodies but instead the topic was framed as


Women Can Do It Too!

family planning.7 As further explained to me, it was a consciously chosen strategy that would be more easily accepted by the Acehnese community, seeing the radio drama as a first step in a longer process of preparing the community eventually to accept something that is considered culturally taboo (Gender Coordinator of an INGO). The references to ‘cultural aspects’ and ‘reaction from the community’ illustrate important points where power and the normative boundaries of gender advocacy meet. These are the moments that illustrate the normative boundary making and normalization of ‘culture’ and ‘community accepted norms’ into the post-tsunami aid discourse. Drawing from Butler’s notions of politics of subversion, the role of this critical analysis is to question the stability of concepts such as ‘culture’, and make the efforts of producing ‘stability of constructs’ visible. Thus, the radio drama production is treated as an example of staging, where the norms within a ‘culture’ and a ‘community’ are being performatively constructed: how norms are portrayed as real and ‘as things are in Aceh’. The editing process, deciding what to include in and what to leave out of the radio drama, provides an interesting insight into the process whereby analysis is transformed into knowledge production of ‘what exists’, and ‘what will make it better’. As Anne Marie Goetz has argued, feminist analysis is constantly disciplined within the aid agenda: potentially radical topics are depoliticized through ‘encapsulation, narrowing and simplification’ (Goetz 1994: 31). The storyline of the radio drama is introduced in the following way: the listeners enter and exit the ‘world of drama’ in each episode with the help of the title music and a narrator. The narrator repeats the key message several times during one episode: as an introduction of each episode and at the end of each episode as a revision. Thus, the narrator plays an important role in identifying the main problem/issue for the listener and the repeated storyline establishes a normative framework or cultural repertoire within which each episode should be understood or listened to. Thus, the voice of the narrator is the normative voice of the production team who: decides what is inside and outside the narrative world, which is also, implicitly, a decision about what is inside or outside a world whose language tries to normalize some behaviours at the expense of others. (Bruhm and Hurley 2004: x) The voice of the narrator, the punch lines of the episodes and the captions of the posters become the voice of the ‘aid machinery’, a normative subjectification to which I will return in Chapter 5. The narrator provides ‘epiphanic moments’ (McRuer 2003: 85) for the radio drama: he joins the story together, consolidates the normative messages and, importantly, provides a sense of wholeness to the narrative. It is against these normative messages that the characters successfully manage their lives and live in their community.

Women Can Do It Too!


The storyline of the radio drama focuses specifically on gender equality and women’s rights in post-tsunami Aceh. The themes include a girl child’s right to higher education; women’s voices in public matters (freedom of opinion); women’s voices within the family and village-based decision making; women’s economic situation (livelihoods); women candidates in local elections; women’s land rights/inheritance; reproductive rights; guardianship rights; sharing household duties; and the issue of marriageable age. The 12 themes correspond with the majority of the gender advocacy of different aid organizations of the post-tsunami reconstruction context (see e.g. BPPPA 2007; BRR 2006b; KKG 2007; Srimulayani and Inayatillah 2009: 7), and as will be discussed later in this chapter, reiterate a liberal feminist approach to gender mainstreaming.8 Furthermore, although the radio drama does not explicitly use feminist Islamic discourse, it covers most of the same topics as the majority of gender policy documents and Islamic feminist writing (see e.g. Robinson 2009; White and Anshor 2008; KPP 2004; Muhammad 2001; Mulia 2004). Reading the plots alongside two studies conducted in 1999 and 2004 in Aceh about the perception of salafi ulamas (Nashriyah 2004; Zahratul 1999), however, it appears as if the main male character, Umar, is developed as a character who interprets the Qur’an literally and whose views correspond with those of the classical commentators who justify the supremacy of men over women. The normative narrative of what counts as a transformation towards ‘better’ in the radio drama is supported by simplistic binary positions and dichotomies, such as backwardness-progress, passive-active, lazy-productive and so on. These binaries are constructed primarily through the relationship between Ida and her father Umar, but more generally through characters who support gender equality and those who are against it. For example, whereas Ida is portrayed as the ‘future’, Ida’s father Umar, on the other hand, is portrayed as patriarchal, traditional and initially against women’s rights in his family. Later, so as to reach a happy ending in each episode, he changes his position. This is a common feature for melodramas, which tend to reaffirm social rules and champion ‘romanticized ideas of heroes and heroines’ (Brooke 1995: 41). An important part of the promotion of positive behaviour and attitudinal change is that the audience is able to identify with the leading characters and that the desired behavioural patterns are demonstrated as being in contrast to the behaviour of the ‘bad’ characters (ibid.). Claire Colebrook has argued that ‘girl … functions as a way of thinking woman, not as a complementary being, but as the instability that surrounds any being’ (Colebrook 2000: 2). The storyline thus creates a radical relation to Umar: ‘not as his other or opposite (woman), but as the why becoming of man’s other’ (ibid.). As I will later illustrate, instead of taking the storyline as a fixed and stable set of normative images, the radio drama production is treated as a ‘positive repetition’ that inhabits the dominant discourse of transformation in order to open up new sites of social critique (Colebrook 2000: 7).


Women Can Do It Too!

Fantasizing the adolescent girl as the future hope This episode is about opinions in our society, according to which women do not need higher education because after marriage they will only work in the kitchen and manage the household. This despite the fact that all people have the right to education. Is this opinion still common? And how far are women’s attempts at the moment to gain education [succeeding]? Let’s listen carefully to the drama … (Narrator, episode 1, ‘Ida too wants to continue her education’) The first episode of the radio drama begins with a dialogue at Ida’s school, where the teacher reminds the class of the approaching national examinations. Ida returns home and, to her great disappointment, she hears that her father does not support the idea of her continuing education after the exams. Instead, he is happy that Ida will finish school soon: UMAR:

Wah, that is good news. Shortly Ida will have completed school and mother will have someone who will help her at home. POCUT: Wah, that is true. IDA: But actually, my teacher suggested that I should continue classes … UMAR: Allah … why do you want to continue studies! Just look at Midah, Akob’s child. She finished her classes and does not have work. GRANDMOTHER: Who knows, perhaps Ida is smart? UMAR: Allah, don’t talk like that! IDA: But father … UMAR: Hmm … Remember, you are my daughter. Why does a girl need higher education? Later after the wedding, you’re going to be at home, taking care of your husband. What is important at the moment is that you study how to become a good wife. That’s what is important now.9 During the teacher’s visit to the house, Umar tries to raise his concerns about the family economy by saying: ‘We do not have a rice field that we could sell or put in mortgage’. However, the teacher assures Umar that if Ida works hard enough she will surely get a scholarship. Umar’s financial concerns and the high unemployment rates for those with higher education degrees in Aceh are both dismissed. Later in the episode, after persuasion by Ida’s teacher, mother and grandmother, Ida’s father gives his permission for her to continue her education and start taking the first steps towards her dream: to become a doctor. Several posters produced to advertise the drama illustrate the punch line of this episode: rights are attainable with hard work and a change of attitudes on the part of the society. For example, the poster (Figure 4.1) that was used to advertise the first episode shows a girl in school uniform, studying, with the caption ‘Achieve it … a future with continuing education’. The globe on the table could be interpreted as introducing the idea of the global focus on girls’ education, which is not only an Acehnese standard, but

Women Can Do It Too!


Figure 4.1 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Achieve it … a future with continuing education’, 2006 Source: (Reproduced with permission from Oxfam Indonesia Country Office)


Women Can Do It Too!

in fact a standard for the whole globe (UN 2001, 2008). In Sara Ahmed’s words, ‘the life course of the girl becomes a metaphor for the life course of “the globe” itself. In this way, the fulfilment of the girl’s potential marks the course or trajectory of the globalisation of feminism’ (Ahmed 2000: 175–76).10 In fact, the focus on the promotion of girls’ schooling is nothing new, but rather has been part of both Dutch colonial policies and Indonesian decolonization and nation-building discourses – and in fact it forms an important part of the idea of modernity and Indonesian nationalist struggles against colonialism. The first Women’s Congress, held in 1928, paid particular attention to the questions of the girl child’s education and early marriage. Susan Blackburn’s analysis of pre-independence Indonesia suggests that nationalist movements opposing colonialism advocated schooling to promote commitment to national unity and independence and help mould skilled citizens capable of constructing a strong modern society (Blackburn 2004: 33). However, with gendered and sexualized undertones: the idea of education revolves around the girl’s responsibility to raise the next generation of Indonesian citizens. This first episode creates an impression that education is available equally for all, once the gender norms of the society, i.e. the father’s patriarchal and misogynist opinions, are changed and the individual works hard enough. The discourse of the individual’s responsibility to work hard can also be found in the magazine Voice of Women (Suara An’Nisa), published by the provincial office of the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment. The March 2008 issue contained aphorisms like: ‘winners make things happen, losers merely wait for it to happen’, and ‘winners have time to think, losers are [too] lazy to think’, and ‘winners follow the winners, losers follow the losers’ (BPPPA 2008c: 4, 13). In fact, at the end of the first episode, once he has agreed to support the further education of his daughter, Umar reminds Ida that she first has to be ‘diligent’ and prepare herself for the national examinations. To which Ida replies: ‘I promise, I will study and will not disappoint you’. As a climax of the episode, the father has transformed from patriarch to a result-oriented and demanding father. Umar’s transformation resonates with the wider liberal economic policy rhetoric of equal opportunity and individual attainment – ‘Poverty can be eradicated through the entrepreneurship and hard work undertaken by the disadvantaged individual’ (Isserles 2003: 43) – ideals that are repeated elsewhere in the radio drama through narratives of women’s livelihood groups and small businesses. This exposure of a critique of liberal economic policy in the radio drama is aligned with the work of Davina Cooper, who claims that to argue (gender) inequality in education is ‘largely driven by the (false) self-interests of … men … ignores the ways in which other aspects of the social shape and influence gender relations’ (Cooper 2004: 50). According to this liberal discourse, gender inequality is solvable through attitudinal change rather than change in other social or structural processes (ibid.). In fact, a closer examination of the social inequalities of the education system in Aceh

Women Can Do It Too!


demonstrates that an analysis that focuses solely on gender inequalities or patriarchal attitudes does not ‘capture’ the totality of the inequitable challenges that Acehnese people face in accessing education, or how gender norms intersect with other social differentiations. The sole focus on the father’s ‘patriarchal values’ masks several other important factors that hinder access to education in Aceh. Amongst those are: the armed conflict; the economic situation; the urban-rural divide; the quality and relevance of education; access to formal employment; the corruption caused by the tsunami aid; and the fact that not all tsunami-affected people have benefited equally from the tsunami aid. Multiplicity of encounters with adolescence The radio drama’s storyline begins with a dialogue between the teacher and her students in Ida’s school, which is part of the national education system. The school system in Aceh is split between a long tradition of Islamic boarding schools (dayah or pesantren), and the national education system of Indonesia, which is divided into six years of primary school (sekolah dasar, or SD), three years of middle school (SMP), and high school (SMA/SMK/ SMU). The Islamic schools in Aceh are divided into dayah salafiyah (traditional), dayah khalafiyah (modern) and so-called combination schools.11 Modern schools have integrated the system of traditional schools and the national educational system by applying both the national curriculum and part of the traditional school’s curriculum. Combination schools provide both curricula in full (Save the Children et al. 2007: 4).12 Islamic boarding schools are an important part of the Acehnese schooling system. Besides education, they also provide social protection and an alternative for those families that face problems providing care or education for their children (ibid.: 2). During the conflict many parents chose to educate their children in the Islamic boarding schools, which were considered neutral in the conflict. State-run schools were targets of attacks by GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, Free Aceh Movement) during the conflict, resulting in hundreds of state schools being destroyed or burned.13 Although the majority of schools were destroyed during the conflict, the funds flowing into Aceh straight after the tsunami and the signing of the MoU were mainly targeted at rebuilding the schools destroyed and damaged by the tsunami. As the reconstruction of the conflictdamaged schools began much later, it caused a situation of unequal access to education in different parts of the province, especially for children in the conflict areas who were not affected by the tsunami or the earthquakes in 2004. Parents also choose a religious school for financial reasons. For example, the so-called dayah salafiyah school, in which the curriculum is totally religious and the teaching is in Arabic only, requires a nominal monthly payment of Rp.5,000 (approx. €0.35) to cover the boarding costs of one child. The costs are low compared with state schooling, where costs can go up to


Women Can Do It Too!

Rp.100,000 (approx. €6.90) for six months’ worth of school books and Rp.500,000 (€34.70) for transportation costs.14 These costs have no real meaning unless they are put in the context of income and consumption levels in Aceh. To give an example from one village within the sub-district of Pidie, a female daily wage labourer earned roughly Rp.25,000 (approx. €1.80) per day and an owner of a coffee shop would earn roughly Rp.20,000–30,000 per day (Susanti 2009: 26).15 The majority of the rural population, estimated at 80 per cent, depend on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods, and Islamic boarding schools are considered more flexible in providing breaks in the school year in accordance with the harvesting calendar as children often help their parents to earn income for their family. Furthermore, rural parents do not consider the content of the education as relevant for their children’s future employment prospects (Gubernur Provinsi NAD 2007: II-25, II-26).16 Research conducted in the mid-1980s from West Aceh concluded that those girls who could not afford tertiary education or for whom it was not considered relevant got married, whereas boys looked for local jobs, such as daily labourer work in repair shops with minimal wages (email interview with an Australian researcher). In fact, there is a clear socio-economic and rural/urban difference between attendance at Islamic boarding schools and state schools: female students within the traditional Islamic schools come from the lower class. It has been argued that girl children who are sent to study in the dayah salafiyah schools are literate only in Arabic, not in Acehnese or Indonesian. Furthermore, tertiary education enrolment levels are, in general, low for both males and females. The overall tertiary enrolment at the national level in Indonesia was 17 per cent in 2006 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2008) and in Aceh the figure was under 9 per cent in the same year, whereas the university enrolment in Aceh was under 6 per cent in 2003 (President of the Republic of Indonesia 2005: V.2-2). Male and female students from urban areas, rich households and the ethnically Acehnese are over-represented in higher education in Aceh. The preparation for the national examinations by Ida and her school friends is portrayed in the radio drama as the responsibility of the individual pupils, and their potential success is represented as a result of their hard work. This is despite the fact that both the contexts of the conflict and the tsunami have posed a major challenge for Acehnese children. The post-tsunami context has made it difficult for one generation of adolescents to continue their education, as many of their schools were destroyed, and their teachers killed. The results of the national exams in Aceh have been poor. In 2005, only four months after the tsunami, 43.5 per cent of the students failed the exam (Salmawaty n.d.). This led to the assumption that the poor results were caused by the tsunami devastation.17 However, this notion has been challenged, as in 2004, the year before the tsunami, the rate of exam failure was as high as 33 per cent (ibid.). Instead of solely focusing on the tsunami trauma or the destroyed infrastructure, educational experts argue that the

Women Can Do It Too!


high rates of failure could potentially relate to wider issues of the quality of education and the availability of qualified teachers, but also conflict dynamics and the fact that many schools were destroyed as part of the conflict strategies (World Bank 2006a: 73).18 The 30-year conflict, concentrated in the northern coastal area of Aceh that was also affected by the tsunami, has left behind several generations of Acehnese who have not managed to complete their education due to the conflict. Usually the primary and the middle schools are available within a short distance of villages. However, in some cases high schools can be located as far as 40 kilometres away in the capital of the sub-district. During the conflict both the Indonesian military and the GAM were regularly stopping children, both girls and boys, whom they suspected of gathering intelligence for the other side (Reliefweb 2009a). The limitation of access to state education to children with ID cards demonstrates how the conflict affects certain groups: to obtain an ID card, the applicant has to provide a birth certificate and the marriage certificate of their parents. This denies access to those who do not have an ID card because of a suspicion that they are supporters of GAM,19 or those who were born outside formal relationships. To illustrate the difficulties of access to schooling in post-tsunami Aceh, Banda Aceh-based high school students produced a short documentary titled The Odyssey of Rani Monika in 2008 (Kamila and Sugesty 2008). The documentary portrays the long daily labi-labi (minibus) journey of Rani Monika, who lives in barracks far away from her school with her parents. Rani’s long school journey reveals other stories of unfinished tsunami reconstruction processes: promises of houses that were never built, and scholarships for education that have gone missing. OI’s report Women Evaluate the Tsunami Response indicated that some heads of schools manipulated the data to distribute scholarships to their preferred students, and some students received more than one scholarship (Oxfam 2008). Similarly, while staying in Aceh, I came across several accounts of adolescent girls’ lives that accentuate how the picture of ‘Ida’ is highly idealized and uncritical, and omits key issues from the analysis. I was told of villages that had no adolescent girls left as they had all migrated or been trafficked to urban areas (predominantly in Aceh or Malaysia) as domestic workers, sometimes to work in the houses of international and Acehnese aid workers; how university students were financing their studies through prostitution (HRW 2004; Wu 2008); and how transgendered, feminine boys or masculine females had dropped out of school because of direct hate speech or constant discrimination. In conclusion, becoming a doctor is not only a dream of Ida, but it is represented as a dream that ‘any adolescent girl could have and share’. However, to imply that the only hindrance to reaching that goal is in a father’s patriarchal opinions, or that inequalities in education could be reduced to a question of gender inequality, provides a very limited analysis of the issues at stake in Aceh and excludes the critical feminist contribution to the study of social inequalities.


Women Can Do It Too!

Adolescence as a normative conceptualization of time and space The portrayal of Ida’s future constitutes a normative conceptualization of time and space: the right timing of events in an adolescent girl’s life guarantees her a better future. By normative time and space I refer to the idea that cultural representations portray certain phases of life (such as marriageable age), and certain places (such as school or family) as normal. Arja Mäkinen calls this the ‘social watch/calendar’ or ‘norms that govern phases of life’ (Mäkinen 2008: 33). Accordingly, normative time appears also as the normalized rhythm of daily life, and the life cycle.20 The radio drama establishes several normative narratives of the rhythm of adolescent girls’ lives: attending school; preparing for the national examinations; finishing school first and only then getting married; having two children. Ultimately, adolescent girls are seen as future mothers who also have employment outside of the home (Muhammad 2002a: 3). Bruhm and Hurley have argued that projecting children into a heteronormative future relies on an assumption that childhood is essentially heterosexually determined and implicitly increases ‘the pressure on producing the proper ending of the story’ (Bruhm and Hurley 2004: xiv). Last week’s episode told of a husband who left his house because he could not cope with hearing his baby crying at night. Well, now it is time for the final episode, which will narrate about Ida who has received a proposal. Well, what is the reaction of Ida and will Ida succeed in getting married? (Narrator, episode 12, ‘No marriage for Ida’) In the final episode Amin, who lives in the provincial capital Banda Aceh and has a permanent job and good socio-economic status, proposes to Ida through her parents. Ida refuses, as she wants to study to become a doctor before she marries. The episode continues with a dialogue between Pocut, Umar and Ida and leads to the conclusion that Ida does not want to get married before she has finished her studies. Not that there is anything wrong with the candidate as such, but the timing is not right. The episode ends with a dialogue between Ida and her older friend Tuti at Tuti’s wedding ceremony, where Ida narrates the events of that day to the bride: …[your situation] is just like mine was earlier: I was asked to get married but I did not want to because I wanted to finish my schooling first. Now that I have finished it and already have a job, now I can get married. It is important that we study hard first. Perhaps you can also become a doctor. IDA: Oh, this means that we are the same, sister. I also want to become a doctor first, then later think about getting married. Isn’t it true, sister? TUTI:

Women Can Do It Too!


The last episode provides several subversions of the existing norms: first, a common narrative in popular culture (TV soap operas, movies) is of the bright rural girl lifting her socio-economic status by marrying a stable and wealthy man (Singhal and Rogers 1988: 111). Second, Ida’s parents are portrayed as modern parents who listen to their children’s concerns. Third, the drama plays with the idea of Ida’s relation to family life and sexuality. The ending of the radio drama leaves Ida’s future open, and this can be seen as a subversion of the otherwise naturalized assumption of heterosexuality. However, it does play along with the dominant norm, according to which it is ‘indisputable that everyone is sexual’ (Pollard 1993: 108). Several queer theory scholars have focused on the discursive connections between heteronormativity and reproductive future, adolescence and citizenship. Laurent Berlant has analysed the state fetish on future orientation and illustrated how the girl child stands as a ‘condensation of many citizenship fantasies’ (Berlant 1997: 58). ‘Utopianism follows the child around like a family pet. The child exists as a site of almost limitless potential (its future not yet written and therefore unblemished) … the utopian fantasy is the property of adults, not necessarily of children’ (Bruhm and Hurley 2004: xiii). A closer look at the radio drama storyline confirms these fantasies: the radio drama is one of the campaigns that OI specifically targeted at young adults, namely 15–24 year olds. Despite the centrality of Ida as an adolescent girl, her world is constructed through the eyes of adults. In essence, Ida’s story is an adult fantasy narrated to Acehnese youth. Fantasies about the adolescent girl’s futures have intertextual connections with other gender advocacy materials. Sara Ahmed’s analysis of the Beijing Conference final document illustrates that a significant relationship is constructed there between the ‘girl’ and the ‘future woman’: growing from a girl into a woman becomes a measure of ‘global development’, a move from underdevelopment to development. The life course of a girl child becomes a wider metaphor for the progress of the ‘globe’ (Ahmed 2000: 176). In the case of the radio drama, the girl child becomes the indicator of the progress of the tsunami reconstruction in Aceh. The idea of progress is manifest in the radio drama by Ida’s ambition to become a doctor. Images of the female body are used to signify the transition from tradition to modernity. Female bodies act as indicators of modernity of the nation, illustrated with qualitative and quantitative ‘gender-sensitive’ indicators. The narrative of the future of the girl child coincides with the idea of a ‘new generation’ that refers implicitly to the language of heterosexuality and to ‘the importance of the heterosexual couple to the international community’ (ibid.). The normative story of the female body therefore is that it makes the transformation from a girl to a woman, from a child body to an adult body. Leaving the future of Ida open, the radio drama provides a subversive site to other narratives of adolescence that are marked with heteronormative indicators: reproductive maturity (menstruation) and marriageable age (Parker 2008: 393).21 Adolescence is an essential part of the Indonesian state-building


Women Can Do It Too!

discourse and Suzie Handajani argues that the marriage law and nine years of compulsory education (between six and 15 years of age) have further embedded the concept of ‘adolescence’ in the state discourse (Handajani 2008: 93). When the word remaja22 appeared within the New Order discourse to describe the ‘future generation’, a contradiction emerged. The government discourse strongly emphasized the need to protect the young generation from the bad influences of globalization, yet recognizing that youth provides a growing market base (ibid.: 130). Berlant has pointed out that the specific focus on the morality of a girl child signifies the state’s fragility. The constant anxiety over whether people conform to the state ideals that form the national culture illustrates how states are in a constant process of making. Biological reproduction provides ways to visualize the national future and the vision is often embodied as girl children (Berlant 1997: 56). It is remarkable that masculinity, in relation to the question of adolescence, is not specified anywhere in the gender policy documents, nor in the radio drama.

Becoming a good Muslim Based on the analysis of the radio drama and the wider gender equality discourse in Aceh, it appears that the expectations of the progress and development of the nation and of the global feminist agenda become embodied in a female Muslim body – the ultimate ‘other’. Ida’s character clearly provides the possibility of reflecting the norms governing adolescent girls: framing adolescence in the language of empowerment and progress, as a positive indicator for the overall development and progress, and subverting the existing norms that govern the lives of adolescent girls in general. Yet, as will be illustrated shortly, this construct also produces some problematic connotations: female bodies become part of the nation-building discourse in which women and their bodies are seen as assets and means for national development and defined from the perspective of religious piousness. Religious Piety Debates on the definition of a ‘good Muslim’ have been a central part of the politicized debates on Acehnese nationalism, drawing on the belief that the Acehnese are more devout Muslims than in other parts of Indonesia: religion and religiousness are used to emphasize the special character of Aceh and Acehnese people (Aspinall 2009b: 124, 145–47, 208). A closer look at the government documentation on adolescence reveals the moral concerns posited towards adolescence. The Mid-Term Development Plan of the Government of Aceh for 2007–12 locates the nation’s youth as a measure of progress. Adolescence is constructed as an indicator of the ‘success and degradation of a nation’ and ‘an agent of transformation’ (Gubernur Provinsi NAD 2007: II-37). The potentiality of youth is recognized, but the analysis puts specific emphasis on the risks and threats that await the new generation:

Women Can Do It Too!


‘unemployment, moral decadence, free sex, use of narcotics and criminality’ (ibid.: II-38). The Acehnese development plan turns these ‘social ills’ into a development agenda where the young will be empowered so that they can ‘make a solid contribution towards the society, nation and the state’ (ibid.: II-39). The plan admits, however, that both the conflict and the natural disaster have caused a decline in the productivity and role of young people in development activities, and thus a long physical and mental rehabilitation and reconstruction are needed (ibid.). What is remarkable about this framing is that the impacts of the conflict and the tsunami are described as a decline in productivity and economic participation. The focus on youth by the provincial government is instrumentalized and seen only as significant for economic development, not necessarily as a concern about the well-being of the young as such. However, another layer of the gendered governmentality of adolescence becomes visible while reading the radio drama production alongside the booklet Adolescent Girl on the Edge of Loving and Compassionate Life,23 published by the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment. The booklet claims that it is the responsibility of adolescent girls to control the impact of foreign culture (arriving from the West) that challenges Islamic thinking in Aceh (Muhammad 2002a). Five years later, the threat of globalization to Islamic morals is specifically mentioned as a threat in the provincial government’s development plan (Gubernur Provinsi NAD 2007: II-24). Religious education is suggested as a means to ensure that adolescent girls are able to control the negative impacts of globalization (Muhammad 2002a: 8–9). This attention, based on a reading of the booklet, involves clearly set normative boundaries of what constitutes morally good behaviour for girls, aligning with the official lines of the formalization of Shari’a law: a focus on morality and the codification of norms of ‘proper Muslim behaviour’. As discussed in Chapter 1, the provincial government in Aceh is the only one in Indonesia that was given permission, in 1999, to formalize the implementation of Shari’a law in its governance framework. One of the first local laws (in Aceh called qanun) accepted after the formalization of the Shari’a Islam was Qanun 11/2002 on the ‘Implementation of Islamic Shari’a in the Aspects of Aqidah (Theology), Ibadah (Rituals) and Syiar Islam (Islamic Festivals)’.24 This law, amongst other things, forbids the dissemination of doctrines or ‘deviant’ theology. The task of interpreting what constitutes ‘deviant’ is given to the Ulama Council (Majelis Permusyawaratan Ulama, MPU). This law also defines the practice of religion (ibadah) as consisting of prayer and fasting during Ramadan and makes exceptions for officials who have ‘emergency duties’, such as those of a nurse or doctor, from Friday prayers. The law includes a paragraph on Islamic clothing and it specifies punishments (prison or whipping) for disobedience (Abubakar and Hasan 2006).25 Thus, it is remarkable, given the context, that the radio drama portrays religion merely as an issue of worship and the individual’s responsibility: no


Women Can Do It Too!

references are made to the religious authorities nor formalized Shari’a law. Furthermore, it could be argued that the radio drama both normalizes and depoliticizes the discussion on Shari’a Islam in Aceh. This could also be seen as supporting the argument of official shari’atization: Shari’a should be seen as a way of life (Q.S. [45]:18). Yet, this construct makes the experiences of Shari’a law-inspired violence invisible. Two norms emerge from the radio drama: first, women are portrayed as religiously devout. This ideal subverts the common stereotype according to which men are better equipped with reason and rationality and are better able to integrate Islamic normative principles into their lives. The Muslim modernist movement has promoted this view since the early decades of the twentieth century (Bowen 1997: 174–75). In comparison, women are depicted as are emotional, irrational and thus always carrying within themselves the potential threat of chaos and immorality. Second, through an attempt to ‘get the proper Muslim dress right’ in the posters, the radio drama production replicates the current focus on women’s behaviour and bodies epitomized by the ‘jilbab raids’, which are devoted to arresting women who are not ‘properly’ dressed.26 Aceh is presented as 100 per cent Muslim; the existence of religious minorities and their special concerns in relation to Shari’a law implementation are omitted from the narrative. Previous research and women’s activism has focused on the gendered impacts of the formalization of Shari’a law, and how enforcing a particular interpretation of Islamic values and morality has increased the vulnerability of women (Munir 2004; Noerdin 2007; Robinson 2009; White and Anshor 2008).27 In fact, R. Michael Feener has recently suggested that the analysis of the new Shari’a system in Aceh should not only focus on the formal legal aspects of introducing Islamic law, but rather on how Shari’a Islam actively takes part in governing individual subjects (Feener 2012). However, as already discussed in Chapter 3, the discourse that posits ‘women’ as the only victims of Shari’a-inspired violence is blind to the other gendered impacts of the qanun, for example the impact on transgendered and non-heterosexual subjects or feminine heterosexual men. Further, I argue that the qanun not only constructs Acehnese subjectivities through images of good Muslim womanhood, but also Acehnese Muslim manhood by focusing on the obligation to perform the five daily prayers and attending Friday prayer.28 This is not necessarily anything new, as earlier research on Aceh has asserted the importance of Islam in constructing male masculinity (Siegel 1969). What is new in the contemporary context in Aceh is that the practice of Islam is codified into the law and non-compliance is made punishable. Given that this is the context in Aceh, how does the practice of religion feature in the radio drama? As I argued earlier in this chapter, although the radio drama does not explicitly use feminist Islamic discourse, it however implicitly reiterates the same issues as the majority of gender policy documents and Islamic feminist writing on women’s rights. What is remarkable, however, is that religion is portrayed solely as a religious practice (prayer,

Women Can Do It Too!


Qur’an recitals, preparations for the village celebration of Maulid, the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday), or, as Aspinall has termed it, ‘individual conscience’ rather than religion as an institution or an authority (Aspinall 2009b: 215). Not a single Islamic leader, religious authority, or codified Shari’a law principle is referred to. None of the decision-making situations in the radio drama takes into account religious authorities or religious ordinances, even though implementation of Shari’a law had been ongoing for several years when the radio drama was produced, and various religious authorities existed at the village level. In the radio drama, it is the female characters who are portrayed as practising their religion actively. Ida’s mother participates in the recitation group at the meunasah (episode 4), and Ibu Lela prays in the evening that she will find the lost certificate of landownership (episode 8). Men are not explicitly portrayed as practising their religion. This gender demarcation in the portrayal of religious practice subverts the common understanding that the binary of desire and rationality in the Islamic/Indonesian/Acehnese contexts is gendered, as I will explain below: men are more rational whereas women are emotional and potential sources of chaos (Bowen 1997: 174–75). Two commonly used concepts that are necessary to understand this gendered construct are nafsu and akal. The two words came to the Indonesian language from Arabic and are part of discussion on religious piety and gendered stereotypes. Nafsu or hawa nafsu refers to an understanding of the instinctive nature of human beings, their passions and desires, whereas akal is the opposite, reason and rationality. This binary of passion versus rationality is said to be essential to an understanding of oneself, but is also fundamental to social relations and the practice of religion (Brenner 1995; Siegel 1969). A common view in the Indonesian and Acehnese contexts is that men are more equipped with akal than women and this leads to a belief that men should protect women. This ‘naturalness’ leads to justifications of men’s control over women in order to prevent them causing the destruction of the social and religious order (Brenner 1995: 30–31). This imaginary, furthermore, presents men: as potent, self-controlled, and in possession of the higher mental and spiritual faculties that allow them to maintain order in their own lives and in the social and supernatural world. Women, on the other hand, are depicted as spiritually impotent, less rational than men, and lacking selfcontrol. (Brenner 1995: 31) Whereas akal is supposed to guarantee a position of power for men, it is distorted by lust. Lustfulness (syahwat) is considered the ultimate symbol of male weakness (ibid.: 34–35). Nafsu, or desire, can take many forms, but desire for sex and money (lust and greed) are generally regarded as the most powerful and the most dangerous, and linked together (ibid.: 33). The notion


Women Can Do It Too!

that men have an innately greater desire for sex than women is often presumed as natural, and it is also believed that this desire is extremely difficult for them to suppress (ibid.). The solution most commonly advanced for this difficulty of suppression is not the ‘taming’ of men but rather ensuring that women do not arouse men’s desires in ways that are regarded as sinful. In the radio drama the male characters are portrayed as impatient and unable to control their feelings, particularly Polem Jalim, who appears in several episodes as greedy, unfriendly, impatient and guided by his emotions. In episode 11, however, he admits to Jamin, ‘we younger husbands have a lot to learn from Umar’. As noted earlier, Umar has his own struggles. For example, he has an argument over the management of family income with Pocut (episode 7). He argues that being in charge of the family finances is his right as the head of the household. His stubbornness could also be interpreted as love of money, and this would be contrary to the principles of religious piety. This construction of men as irrational and emotional is connected to a famous Acehnese folk tale, Pak Pandé,29 a story about a husband and wife who live in the wife’s village. Throughout the story, the wife struggles to ‘train’ her husband to become a man. The tale of Pak Pandé is a parody of dominant constructs of Acehnese masculinity. The husband is ordered to perform very simple tasks, all of which he fails miserably to accomplish. In the story it is the woman who trains and educates her husband about Islam, and maintains and enforces the experiential and ritualistic dimensions of Islamic culture. Thus, the wife becomes the guardian of proper Islamic identity, whereas the husband is unable to control his desire for food, a trait that is conventionally attributed to ‘weak’ females (Siapno 2002: 89, 102–4). Thus, the radio drama subverts the modernist Islam version of the male construct as rational, pious yet economically successful by attributing these characteristics to adult female protagonists. The Muslim Dress The jilbab – so confusing: Symbol of repression, or one of identity? Keeps women in their place, or Are trumpets to the world of one’s own sovereignty? A piece of strength in calamity, or merely a cloth-seller’s dream to reach economic equity? (Debra H. Yatim, ‘Still mulling over’, 2005) The question of the ‘proper Muslim behaviour’ is often focused on a discussion of women wearing a veil or jilbab.30 In the Acehnese context, the starting

Women Can Do It Too!


point for this discussion is Qanun 11/2002. Based on this regulation, any person who has Islam as the religion on his/her ID card has to abide by the paragraphs governing Muslim dress; namely: ‘Muslim dress is clothing which covers aurat31 and which is not exposed to the gaze and which does not show the curves/shape of the body’ (quoted in Abubakar and Hasan 2006: 24, transl. by MJ). Although the law itself does not specify the gender of those required to wear the appropriate dress, the paragraph has been primarily used to punish women who do not wear ‘proper Islamic dress’ in public (Milallos 2007: 297). What is remarkable about the implementation of this local regulation is that there is no clarity on what constitutes ‘appropriate Muslim dress’, at what age a person should start following the practice of veiling, or what constitutes aurat of the body (Kamaruzzaman 2008; Milallos 2007). Rather, the interpretation is a continuous and ongoing process. The question of ‘proper Muslim dress’ and the discriminatory implementation of the local Shari’a regulation 11/2002 is one of the most politicized, criticized and debated aspects of the implementation of Shari’a law in Aceh. Theresa R. Milallos has argued that there is a lack of public debate on the topic, and where there is debate, it is dominated by men, especially by senior officials of the Shari’a Islam Department (Milallos 2007: 297). However, if we examine the public visual images (such as advertisements and government advice on Shari’a Islam) and popular guidebooks on Islam, there is a vivid public debate, of which OI’s radio drama is a part. I will first elaborate the variety of visualizations of the ‘proper Muslim dress’ available in Aceh and then relate them back to OI’s radio drama posters. The billboard examples are from the town of Lhokseumawe in northern Aceh (Figure 4.2) and from the port of Sabang (Figure 4.3). Similar posters are available in most towns and at the entry points to Aceh, such as airports and ports, and at the borders of towns. Usually these paintings portray adults and children dressed formally and often shown alongside images of unacceptable dress, such as tight jeans and t-shirts, and shorts, as in Figure 4.2. The official visual repertoires of the Department of Shari’a Islam portray both men and women in long sleeves and loose clothes, with serious faces standing in front of a rough sea and cloudy skies in the background.31 No distinction is made between an adult and a child. These images construct ideals of fashion, formality, and economic and social elitism since these images, to my understanding, do not reflect the reality of rural village life, or that of urban wage labourers. As Chandra Jayawardena put it, ‘You can’t just say a bunch of women are Islamists without saying whether they were peasants in the fields or upper-class women’ (Chhachhi 2006: 1340). In Aceh, adherence to Muslim dress and the idealization of certain types of clothing is associated with the urban, well-educated and socio-economically well-established classes (Siapno 2002: 137). The second example is the booklet Adolescent Girl, discussed earlier in this chapter. One section of the booklet is devoted to the issue of ‘beauty’ and the ‘ethics of dressing up’. The booklet elaborates on what is considered


Women Can Do It Too!

Figure 4.2 Educational poster in Lhokseumawe on avoidance of khalwat and instructing on proper Muslim clothing Source: (Photo copyright Yona Nestel, 2006)

Figure 4.3 Roadside poster at the port of Sabang, ‘Wear clothes according to Shari’a Islam’ Source: (Photo copyright Marjaana Jauhola, 2006)

inappropriate clothing. Clothes that alter the God-given shape of the body, clothes that are used to arouse the interest of men who are not muhrim, ornaments that resemble the clothing of infidels/pagans/disbelievers (kafir) or men’s clothes that are ‘not in general suitable to be used by women’ (Muhammad 2002a: 21) are forbidden. These instructions point to an

Women Can Do It Too!


important distinction discussed in the previous chapter: the sex difference between women and men should be manifest in their behaviour, but also by differentiated clothing. Muslim women should also differentiate themselves from infidels/pagans/disbelievers (kafir).33 On similar lines two books published by BRR – Wanita dan Islam (Women and Islam: Compilation of Writings of Acehnese Female Islamic Boarding School Students) and Pemikiran Ulama Dayah Aceh (Thinking of the Acehnese Ulama Dayah) – pose the wearing of jilbab as a question of religiosity, which is not an option, but an obligation. The norms governing proper Muslim dress are a method of differentiation between Acehnese/Islamic and Western culture and of marking out the immorality of Western and non-Muslim women (Bashry 2007; Gapi 2006; Ibrahim 2006).34 In an attempt to describe proper dress for women, Bashry comments: women compete for the interest of men appear ‘feminist’:35 [their] aurat opened curves of the body, and seducing all of the (Bashry 2007: no

and use designer clothes to showing clearly the sensual gazing eyes. page numbers available in the book, transl. by MJ)

BRR advises foreigners entering Aceh in a similar manner: If you are Muslim, for men, always wear [the] suggested polite clothing … that is roomy and non-transparent covering most parts of the body except on the face, upper arms and head, and for women to wear roomy, non-transparent clothing that [covers] the whole body except on [sic] the face and hands. (BRR n.d.g) The above arguments raise a question: can females wearing trousers be condemned as inherently Western? This seems like a strategic construction, as Dutch colonial reporters had documented Acehnese women ‘disguised as men’ when women were found in combat wearing trousers, although trousers were ordinary peasant clothes at the time of the Aceh war in the late nineteenth century (Siapno 2002: 26). A closer look at the logo used by the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment (Figure 4.4) and the Bureau for Women’s Empowerment in Aceh (Figure 3.1) sheds light on the active production of ‘proper Muslim dress’ discourse. Whereas the Technical Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming (MOWE 2002a; KPP 2008) use a blue logo, the Acehnese gender policy materials prefer a slightly altered green one. Various readings of the Qur’anic verse 59 al-Ahzab is used as a justification for advocating that women wear anything from a jilbab to a burqa, or gloves to hide their hands so as to cover their aurat. In fact, interpretations of what constitutes the aurat differ widely: al-Baydawi ruled that the entire body of a woman is aurat and that the gaze is a ‘messenger of fornication’. Al-Khafafi


Women Can Do It Too!

Figure 4.4 Logo used by the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment Source: (MOWE 2002a)

decreed that ‘even face and hands’ are aurat. According to Barlas, none of these ideas originate from the Qur’an, but are rather generalized and de-historicized interpretations of al-Ahzab verse 59 (Barlas 2002: 55). Contradicting Muhammad’s (2002a) instructions elaborated above, Barlas argues that the Qur’an uses the words jilbab (cloak) and khumur (shawl), both which were used originally to cover the bosom (juyub) and neck, but not the face, head, hands or feet. Further, no verse in the Qur’an mandates such a form of veiling. Barlas argues that al-Ahzab verse 59 should not be read as a universal mandate with which all Muslim men and women should comply, but rather the verse is addressed only to the Prophet (ibid.). Having opened up the debate on the ‘proper Muslim dress’ above, I return to the posters for the OI radio drama in an attempt to focus on what comprises ‘proper Muslim dress’ and how those constructs are located in the wider Acehnese debate on the topic. As Figure 4.5 and Figure 4.6 illustrate, the radio drama posters portray adult women in long shirts and skirts (baju kurung), or long dresses. Young female children wear either trousers or shorter skirts and t-shirts and have their hair loose. Furthermore, one of the posters, ‘Sharing work, why not?’ (Figure 4.7) illustrates an interesting subversion of the gender binary and Muslim dress: a young girl sits on the floor dressed in a t-shirt and trousers playing with a ball and a car. The clothes and toys that usually signify a male child are now shown alongside a girl child. One of the biggest differences is, however, between the male adults portrayed in the posters compared with the formal roadside posters by the

Women Can Do It Too!


Figure 4.5 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Participation of women within decision making demonstrates a household characterized by sakinah’, 2006 Source: (Reproduced with permission from Oxfam Indonesia Country Office)

Department of Shari’a. Most of the OI images portrayed males wearing a short-sleeved shirt and sarong, and only some wear the Muslim hat. None of the men in the posters wear the long garments shown by the Department of Shari’a Islam, thereby underlining the interpretation that the Muslim dress


Women Can Do It Too!

Figure 4.6 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘The husband and the wife have to do routine prenatal check-ups’, 2006 Source: (Reproduced with permission from Oxfam Indonesia Country Office)

code primarily concerns how women are to be dressed. A gendered construct is reiterated: women adhere to Qanun 11/2002, whereas men’s piety as reflected in Muslim dress is not as important. My own experience of visiting rural areas and interacting with people in poorer economic circumstances is that less attention is paid to the formality of Muslim dress in general: fixed veils are hardly ever worn, women wear a selendang (scarf) with t-shirt and sometimes a scarf covers the hair like a turban. The state and other strict interpreters of Islam focus on urban women more than rural women – despite urban perceptions of the backwardness, ‘fundamentalism’ and oppression of rural women (Siapno 2007: 71).

Women Can Do It Too!


Figure 4.7 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘Sharing work, why not?’, 2006 Source: (Reproduced with permission from Oxfam Indonesia Country Office)


Women Can Do It Too!

In the Indonesian context Western dress has been synonymous with an idle and wasteful life since the beginning of the twentieth century, while Islamic dress has been associated with a somewhat puritanical way of religious life. Dress became one of the ways to identify Muslims who shared particular religious ideas (van Dijk, quoted in Nef-Saluz 2007: 28). Although the jilbab may signify an alternative modernity (living as a Muslim), the discussion on Muslim dress does not exist in isolation from debates on materialism and consumerism (Amrullah 2008). Although materialism is often portrayed as a purely Western vice, and alien to Muslim ideals of life (Nef-Saluz 2007: 34), women’s activism in Aceh also seems to be located within this ideology. One example of this is how the newest jilbab trends are advertised, for example, in a tabloid called Bungöng, a publication of the Banda Aceh-based women’s organization BeUJROH. Suraiya Kamaruzzaman (2008), one of the few women activists in Aceh who has been openly critical and opposed the codification of veiling, points out that the practice of veiling became part of the campus life in Banda Aceh at the University of Syiah Kuala in the 1980s, but initially only for lectures.36 Although veiling has a long history within Islamic boarding schools, up to the 1980s the jilbab was worn in public only by women who had performed the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) (Amrullah 2008: 22). Kamaruzzaman argues that a significant change took place around 1999 in urban Aceh. Women who were not dressed ‘properly’ had tomatoes and eggs thrown at them (Blackburn 2008: 102; Kamaruzzaman 2008). Raids by unidentified and masked men started in major towns from mid-1999 onwards (Siapno 2002: 37) coinciding the formalisation of Shari’a in Aceh. The jilbab is portrayed as a marker of Muslim identity in defiance of the stereotypical view of it as a signifier of Muslim women’s oppression, and crucially, to differentiate Muslim women from non-Muslims. Given the context of the current legal framework in Aceh the jilbab is also seen as an imposed non-negotiable signifier of a Muslim identity. The jilbab is used normatively to value one’s religious piety or morality. Those who decide not to wear one stand out whether they want to or not. Similarly, not wearing Muslim dress is often interpreted as non-compliance with local regulations, rather than as a sign of a non-Muslim identity (Bambang 2006). This dilemma manifested itself clearly in my interviews. I was told on the one hand how historically in Aceh there have been varied interpretations of what ‘proper Muslim dress’ consists of, while on the other hand I was told how some of the Acehnese women activists use the international forums to reiterate ‘stereotypes about the jilbab, of how women become its victims’. On other occasions I was told that ‘wearing a jilbab is a religious duty and manifests religious ability’, or that activists were negatively labelled by other activists if they were known not to wear the jilbab ‘voluntarily’. As local regulations have left Muslim women with little or no option except to adopt Muslim dress, some of the women activists have attempted to subvert the narrow interpretation of what is considered a proper Muslim identity.

Women Can Do It Too!


On some occasions, such as seminars, some women chose not to wear a jilbab, although there were men present. Some activists use a loose scarf instead of a fitted jilbab, which allows them to move it on and off when needed. For instance, in some interview situations when outsider men entered the room they would put it on. However, these ‘acts’ have attracted criticism from other women activists, who consider this subversion as non-Acehnese behaviour (i.e. imported to Aceh from Jakarta or the West). For some, veiling is considered to be ‘final and there is no negotiation on this’ (Afrianty 2009: 15). The jilbab discussion in Aceh does not take place in isolation from similar debates nationally and internationally. The global political context, even before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, supported those who saw Islam and the rise of fundamentalism as a threat to the security of Western countries (Freedman 2007: 29). In this discourse women who choose to wear a jilbab are represented as the ‘agents of fundamentalism’ or terrorism. The headscarf becomes a symbol of the gendered and racialized dichotomy that is being set up between ‘liberated’ Western women and their ‘oppressed’ Muslim sisters (ibid.). Freedman stresses that the assumption according to which the practice of veiling is proof of the control of women is a false and dangerous one, using an example of how the meanings of the veil have changed in the Iranian context. Middle-class Iranian women veiled themselves during the 1979 revolution to show solidarity with their working-class sisters. Now in contemporary Iran wearing a veil is mandatory since Islamic laws dictate this form of dress (ibid.: 40). The meanings attached to wearing the veil are thus clearly different in specific historical contexts and, as Sonja van Wichelen has illustrated, the ‘new veiling practices’ in Indonesia cannot be reduced to representing compliance to one normative worldview, but rather the veiled body refers back to the politicized, multilayered context of governmentality and subjectification (van Wichelen 2010: xxv). In the Indonesian context, a similar shifting set of meanings is attached to the jilbab debate. For example, wearing a jilbab has signified an act of resistance against the Suharto regime. Kathryn Robinson has argued that the recent popularity of veiling has to be seen in the wider context of Islam in Indonesia and the fact that veiling was prohibited in public offices and government-run schools in 1982. Some then chose to veil as an act of collective resistance against mainstream secular governance and neoliberal policies (Milallos 2007: 298; Robinson 2009). For example, the demonstrations in the 1980s against the obligation for all organizations to adopt the state ideology of pancasila37 as their ideological basis, were known as Demo jilbabs (jilbab demonstrations), as women who attended them wore veils (Nef-Saluz 2007: 30). In 1991, an official declaration permitted female students to wear a specific form of dress according to their private religious belief, provided that they had agreement from parents or guardians (ibid.: 31). Since the decentralization laws in 1999, an increasing number of Shari’ainfluenced regional by-laws have been passed in different parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Thus, Aceh is closely observed by other regions, both by


Women Can Do It Too!

Shari’a enthusiasts and women’s rights activists, and is seen as a model for the rest of the Indonesia. Yet the specific context of Aceh with its formal implementation of Shari’a law and regulations on Muslim dress means that the arguments for and against the jilbab are distinct from those in other parts of Indonesia. From a legal perspective, a Muslim resident in Aceh has to cover his/her aurat, regardless of his/her own interpretation of the religion, or religious identity. As some interviewees judged the subversion of not wearing a jilbab to signify a lack of personal piety, jilbab also can be seen to reflect individual and communal religious identities (Amrullah 2008: 22). Even before the local regulations on Muslim dress (Qanun 11/2002) were formally accepted, women with bare heads were subjected to public humiliation by local vigilante groups (Robinson 2009: 171). Refusal to wear the jilbab and resisting the standards of ‘proper Muslim dress’ can be seen as a challenge to the formal implementation of Shari’a law and the formal understanding of Muslim identity in Aceh (through Qanun 11/2002). In conclusion, the radio drama and the posters conform to the dominant gendered discourse on religiosity that focuses on women’s bodies and behaviours. As a consequence, experiences of Shari’a law-inspired violence remain invisible. Furthermore, portraying Acehnese society as 100 per cent Muslim makes the experiences of religious minorities invisible. The invisibility of religious discrimination has a troubling history both in Aceh and in the wider Indonesian context, as already highlighted in the previous parts of this book. The history omits violence and discrimination that is targeted towards religious minorities, who are also part of the Acehnese ethnic minorities.38 By ignoring the minority religions, for example, the radio drama automatically marginalizes the ethnic Chinese who are the biggest non-Muslim group in Aceh (for a detailed discussion of the Chinese community in Aceh, see Reid 2005, 2006; Sulaiman and van Klinken 2007). Although the word ‘ACEH’ is occasionally explained to refer to ‘Arab, Cina, Eropa, Hindia’ (Arab, China, Europe, India), in the current context, even in the post-tsunami reconstruction literature written by international organizations, the ethnic Chinese, Minangkabau, Malay, Batak or Javanese population are not mentioned as belonging to Acehnese society. This possibly unintentional omission of ethnic and religious diversity can be seen as a reiteration of the ethno-nationalist discourse in which the word ‘Acehnese’ is not used to mean residents of the territory of Aceh, but rather refers to the groups that are considered as ‘indigenous’ to the territory. Consequently, socio-economic inequalities, the experience of discrimination in the posttsunami reconstruction, or in the implementation of Shari’a law in relation to ethnicity, religion or political opinion on Acehnese nationalism, are left intact. For example, few studies exist of the ethnic Chinese community in the post-tsunami and Shari’a law context (Rusdi 2005; Safuwan 2008). As John Bowen points out, referring to ‘Acehnese people’ as an indigenous ethnic group in the current context sides with the Acehnese nationalist agenda and situates the other residents of the province as ‘less Acehnese’ (Bowen

Women Can Do It Too!


2007: 22). This omits the ethnic Chinese (mostly Christian), or transmigrant (mostly ethnic Javanese) population, who have become the target of GAM violence during the conflict, and have been the target of politicized discourse on Shari’a Islam during recent years. A character speaking bahasa Indonesian with a strong Batak dialect is introduced in the fourth episode as one of the oppressors of village women: a middle-man attempting to undervalue the price of the eggs the women are selling to him. The episode points to an important structural economic challenge in Aceh in which local products are bought in Aceh by middle-men operating from the province of North Sumatra, and later sold back to shops and markets in Aceh at a higher price. However, the radio drama makes the only reference to ethnic diversity in Aceh through a negative stereotyping of bataks.

Constructing better men and women, constructing a harmonious home? As discussed in Chapter 2, various analytical frameworks have been developed for the purpose of conducting gender analysis within development and disaster aid contexts. One of the earliest frameworks is the Harvard Analytical Framework, published in 1984 and developed by the Harvard Institute for International Development in collaboration with the Women in Development office of the USAID. At the heart of the analytical framework is the mapping of activities in three different categories: reproductive work, productive work and community participation. A closer look at the storyline of the radio drama confirms that the ideal adult woman’s life is constructed around this ‘triple gender role’ model. This section focuses on the first category – productive work – whereas the reproductive work is discussed in the next section and community participation in Chapter 5. I argue that the focus on the transformation of gender roles within a nuclear family setting constructs an image of women as multitasking citizens who successfully balance ‘triple gender roles’ (productive, reproductive and community roles), whereas men are constructed as caring husbands and fathers (Caroline Moser, quoted in March et al. 1999: 56; also Bedford 2007, 2009). Although the radio drama offers a representation of an extended family of three generations, visual and audio narratives of problem-solving situations position the nuclear family at the centre of the analysis. The dominant image of a family is a home of two adults with two biological children and thus gender advocacy is woven into the ‘normative arrangements of intimacy’ and the ‘model where women work better and men care better’ (Bedford 2007: 295, 301). As a consequence, the focus on inequalities remains on the relations between a wife and a husband. However, a closer look at Acehnese household and family power relations in the post-tsunami and post-conflict context reveals that this is not a sufficient analysis. Household arrangements due to,


Women Can Do It Too!

for instance, economically or politically driven migration or the conflict, differ from the ‘ideal type’ family consisting of members living within one household. Similarly, the existence of extended family structures and kinship-based living arrangements, polygamy and non-familial-based living arrangements demand extending the analysis beyond the nuclear family. In fact, the assumption that only the father/husband needs to change omits other potential power relations within the family, such as mother- and father-in-law, between wives and so on. Furthermore, the invisibility of the experiences of conflict-affected individuals and their families leaves out an important part of the context in which inequalities are reiterated. Women’s economic participation as an instrument for successful reconstruction Last week we already heard how a decision made within a family has to involve women. The episode this week will describe the importance of women’s groups in progress in a village. How do women’s organizations relate to this work? Is it true that women’s organizations are only for social gatherings and gossiping (arisan)?39 (Narrator, episode 4, ‘Women’s animal husbandry group’) Episode 4 advocates adult women’s economic empowerment through women organizing animal husbandry groups. As with the adolescent girl, messages of self-determination, self-respect and self-sufficiency are repeated overarching themes in many radio dramas (Singhal and Rogers 1999: 126), in national development and gender policy documents, and more generally in ‘participatory approaches’ to development (Li 2007; see also further in Chapter 5). The ideal of ‘being in charge of your own life’ and ensuring women’s empowerment through access to the market is constantly repeated, reiterating the economically driven discourse to promote gender equality by the international development organizations and the Indonesian government alike. Furthermore, many of the new women’s organizations that emerged after the tsunami in Aceh focus their activities on women’s economic participation. The storyline of episode 4 focuses on a women’s livelihood group that succeeds in negotiating a better price for their eggs from the traders who visit the village regularly. Women’s groups form an important part of the gender mainstreaming agenda. However, a discursive shift takes place between the script and the final broadcast of the episode. Whereas the version broadcast focuses on women’s livelihood groups and access to markets with better prices, the script version of the same episode depicts a rather different image of the women’s activities, namely the revitalization of the Family Welfare Programme (PKK).40 During a women’s meunasah (in Acehnese, means a community hall) recitation, the religious teacher introduces her friend Midah who has arrived in the village to help in revitalizing the PKK in the village.

Women Can Do It Too!


In many locations in Aceh, the PKK was not active during the conflict. However, in the post-tsunami context, many international organizations supporting gender equality have given funding to PKK structures in order to revitalize the activities at village level (livelihood development, micro-credit schemes, family planning and so on). Previous research (Blackburn 2004; Marcoes 2002; Rinaldo 2002; Wieringa 1992, 2002) has heavily criticized the PKK’s ideology of ‘state ibuism’, or ‘state mothering’, which limits women’s roles to mothering and managing the household – with a focus on economic independence of families. Thus, during my fieldwork I was surprised to hear that some of the foreign experts working closely with the PKK were not aware of the feminist criticism: promoting ‘traditional’ notions of gender roles, or the feminist critique of the state discourse on ‘national development’ and ‘progress’. The broadcast version of the episode, however, no longer focuses on the PKK, but on the market and women’s livelihood groups. This shift could be analysed in at least two different ways: first, either as a subversion of the old village elite structures of which PKK has been part, and thus leaving the analysis of the village elite structures invisible (see the discussion in Chapter 5); second, as an active process of including women in the global markets as producers and consumers.41 In fact, many tsunami aid initiatives in general, but especially those related to gender initiatives, have focused on the recovery of livelihoods, and have invested in micro-enterprises and microfinance initiatives (Isserles 2003: 38; Nowak and Caulfield 2008). Materials that focus on economic empowerment share a common ideal with the Indonesian government’s gender mainstreaming documentation, where both women and men are seen as productive and reproductive human resources and key elements in the ‘development’ process. Whereas the gender ideology of the New Order has been described as a ‘state ideology of motherhood’ (Djajadiningrat-Nieuwenhuis 1987: 43–45; Suryakusuma 1996: 92–119), Krishna Sen has argued that there was a shift from women as ‘wife and womb’ to ‘women as both reproductive and workers’ in the early 1990s (Sen 1998: 45). In the context of the recovery of livelihoods in Aceh, for example, the concept of ‘life skills’ refers specifically to knowledge about products and markets, advancing people’s potential and adding value to their products. The focus on the labour market and the economy suggests that the emphasis is on measuring people’s worth according to their ability to participate in economic development (KPP 2005). I argue that the focus of the radio drama on productive and reproductive work reduces feminist advocacy to a question of increasing ‘women’s economic productivity at the margins’ (Goetz 1994: 34, emphasis added). It leaves out wider questions of political economy and its role in controlling women’s bodies. As a consequence, gender advocacy is primarily located within the currently existing economic system, without taking a critically reflective look at the ways in which the economic inequalities are reproduced within gender advocacy itself and how economic systems reproduce gender inequality.


Women Can Do It Too!

The radio drama’s emphasis on access to markets contrasts in an interesting way with some of the other women’s activism in Aceh. This activism focuses on global economic injustice and political economy, and the interface of these issues with female bodies and experiences of violence. Even though these issues inform parts of OI’s programmes globally, and locally in Aceh through separate funding mechanisms, they are not reflected in the radio drama production or post-tsunami gender mainstreaming initiatives. This in spite of the fact that the overall tsunami reconstruction in Aceh has a focus on (foreign) investments and construction-related businesses. For example, housing construction forms a significant portion of the overall tsunami reconstruction efforts and includes the reconstruction of 140,000 new houses in Aceh. Several organizations that took part in the construction have advocated women’s participation and gender equality in accessing livelihoods. One crucial part of this was to promote women’s micro-enterprises focusing on the production of cement and bricks. Two local organizations have documented the negative impacts of such efforts on women’s lives. Eye on Aceh, a Banda Aceh-based research organization, has argued that initiatives that focus on women’s economic empowerment through promotion of skill development in brick production have led to situations where women are paid less than the minimum wage. This raises the critical question of how programmes focusing on women’s empowerment are linked to the wider debate in Aceh about economic exploitation of a low-skilled labour force (Eye on Aceh 2007). Furthermore, Solidaritas Perempuan Bungoeng Jeumpa Aceh, a Banda Aceh-based women’s organization, has documented the negative impacts of the Asian Development Bank’s infrastructure loan which financed the reconstruction of the cement facility, Pt SAI-Lafarge, in Lhoknga. The impacts have included diminished access to drinkable water, militarization of the neighbourhood due to the presence of army and police in the villages that surround the cement factory, and reproductive health problems (such as miscarriages) for the female factory workers (Safrina 2008). I conducted many of the interviews with the radio drama production team, including the poster artist, at the café Kopi de Helsinki where the painting by Mahdi Abdullah (2002) titled Realitas (Reality) was hanging on the wall (see Figure 4.8). It spoke to me of the inseparability of the questions of everyday lives and the global political economy, and provided a fresh perspective for a critique of the role of experts and activists in formulating the policy advocacy agenda in Aceh. In the painting a man and woman, assumed to be husband and wife, sit in their partly broken house and kitchen with two goats. The woman is facing backwards to the ‘gaze’, her face towards their partly ruined garden, and the unfinished construction site that starts right outside their garden. The man, wearing a worn-out coat, reads a newspaper titled Reality, which portrays an illustration: a man climbing up a ladder with a shirt that has the text ‘BBM’ (Bahan Bakar Minyak, the Indonesian word for oil fuel) and two people

Women Can Do It Too!


Figure 4.8 Mahdi Abdullah, Realitas (Reality) (oil on canvas, 83103cm) Source: (Painting in the collection of Azwar Abubakar, exhibited on the wall of Kop de Helsinki, Banda Aceh; reproduced with permission from the artist)

staring at the ‘basic needs’ flying up into the sky on wings. The only food items on the couple’s table are slices of lime and red chillies that are drawn to float from the kitchen table into an illustration of the article titled ‘hot III’. A third article is titled ‘Fiscal Development’. Looking at Mahdi Abdullah’s versions of ‘reality’, I felt that there was a strong contradiction between Abdullah’s painting, the humorous style of the radio drama, and the advertising posters’ naïve art style. The juxtaposition of these two ‘realities’ was an invitation to read the radio drama more closely, pointing towards the problem of focusing gender advocacy solely on advocating equality between men and women and excluding the impacts of wider global economic processes from the picture. The radio drama portrays problems as solvable through addressing women’s access to equal rights: women become intelligible within the heteronormative family setting and through a wider market-oriented society (Griffin 2009: 153). By promoting livelihoods for women as low-skilled workers, gender advocacy potentially contributes to reinforcing existing power relations, where women, as wage labourers without contracts, have the minimum or no protection for their health, job stability and so on. An alternative feminist vision would require simultaneous


Women Can Do It Too!

attention to be paid to global political economy and its intersectional effects in everyday lives of people. Further, a close reading of the humorous and naïve style of the radio drama production in Chapter 5 will suggest that the production could also be read as a form of feminist parody, making the painful and the unspeakable visible through the parodist style, and providing a critique of liberal feminism in disguise. Becoming a good father and husband To fulfil the dreams of women’s empowerment and in order to construct a harmonious, heteronormative home, a male protagonist is needed, and hence Umar’s transformation into a ‘new Acehnese man’. Whereas the advertisement of the radio drama portrays Umar as the patriarchal head of the family, in the course of the 12 episodes of the radio drama his attitudes change. Ida’s education, women’s public decision making, managing the household finances, deciding on Adi’s education and Ida’s marriage proposal illustrate the challenges against which Umar’s ‘gender literacy/awareness’ is tested. Furthermore, two constructs are required to make the transformation of Acehnese man complete: first, the image of an absent husband, and second, the participative and caring husband. The radio drama, and the gender advocacy that focuses on the empowerment of women as the core of its agenda, reproduce ideals of men and male masculinity solely within the heteronormative family context. Frances Cleaver has argued, for example, that the existing GAD literature suggests that it is mainly men who need to change: men should take a greater burden of domestic work, give up control over household finances and decision making and so on (Cleaver 2002: 1). As a result, a construct of the ‘new Acehnese man’ as a caring father and a responsible husband emerges. This construct forms a crucial part of the idealization of the ‘harmonious family model’. According to this construct, men are essentially considered as potential oppressors of women and the question of male masculinity is analysed solely from the perspective of a heteronormative family. Taking the position that men are, essentially, oppressors of women ignores the fact that not all men benefit from the institution of patriarchy.42 Instead of talking about a stable male masculinity, inherently oppressive and negative, it might be useful to regard masculinity as constantly changing, and consider that some forms of masculinity gain positions of dominance in certain social contexts. This attention to ‘male transformation’ can be seen to reflect several parallel gender policy ideals locally, nationally and globally. In the Indonesian context, references to the roles of men appeared in the discourse on family welfare at the same time as the concept of gender appeared in national development policies in the early 1990s (Sen 1998: 44–45). Furthermore, the focus on the transformation of men has become part of a discourse on ‘men’s participation in promoting gender equality’ globally.43

Women Can Do It Too!


Drawing from these other materials on men and masculinities, the radio drama could be seen as a textbook example of how some of the GAD literature has portrayed the analytical focus: focusing on women and simplifying the lives of men. For example, in the Acehnese context male masculinity is constructed out of images of men drinking coffee at the coffee shop or men gossiping at the pos kamling44 in the evening. In fact, a common stereotype of Acehnese men is that ‘they sit at the coffee shop and gossip’ (Wulandari 2009: 38). This stereotype is very common not only in Aceh, but also in Java, where it is used pejoratively, linking Acehnese ethnicity to laziness.45 This image of Acehnese masculinity could further be seen as a continuation of the Dutch colonial discourse that attempted to characterize their colonized subjects as childish and emotionally immature, or delicate and irrational, and thus in need of Western, male guidance (Gouda 2001: 7, 13). New Order technocrats emphasized Aceh’s backwardness as a ‘deep cultural or mental problem’ (Aspinall 2009b: 53). This image aligns with Kate Bedford’s (2007, 2009) finding that gender policies portray men as unreliable and as policy problems in that they have failed to adhere to a complementary model of ‘good partnership’. More specifically, it is poor and rural men who are portrayed to be more oppressive, lazy and violent than their urban counterparts. Bedford suggests that there is a need to reflect critically upon the ways in which GAD discourse constructs and governs poor men as marginal masculinities (Bedford 2007: 303–4; Bedford 2009: 28–31). The focus on the mise-en-scène in the radio drama makes these differentiations visible. As already mentioned, the radio drama production was aimed at reaching young adults. Radio Flamboyant, the producer of the radio drama, has its audience in the upper middle-class urban elite of Banda Acehnese adolescents, whereas the drama narrative is located in an anonymous Acehnese village. Remarkably, the post-production focus group participants in 2007 complained that the image portrayed of the village in the radio drama was not accurate, and the characters used language that was too urban to construct a convincing narrative of Acehnese village life (Info Aceh 2007: 13). The storyline of episode 9, titled ‘Late pregnancy of Siti’, focuses on the question of women’s reproductive rights. The episode reiterates the importance of maternal health for women’s well-being. However, as I will illustrate, the message of the episode not only focuses on women’s health as such, but also reiterates a wider norm of the happy and prosperous family. This image is produced by juxtaposing the ideal image with an image of the family of Siti and her migrant labourer husband Jamin,46 whose lifestyle is portrayed as ‘backward’. Siti is portrayed as a woman who, at the beginning of the radio drama, is not aware of reproductive health issues and who receives advice from the other women in the village. She ‘is again pregnant, although there is less than two years since her last pregnancy and her husband has migrated in search of work’ (episode 9). The posters advertising the radio drama (Figures 4.5 to 4.7) and the episodes construct a binary between a good and a bad family model, replicating


Women Can Do It Too!

the ideal of a ‘harmonious and prosperous family’, and thus they connect it to the Indonesian family planning discourse dominant since the 1970s (Pausacker 2001).47 These ideals are also repeated in the ideology of ‘family welfare’ promoted by the PKK (Mahmud and Sa’dan 2001; Purnomo 2002), ‘harmonious equal-partnership between men and women’48 by the Ministry and the Office for Women’s Empowerment (Office of the State Minister for the Role of Women 1996; Abubakar 2001), and women’s NGOs that have produced guidebooks on ‘the partnership between men and women’ (MiSPI 2008). All these guidebooks expand norms governing happy marriage and harmonious family life (Blackburn 2004; Dwyer 2000; specific to Aceh in Purnomo 2002; MiSPI 2008; Sahardin 2002; Syam 2007). According to these guidelines, it is the responsibility of both men and women to ‘build a healthy, prosperous and happy family along with the nurturing of children, adolescents and youth in the effort to fully develop the Indonesian character’ (Sen 1998: 44). The ideal of partnership and sharing starts from the assumption that there are two adults in the family, and furthermore, that they live in one household. Thus, the construct of the nuclear family is an intimate part of the public discourse where the ideal of Indonesian and Acehnese subjectivities are produced (see also Shiraishi 1997: 164). For example, Figure 4.7 portrays a successful nuclear family with smiles on their faces happily sharing the household duties: the husband is preparing a meal while the wife is breast-feeding a baby. The corresponding episode focuses on the family of Siti and Jamin (episode 11). Jamin has come home from Malaysia and complains to his wife Siti that he cannot sleep because their newborn baby is crying all night long. Later in the episode Jamin transforms into a caring father and loving husband with the help of other men in the village. The transformation of Siti and Jamin portrays an idealized image of how the house becomes a gender-sensitive household and a home. The climax point of the episode is in the last two dialogues between Jamin and Siti, where Siti witnesses the transformation of an angry and grumpy husband into a husband who is singing a lullaby to their newborn baby, and who washes the dishes after breakfast. The transformed family is then ready to start planning for their second child. The heteronormative ideal of partnership between a wife and a husband, with two children, has been reached. Beyond the nuclear family model When the focus of gender analysis is on the monogamous nuclear family, the analytical focus of inequalities and power relations easily remains focused on the wife and the husband. However, the monogamous nuclear family is by no means the only way in which Acehnese womanhood and manhood, femininity and masculinity, are constructed. In fact, both my primary research data and talking to other researchers on their other ongoing research in the new housing settlements in Aceh confirm that the household arrangements are not

Women Can Do It Too!


limited to the nuclear heteronormative family model. For instance, some urban residents from the new settlements in Ulee Lhee in Banda Aceh explained how their housing arrangements were based either on familial relations (brothers/sisters living together), non-familial arrangements (part of the house rented to an outsider, often migrants seeking temporary jobs), or families using several houses (rural and urban) due to work or because of the fear of returning to the tsunami- or conflict-affected sites (Wulandari 2009). These alternative family and household arrangements suggest that a subversive reading of the radio drama production could be, for example, that the characters appearing in the posters (Figures 4.5 to 4.7) should not be automatically read as ‘husband and wife’ but could as well be a brother and a sister, or that the other family members were just not present at the time that the image was captured. A subversive reading of the posters and the radio drama characters questions the naturalness of seeing the characters as ‘men’ and ‘women’ or the natural alliance between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’, feminine referring to female and masculine to male. Judith Butler’s critique of the stability of sex and gender releases the characters from these presumptions; what appears to be male and female are simply ways of dressing and acting that signify the binary of male/female (see also Jauhola 2010). One might then conclude that the normative boundaries of the household arrangements are constructs made by the production team and the designers of the posters and are an unnecessarily limited reading of Acehnese household and family arrangements and the gender compositions within them. Thus, the images portrayed in the radio drama production should be treated as a construct of an Acehnese family, not a replica or a ‘true description’ of the reality. Treating the radio drama production as a construct of household arrangements enables a recognition of a household that goes beyond the expectation that a household equals a heterosexual nuclear family of two naturalized sexes where the power relations are, essentially, located between the husband and the wife. Ibu Lela’s character, for example, offers the possibility of focusing on social parenting, and on narratives of the life-worlds of women living outside a nuclear family setting.49 This opens up possibilities of addressing gendered violence that is targeted at single, widowed, or divorced women. The storyline featuring Ibu Lela, who was widowed in the tsunami (episodes 8 and 10), recounts her battle over land and guardianship rights. The storyline confirms that widows have equal rights to land and guardianship. A closer look at the Acehnese context allows a more in-depth story of tsunami-widows to emerge. Early on, there were accounts of internally displaced widowed males who decided to live together to cope with the responsibilities of caring for their children (OI 2005: 2), or stories of widows living together after a polygamous marriage (Idham 2008: 15–16). Other accounts retell stories of women who were hesitant about caring for children outside of their immediate family in order to protect their reputation. Child rearing is considered to involve affection and care and is a taboo if it concerns the children of a widower outside


Women Can Do It Too!

one’s immediate family. Involvement in the care of a widower is considered potentially a push factor for quick and early marriages. In fact, it was reported that there was a mass marriage of tsunami survivors who had lived in the same temporary shelter in June 2005 (Pennells 2008; UNFPA 2005). All in all it is estimated that around 15 per cent of the households in Aceh are femaleheaded and that the conflict had widowed over 150,000 persons (Noble and Thorburn 2009: 79; IOM 2008: 44, original source 2006 census, data are not sex-disaggregated).50 Although the primary aim of the radio drama was to raise the listeners’ awareness of women’s rights to land ownership and guardianship in the posttsunami context, the story of Ibu Lela raises two other important aspects in relation to the family norms: social parenting and the status of ‘single women’. First, although gender policy documents focus on reproductive rights and reiterate the notions of biological motherhood, social parenting is a widely accepted form of family relations and was widely used after the tsunami.51 Second, the examination of the situation of ‘single women’ – single through choice, through a divorce, or through losing their husbands because of the tsunami or the conflict – offers the possibility of recognizing various forms of discrimination and violence that are gender-based, but also specifically targeted towards specific groups of women (unmarried, widowed, divorced, etc.).51 One of my interviewees pointed out that there are numerous ways in which women are differentiated according to their social status in the community: widowed women are treated differently, according to the circumstances of their widowhood. For example, it is easier for a tsunami widow to achieve the official status of the head of the family than a conflict widow (two Gender Advisers of a bilateral assistance project). In general, there are more aid resources available for tsunami victims than for conflict victims and differences exist even within the group of ex-political prisoners, for example: those released before August 2005 compared with those released after the signing of the MoU, of which the former did not receive any compensation as only those released after the signing of the MoU became eligible for it. ‘Single women’ were identified to be in an especially vulnerable position in the report of the National Commission on Violence Against Women in 2006. The report, published in April 2006, highlighted that increased levels of gender-based discrimination were targeted at internally displaced people (IDP) women, in particular those who were widows, divorcees or unmarried girls. This discrimination included neglect, limited access to aid, forced evictions, forced marriages, and separations. Young unmarried women became victims of sexual violence, whereas the older widowed women faced discrimination and forced evictions. Perpetrators of the various kinds of violence and discrimination were mostly men, but some were also women, civil servants, or village heads. Many times perpetrators were individuals whose identity was, prior to the incident, unknown to the victim (Komnas Perempuan 2006: 1, 19–20). For example, some of the violence and discrimination carried out in the name of ‘tsunami reconstruction’ involved

Women Can Do It Too!


women IDPs being evicted from their temporary settlements and their kiosks being torn down during the run-up to the commemoration one year after the tsunami. The kiosks were considered to be ruining the appearance and orderliness of the temporary settlements. Since the tsunami there has been increased media focus on divorces initiated by women, which have been claimed to be on the rise.53 Increases in divorce have caused controversy for various reasons, as already discussed in Chapter 2. First, this is because in some parts of society, including amongst some women activists, divorce is not considered to be ‘proper Muslim behaviour’. Second, the increased tendency for women to use the formal Shari’a courts instead of community-based adat courts is condemned by some. Third, the women are said to be misled by the ‘gender NGOs’, used in a pejorative sense, which are seen to be outsiders (Nurlaila 2010). This negative tone was apparent in one of the interviews: ‘NGOs are said to be destroyers of families, because members of the women’s groups sometimes want to divorce their husbands’ (Campaign staff member of a local women’s organization). The stigma of divorce is attached to women, but also more widely to women’s organizations and activists. Femininities and masculinities in the context of armed conflict One of the most astonishing observations about the radio drama production is that nowhere in the storyline, even in the draft scripts, is there a reference to the 30-year armed conflict in Aceh. This complete silence becomes more understandable when the analysis of the production is seen alongside the analysis of the wider tsunami aid in 2005–06. As discussed already in Chapter 2, OI was one of the organizations that did not refer to the conflict in its tsunami reconstruction projects or in its official and public documentation of it. As one of the staff members reflected, for example: ‘It took us [a] long [time] internally to realise that Calang [in Aceh Jaya] is a post-conflict setting’ (Programme manager of an INGO).54 The omission of the conflict, as I will illustrate in the following section, has a major impact on how social inequalities and gendered violence, but also masculinities and femininities, become invisible in the storyline. Edward Aspinall (2009a, 2009b) argues that the formation and development of Aceh’s independence movement GAM, from the 1970s until 2005, constructs hegemonic masculinities in Aceh. Key to these constructs are kinship relations and strong village-based male bonds, strict sex segregation due to both matrifocality and Islamic teaching, and the pre-existing patrimonial networks (Aspinall 2009a, 2009b: 85–97). The rural Acehnese life-world for men is said to focus on three spheres of community life: meunasah (community hall used for meetings and practice of Islam), merantau (migration) and dayah (Islamic boarding school) (ibid.: 93). In fact, earlier anthropological accounts have reiterated the marginalized position of males in the domestic sphere. Residential systems in Aceh Besar


Women Can Do It Too!

and Pidie have been uxorilocal or matrifocal, i.e. the man moves into the woman’s village after the wedding, and the property is in the name of the woman, inherited from her maternal family (Siapno 2002: 59; Siegel 1969).55 Villages comprise clusters of houses that are owned by sisters and nieces, and similarly rice fields near the house are passed to daughters (Reid 2005: 9; Siapno 2002: 59; Siegel 1969). After puberty sons do not sleep in their maternal house but in the communal hall of the village.56 Young men and adolescents often leave their homes for religious studies, and adult males are frequently away trading and migrating for work, leaving the women in charge of the household. Snouck Hurgonje famously remarked in his pioneering anthropological research that men feel like ‘guests in the house of their wives’ (Hurgonje 1906, quoted in Siegel 1969: 52–56). Bowen points out that the construct of male and female spheres as opposites (village – merantau) was part of the discourse of the reformist Islamic movements in the early decades of the twentieth century. Constructs of male masculinity attempted to transcend matrilineal village life by focusing on self-mastery, worship and economic success (Bowen 1997: 174–75). Whereas in the wider Acehnese context male migration is considered central to the construction of male masculinity, the radio drama portrays the migrating Jamin as a man who is yet to become progressive, and who requires socialization into ‘new Acehnese manhood’ by the other male residents of the village (episode 11). This subversion of the earlier hegemonic construct of masculinity takes on rather strange undertones considering that in recent years migration (by both females and males) from Aceh has been primarily for economic survival, but also part of the survival strategies used by both conflict- and tsunami-affected populations (Aspinall 2009b; Mahdi 2012; Siapno 2002). Bonds between fathers, their sons and brothers were crucial, Aspinall argues, for the coherence of the GAM as a movement.57 The recruitment of young boys into the GAM took place through their fathers and older brothers (Aspinall 2009b: 91). Socialization into the movement provided a strong base for identity construction in networks of young men for whom loyalty, honour, physical bravery and risk taking were part of everyday life (ibid.: 92). GAM recruits were also drawn from martial arts groups, former or serving military or police personnel, petty criminals and motorbike gangs, circles that were actively constructing violent masculinity (ibid.: 93–94). The GAM commanders who became famous in the local media reiterated a machismo lifestyle, wearing assortments of military and civilian clothing and holding AK-47 rifles under their jackets. Certain outfits became identified as ‘GAM’, which meant trouble for anyone wearing a long jacket or denim jacket. Merely wearing such clothes could mean being killed with no questions asked (ibid.: 167–68). As discussed in a previous section, the Islamic boarding school, or dayah, is an important part of the Acehnese society. Whereas Siegel (1969) has argued that religious schooling is particularly important for boys, in the radio drama

Women Can Do It Too!


the boys are portrayed as either not interested in schooling (for example Ida’s little brother Ali in episode 1), or as pupils barely passing from one grade to another (Ali, episode 7). However, the radio drama pays no specific attention to boy children’s or adolescent boys’ specific gendered concerns. For example, male unemployment is not raised as a gendered concern, although it is documented elsewhere as one of the threats to sustainable peace. Many organizations involved in post-conflict reconstruction in Aceh point out the importance of the unemployed youth in any initiatives. These organizations are referring to the generation of young Acehnese men who grew up in the context of the conflict and whose identities are primarily constructed through the armed struggle, violence and intimidation. For example Guree Rahman, GAM commander for North Aceh during the Military Operation Period (DOM), said: ‘Like all boys, I liked weapons very much’ (Aspinall 2009b: 88). Gun culture is intimately linked to hegemonic notions of masculinity and expressions of male identity in conflict contexts. Guns are status symbols, but they also offer ways to gain power over the unarmed (Farr et al. 2009). The widespread use of the word ‘reintegration’ has been criticized in Aceh, since it is argued that the members of the GAM did not have to reintegrate, as they were already integrated into the societal structures and communities. Yet some of the interviewees described how the dynamics in the households and communities were changing in the post-conflict period. During the conflict, women often became the sole breadwinners for their families, as the male members of the family were killed, detained, disappeared or injured. Sometimes women lived in female-only settings for years without knowing where their husbands were or if they had been killed.58 Other times, male returnees from Malaysia had already married again.59 Women’s organizations were warning of increased incidents of domestic violence due to the ‘new dynamics at home’. Analysis of post-conflict situations concludes that there is often an increase in domestic violence when the demobilization of armed forces occurs (Handrahan 2004: 434). However, constructing the narrative of the conflict in this way reiterates the commonly made assumption that males took part in the armed conflict whereas women stayed at home managing their families. The original list of combatants provided to the reintegration authorities in Aceh included no women, which led to the false assumption that there were no female ex-combatants in the movement. Later estimates have claimed that 27.2 per cent of the ex-GAM combatants and 1.4 per cent of ex-political prisoners were women. Both male and female ex-combatants are less likely to be married than civilians of the same age (Noble and Thorburn 2009: 15) and according to one estimate, approximately 40 per cent of the GAM/TNA60 ex-combatants and ex-political prisoners are single, and 4.8 per cent widowed (IOM 2008: 8). In general, it is estimated that over half of the ex-prisoners and a quarter of the ex-GAM/TNA suffer from psychological trauma. However, the highest incidence of psychological problems is found among female combatants. It has been suggested that this is partly because the women


Women Can Do It Too!

surveyed were part of the armed wing that was directly exposed to traumatizing events. However, these symptoms are potentially due to social discrimination when they returned to their villages during the reintegration process (ibid.: 10). This could hint at an important clash of conflicting gender expectations between the community and those who return. This can be particularly hard for returning women who have not married while they were involved in the armed conflict. Economic challenges of the ex-combatants The MoU signed in August 2005 promised to provide employment for the ex-combatants, and some 42,000 people claimed their GAM/TNA status.61 The International Organization of Migration (IOM), which was given the task of immediate reintegration assistance in Aceh, identified in total 1,924 political prisoners with amnesty after the signing of the MoU. These numbers are not definitive as it is claimed that some 10,000 political prisoners who are not part of the official figures of amnestied political prisoners were released just before the MoU. This means that thousands of political prisoners released prior to August 2005 left without any reintegration assistance as they were not considered eligible for MoU assistance (IOM 2008: 7, 55, footnote 47). The first reintegration needs assessment conducted in 2006 found that the employment status of ex-GAM combatants was precarious: six months after the signing of the MoU, 75 per cent of ex-combatants had yet to find employment (World Bank 2006b: x). According to the IOM’s estimates, as of 2008, only 7 per cent of the ex-combatants had received reintegration and recovery assistance. Only one quarter of GAM/TNA ex-combatants and ex-political prisoners reported owning land. Not surprisingly, among those with the lowest levels of land ownership were youths and women. Similarly, only one in five had access to or owned livestock, with the lowest levels of livestock ownership being with older males and females (IOM 2008: xi). Most of the ex-GAM/TNA combatants and ex-political prisoners were between the ages of 21 and 30 years. Among the young adults (30 years or under), 56 per cent of the ex-GAM combatants and 40 per cent of the political prisoners had completed high school (ibid.: 8).62 The IOM identified the absence of technical skills with increased feelings of frustration amongst the younger ex-combatants and increased risks of being recruited into newly forming and pre-existing spoiler groups and gangs (ibid.: 10). The conflict affected not only those who were either in prison or took part in the armed struggle. No accurate figures exist for the total number of conflict-affected, IDP, or so-called returnee communities. However, it was estimated in 2006 that there were over 100,000 conflict-induced IDPs, of whom nearly 67,000 had already returned (ibid.: 22). All in all, many returnees have yet to establish a productive livelihood base for themselves; one-third of the IDPs and 58.4 per cent of the returnees do not have any paid employment.

Women Can Do It Too!


This has led to a situation where 80.7 per cent of the IDPs and 62.9 per cent of returnees earn less than Rp.30,000 per day (€2.1) (ibid.: x–xii). According to OI’s gender analysis of people’s livelihoods in Calang (Aceh Jaya), daily wage labouring is one of the few available income-generating activities for men who do not own farming land or whose land does not produce surplus.63 Wage labouring happens mostly in the construction industry or in illegal logging, both reportedly growing sectors due to ongoing posttsunami reconstruction efforts (Salkeld 2007). This has provided new business opportunities, particularly for the key GAM commanders who have become contractors working in the construction industry. In one discussion in 2009, elite members of the GAM were referred to as a new socio-economic elite class in Acehnese villages. Edward Aspinall has argued that a new political economy in post-conflict Aceh reproduces an economic system common in Indonesia in which political connections are exploited and corrupt practices flourish. Aspinall suggests that the tsunami aid has contributed to overall peace in Aceh by getting the ex-combatants actively involved in the construction businesses. Ex-combatants’ success in reintegrating into the political economy of post-tsunami and post-conflict reconstruction efforts seems to lie in their current political influence, but also in the threat of violence that they can impose on others, not necessarily because of their skills or capacities. However, I depart from Aspinall’s analysis, which sees this as a positive sign that supports the overall peace process, and instead argue that Aspinall’s view undermines the various new social injustices and power positions that this new development has caused in Aceh: differences between the elite combatants and the ordinary ones, who have had few chances for grasping economic opportunities (Aspinall 2009a: 2–4, 24–25, 32–34). As indicated above, the focus on the heteronormative family and constructing women as productive citizens and men as better husbands and fathers is tangential to the critical analysis of existing social inequalities in the context of post-tsunami and post-conflict Aceh. Until now, no studies of the construction of masculinities and femininities outside the family context have been published, nor studies of the impact of the conflict on the younger generations born into the context of conflict. Some of this generation have become supporters of either the independence movement or pro-Indonesia militias, and they have not directly benefited from the post-conflict political economy to the same extent that the older generation elites have. One way to conclude the analysis of the radio drama production is that the storyline, focusing on a better future for Ida, offers a queer ending for a drama that is otherwise embedded in the heteronormative framework of family, reproduction and citizenship. One could celebrate the story of Ida as a resistance to gendered and sexualized images of adolescence. Furthermore, the storyline actively subverts the persistent stereotype of tsunami survivors as passive victims who need to be helped. Compared with the images of suffering produced in the aftermath of the tsunami (Childs 2006), the posters and the


Women Can Do It Too!

radio drama challenge at least two discourses: first, the prevalent ‘disaster discourse’ in which women, particularly, are portrayed as helpless victims who are passive and in need of help (ibid.). Second, they undermine the discourse that portrays women living under Islamic law as oppressed and passive victims, what Lila Abu-Lughod has described as ‘white women saving brown women from brown men’ (Abu-Lughod 1998: 14). I remain troubled, however, as to whether this discursive shift from a ‘passive victim’ to an ‘active agent of change’ can be celebrated so easily, as it appears that the same discursive change is part of the disaster management cycle of governmentality: images of suffering are produced right after the disaster during the disaster relief phase, whereas the reconstruction and focus on longer-term development goes hand in hand with images of improvement and happiness. Recovery aid narratives are often justified on the grounds of narratives of suffering and vulnerability (Edkins 2000) and portrayed together with images of passivity and distress (Childs 2006: 208). The logic of disaster imagery constructs a universalized ‘way of seeing’ the disaster contexts: the suffering that is described in the aftermath of a disaster transforms into narratives of progress and development in linear fashion (Briggs 2003: 179). Consequently, I will argue in Chapter 5 that the images of improvement, ‘new lives’ and ‘better life’ are an important part of the normative temporal and spatial logic of the tsunami reconstruction aid. It seems that the expectations of the progress and development of the nation, whether Aceh or Indonesia, and of the global feminist agenda are embodied in a female body. Ida’s character provides an example of how adolescence is framed in the language of empowerment, and as a positive indicator for development and progress, and subverting the existing norms that govern the lives of adolescent girls in general. Anything seems to be possible for ‘Ida’, reiterating a liberal ideal that subjects are capable of realizing their dreams. According to this view, individuals have limitless capacities which problematically makes invisible a variety of social inequalities that prevent ‘Ida’ from achieving the dream (Grabham 2009: 189). Yet, as illustrated in these examples, this liberal ideal also produces some problematic connotations: female bodies become part of the nation-building discourse in which humans are seen as assets and a means to achieve national development, and are defined from the perspective of economy, religious piety and biological reproduction. Although Ida’s future is left open, it is clearly envisioned as a heteronormative and economically productive future. Aligning with Sara Ahmed’s (2010) critical analysis of constructed happiness, I argue that the analysis solely focusing on the storyline, i.e. promotion of gender equality and positive transformation from tsunami experiences to better futures, falls short. Rather, the examples elaborated from Aceh suggest that the images of adolescent girl are entangled with other social hierarchies and encounters with the tsunami and the conflict, gaining meanings in the locally lived experiences of adolescent girls that provide a critique of simplistic images of adolescence.

Women Can Do It Too!


Conclusion This chapter focused on the normative boundaries of gender as an exclusive category of feminist analysis. The primary aim in this chapter was to illustrate the social consequences of an analysis that focuses solely on identifying existing gender inequalities. The entry point for the analysis was a radio drama production titled Women Can Do It Too!, funded by OI’s Tsunami Programme in Aceh and Nias, yet the analysis drew from circles of intertextuality, locating the radio drama production as part of the wider local, national and global production of norms on social differentiations. This chapter repeated the argument made in the previous chapter that gender policies reiterate a binary of sexes and the monogamous heterosexual nuclear family as the norm. It was argued that this focus could be taken as a strategic decision. A focus on equal rights and opportunities for women could be regarded as an attempt to have a dialogue with the ongoing debate in Aceh on equal Islamic rights for men and women, where the normative boundaries are drawn along the line of binary sex difference and overtly assumed heterosexuality. However, to reduce the debate to one about equal rights and opportunities for women, and to frame the concept of equality solely as a concern of the relations between men and women, omits other aspects of social inequalities from the analysis and normalizes liberal feminist ideals into gender mainstreaming practices and tsunami reconstruction efforts. With a closer reading of intersectionality of norms, it was argued that the ideal of the heteronormative nuclear family actively participates in normalizing other social differentiations. These other contextualized differentiations were analysed through two normative images that emerge from the data: ‘adolescent girl as a future hope’ and ‘harmonious home’. First of all, the radio drama reiterates the significance of the heterosexual adolescent girl as the signifier of the success of the tsunami reconstruction process, the progress of the nation, and ultimately the progress of global feminism. The radio drama constructs ideals for the New Acehnese citizens in relations to their rights and responsibilities and constructs the adolescent girl as an ultimate signifier of modernity and progress framed through economy, employability, religiosity and reproduction. Using the example of education, the chapter demonstrated the complexity of the social inequalities within the Acehnese context and illustrated the shortcomings of an exclusive focus on gender in responding to existing inequalities. Second, the chapter argued that the ideal of the heteronormative harmonious nuclear family as part of the fantasy of an adolescent girl’s future reiterates normative images of women as multitasking citizens, namely citizens who successfully balance ‘triple gender roles’ – productive and reproductive, as well as community roles – whereas men are depicted as better husbands and fathers. The dominant image of a family is a home composed of two adults and their biological children. By focusing on the nuclear family and by omitting the conflict context, the radio drama falls short in its


Women Can Do It Too!

portrayal of the gendered dynamics of the Acehnese families and communities in the current context. The invisibility of the gendered experiences of the conflict-affected individuals and their families leaves out an important part of the context in which contemporary inequalities are reiterated: femininities and masculinities that are constructed outside of the nuclear family arrangements. Finally, I argue that the variety of other kinds of household arrangements available in Aceh outside those portrayed in the radio drama subvert the dominant position of the nuclear family ideal within gender policies.

Notes 1 Using popular culture such as radio drama productions has become an important technology of aid and development planning governmentality; see Singhal and Rogers 1988, 1999; Skuse 2005; Storey 2000. See also Indonesia-specific analysis of theatre in Hellman 2003; Pemberton 1994. 2 Flamboyant FM (Banda Aceh), Rapeja FM (Lamno), Megaphon FM (Sigli), Dalka FM (Meulaboh), and Pro 2 FM (Lhokseumawe). 3 Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 non-governmental organizations (e.g. Oxfam UK, Australia, Canada) and works in over 100 countries on development and humanitarian assistance. The overall OI tsunami programme in Aceh and Nias focused on housing construction, livelihoods and public health. The total OI expenditure in Aceh and Nias was roughly €88.5 million and the housing construction was the geographical anchor for the other activities. In total, OI built 1,566 houses in Aceh and it reported having over 705,000 beneficiaries in Indonesia (Aceh and Nias) between December 2004 and September 2008 (OI 2008: 10, 15). The donations received after the tsunami are said to be the largest that OI has ever received for a single disaster, totalling €227 million to be spent in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Somalia and the Maldives. The Tsunami Fund and the related project activities were closed in December 2009 (OI 2007: 4, 28). 4 Quite strickingly, the only reference to ‘barrack people’, internally displaced people living in barracks, is made in episode 2, where ‘the barrack people’ are said to leave rubbish in the vicinity of the meunasah. This in a context where estimated 130,000 tsunami-affected people lived in either temporary tents or barracks. 5 OGB stands for Oxfam Great Britain, which was in charge of the overall Oxfam International Programme in Aceh. 6 The analysis in this chapter draws on the 12 episodes broadcast and the 10 posters used to advertise each episode. The data also include transcripts of each of the episodes in the broadcast languages of Indonesian and Acehnese, synopses of the first three episodes in English, production scripts of the draft versions of the five episodes in English, and finally, interviews with people who were involved in the production process (artists, gender officers, members of the production team). 7 More critical analyses relate family planning programmes as one of the examples of how Suharto’s New Order regime scrutinized and regulated both men’s and women’s bodies and their sexual and reproductive practices (Butt 2005: 171; also Dwyer 2000). 8 OI has developed a tool to measure gender sensitivity of its programmes, called ‘rating the quality of gender mainstreaming’. The four levels of quality are: level A, ‘gender is not mentioned at all’; level B, ‘a very basic gender analysis which focuses on women’s roles and responsibilities in isolation’; level C, ‘moderate gender

Women Can Do It Too!

9 10



13 14 15



18 19


analysis which addresses women’s empowerment but stops short of analysing the balance of power’; and level D, ‘strong gender analysis which addresses gendered power relations … considers socially constructed gender roles … how these roles are crosscut by other forms of social identity’ (Gell and Motla 2002). When the radio drama production is analysed using this scale, it is clear that even within OI’s own internal rating, the radio drama production is limited in its approach. Umar’s line corresponds with a well known Acehnese idiom: ‘Girls can forget higher education because after getting married, they will work in the kitchen’ (Saad 2008: 1). The BRR’s gender policy identified the equal gender distribution of secondary and higher school scholarships as one of its primary gender advocacy goals (BRR 2006b: 17). One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to promote gender equality and empower women, and the target by 2005 was to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education (UN 2008), and one of the critical areas of concern for the Beijing Platform of Action is ‘Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child’ (UN 2001). See also Rosalind Eyben’s critical analysis of the ‘girl effect’ animation, a collaboration between the Nike Foundation, UN Foundation and the Coalition for Adolescent Girl (Eyben n.d.). In episode 3, Pocut and Umar have differences of opinion about which school their youngest child Adi should attend. Whereas Umar intends to send Adi to ‘SMP unggul’ (see glossary), Pocut is convinced that Adi should be put into the MTsN (see glossary), arguing that there are Islamic schools with good reputations in which it is possible to combine secular knowledge (the national curriculum, in the dialogue called ‘ilmu dunia’) and a religious curriculum (in the dialogue called ‘ilmu agama’). UNIFEM, for example, had a project to mainstream gender in Islamic boarding schools, with the idea that during the process the curriculum at the school would integrate gender-sensitive interpretations of the Qur’an. Islamic boarding schools are seen by many gender-oriented organizations as one of the most important locations to establish transformation towards gender-sensitive interpretations. The independence movement and Acehnese nationalists considered the Indonesian education system one of their greatest enemies, as they argued it was turning Acehnese children into Indonesian citizens (Aspinall 2009b: 2). In state schools, additional costs consist of school uniforms, tests and any additional hours required for tutoring. According to the World Bank’s poverty assessment, over 30 per cent of the rural population lives below poverty line. However, the number is higher for femaleheaded households. The poverty line in this particular case is calculated as a consumption per person per month and, for example, the official poverty line was drawn in 2006 at Rp.179,199 (ca. €12.80) (World Bank 2008: 8). For example, in 2004 the enrolment levels in the senior high school level of the two lowest income quantiles were between 50 and 60 per cent, whereas for the two highest income quantiles the same figure was between 70 and 75 per cent (World Bank 2006a: 81). The tsunami killed some 2,500 teachers and more than 2,100 schools were destroyed or damaged and approximately 150,000 students lost their educational facilities. Furthermore it is estimated that about 3,000 teachers and 46,000 students were living in temporary shelters immediately after the disaster (AusAID 2007). For example, between 1998 and 2003, 546 schools were burned (Yunus n.d.) and schools were targets of gun shootings. One of the strategies of GAM supporters to resist the Indonesian government was to refuse to obtain or carry identification cards issued by the government, which they were officially forced to do.


Women Can Do It Too!

20 See Saya Shiraishi’s analysis of the normative constructs of Acehnese school textbooks and the Indonesian school system (Shiraishi 1983, 1997). 21 Marriageable age has been debated in the Indonesian archipelago since the Dutch colonial period when the age was formalized through legal frameworks such as marriage legislation (Blackburn 2004). The marriage law from 1974 formally states that the marriageable age is 16 for females and 19 for males. Judith Halberstam has challenged the constructed binary between youth/adult and growing up/reaching maturity by offering alternative readings of queer temporalities (Halberstam 2005: 2). In the Acehnese context there is no detailed documentation of the narratives of queer temporalities, yet the Banda Aceh-based NGO Violet Grey does advocacy on queer life worlds in the urban spaces in Aceh. 22 Two concepts are generally used to differentiate young people from adults in Indonesian language: pemuda (young people) emerged around the time when young people (mostly males) were recruited into the independence struggle against the Dutch (Handajani 2008: 92). The concept of adolescence (remaja) is a recent one that emerged after independence (ibid.: 51, 93). 23 The original Indonesian title uses the concept Mawaddah wa rahmah, which is a concept from the Qur’an [30:21] and which translates into English as ‘love and mercy’ or ‘love and compassion’, and which in the Indonesian context is used to describe the ideal relationship of a husband and wife within a household. Thus, the booklet is primarily an advisory booklet preparing adolescent girls for the role of a wife. 24 Other debated qanuns include Qanun 12/2002, 13/2002 and 14/2002, relating to the consumption of alcohol, gambling, and relationships and interactions between unmarried men and women (khalwat), against which Acehnese and Javanese women activists have strongly demonstrated accusing of misogynistic interpretations of the Qur’an and the Hadith (Grossman 2012: 103–6). 25 As discussed in Chapter 3, in September 2009, the local parliament in Aceh passed a new criminal law (qanun jinayah) that combines the earlier qanuns. The governor refused to sign the law that would have a provision for stoning to death, amongst other things, and thus it has returned for a new preparatory phase. 26 One of the key critiques of the implementation of Shari’a law is that it has focused on ‘curing’ the moral ills in society by focusing on women’s bodies instead of focusing on the societal problems of corruption, nepotism and collusion (KKN, Kolusi, Korupsi, Nepotisme). This politicized way of focusing on morality of the common Acehnese turns a blind eye to the clientelism and corrupted political economy (Aspinall 2009a). 27 It is estimated that out of 154 by-laws that are based on reductionist and politically motivated interpretations of Islam, 63 discriminate against women explicitly, varying from dress codes focusing on women and obliging public servants and schoolchildren to wear Islamic dress, namely loose clothing and a jilbab, to criminalization of prostitution and classification of the proximity between unmarried men and women as zina (adultery) (Mir-Hosseini and Hamzic´ 2010: 57–58; also White and Anshor 2008: 151). 28 Qanun 11/2002: paragraph 21: if someone does not take part in Friday prayers for three times, it is punishable (Abubakar and Hasan 2006: 19–20). 29 Pandé in Acehnese translates into English as ‘smart’ or ‘clever’. 30 Throughout this section, I use the Indonesian word jilbab that has been used since the 1980s. In current-day usage, jilbab has at least two meanings: it can refer to a woman’s Islamic clothing in general, or just to the veil. In an Acehnese context the concept ‘busana Muslim’, Muslim dress, is also widely used (see a more general discussion on the word jilbab in e.g. Nef-Saluz 2007: 1). 31 Aurat translates into English as a ‘private part of the body that is not to be exposed in the public’.

Women Can Do It Too!


32 I relate this detail as a reference to the arguments that it was the immoral (women’s) behaviour that caused the tsunami. 33 In October 2009 the district head of West Aceh decreed that the district government would ban women wearing tight trousers from January 2010 onwards. I was also told of a case where a youth gang had attacked young women in North Aceh and cut their trousers. 34 See also Tangdililing 1980 for a pre-tsunami debate on the relations between Acehnese and non-Acehnese and non-Muslim populations. 35 Whether the use of the word ‘feminist’ is intentional or unintentional, or has replaced the word ‘feminine’, is impossible to say, yet the ‘slip’ is analytically interesting as the article is critical of cultural changes due to foreign influence in Aceh. 36 For an analysis of the Islamic revival of the middle classes and the religious activeness of university students in Java see Brenner 1996: 677. 37 Pancasila is Indonesia’s five-point state ideology which acknowledges the existence of six official religions in Indonesia. This provision is opposed by some of the Islamic groups which advocate the formation of an Islamic state of Indonesia. 38 Ethnic differences potentially materialize themselves as distinct languages, societal expectations and norms, and ethnic identity. 39 Arisan in the context of women has a negative connotation of gossiping. 40 PKK, established in the 1970s by the Ministry of the Interior, has a structure from the central government level to the village level, where wives of the state officials are in charge of day-to-day activities. PKK’s core ideology has been to promote the ‘five duties of women’ (Panca Dharma Wanita): to be loyal companions of their husbands, to procreate for the nation, to educate and guide their children, to regulate the household, and lastly to be a useful member of society. See further e.g. Blackburn 2004; Rinaldo 2002: 4, 5; Robinson 1995: 70–71; Wieringa 1992. 41 See also Griffin’s (2009) analysis of women’s and men’s cultural intelligibility in the World Bank’s policy documents through reproductive heteronormativity and their place in the wider market society. 42 See e.g. Bowen 2003 for a detailed description of male hierarchies within uxorilocal and virilocal marriage systems, where the ‘men who remain in the village’ are higher in the hierarchy in comparison with ‘men who are married into the village’. Furthermore, in episode 11 Polem Jali states ‘we who are still new to the household have to learn from Pak Umar’, which could be read as an endorsement of the uxorilocal marriage system and as acknowledgement of social hierarchy within which Pak Umar, Polem Jali and Jamin are situated. 43 The Commission on Status of Women organized a special session in 2004 titled ‘The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality’ (CSW 2004). Similarly, the OI’s work on gender equality has included discussions on men and masculinities since 2002 when the project ‘Gender Equality and Men’ was launched (see e.g. Sweetman 1997: 2). 44 Pos kamling (pos kampung lingkungan – village-based security posts), is a community-based security mechanism where all men are required to ‘volunteer’ at night time in turns. During the conflict in Aceh, soldiers forced men to ‘volunteer’ in night guard duty, and men who fell asleep were beaten up (Aspinall 2009b: 112). There are also reports that GAM targeted the security posts in an attempt to destroy the military. 45 In September 2009, the newly appointed rector of the Islamic University in Banda Aceh (IAIN), emphasizing the importance of reading as an indicator of progress, commented that the ‘culture of sitting for hours in the coffee shop belongs to the past’. In his opinion reading represents an indicator of progressive times, whereas the coffee shop is ‘primitive’ (Serambi Indonesia 2009b).


Women Can Do It Too!

46 Migration, or merantau, is a common expectation of the male members of the family in search of employment or trade. During the armed conflict and initial days after the tsunami, migration was one of the survival strategies (Mahdi 2012: 133). Northern Sumatra, but more importantly Malaysia, have been the most important destinations of Acehnese merantau. In the early 1990s it was estimated that tens of thousands of Acehnese had migrated to Malaysia either as registered workers or illegal immigrants and that most of the officially registered workers from Aceh were men (Aspinall 2009b: 93, 115; see also Siapno 2002). In the radio drama Jamin is said to work at a palm oil plantation in Malaysia (episode 11). 47 The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), which has been active in producing gender mainstreaming-related manuals, defines a quality family as prosperous, healthy, progressive and independent, has the ideal number of children (two), is future-oriented, harmonious and religiously pious. BKKBN has used slogans such as ‘two is enough’ and more recently ‘quality family [by] 2015’. 48 Declaration of Mexico, the first UN Conference on Women in 1975 defined the family as a basic unit of society, and stated that men’s active participation is required to provide home and work possibilities for both partners (UN 1975: paragraph 5). 49 See Siapno’s (2002) analysis of the existence of an Acehnese folklore tradition that subverts the family orientation of women’s naturalized life-worlds dominated in the historical manuscript literature. 50 The sources on the number of conflict widows differ drastically. The Aceh Reintegration Board (BRA) states that there are an estimated 29,435 people, most of whom are widows, eligible for diyat compensation (Noble and Thorburn 2009: 18). 51 Social parenting means that children are given to either relatives or other people to be taken care of. It is not necessarily a formal adoption process. 52 Siapno argues that historically there has not been any stigma attached to widowhood in Aceh, and rather that the demonization of widows is part of the ‘conflict’ tactics used by the military (Siapno 2002: 28–29). Sexual abuse and torture of suspect GAM widows is widely reported. Similarly, Bowen explains that divorces were common when the reformist Islamic movement became prominent in Aceh in the early decades of the twentieth century and the explanation given for this is that male and female spheres were constructed as ‘opposite’, thereby causing ‘family tensions’ (Bowen 1997: 175). 53 Saiful et al. argue that the reasons for divorces initiated by women in Banda Aceh were due to failed gendered economic expectations (husband does not work or is not able to ‘provide for the family’, neglect, or abandoning his family). Other reasons given were drunkenness, gambling and laziness (Saiful et al. 2007: 31; see also Afrida 2007; Mubary 2006; Waspada online 2007). 54 When conducting interviews in 2008, OI was implementing several ‘post-conflict’ programmes in Aceh, with a special funding arrangement earmarked for ‘violence against women’ activities, but not under its main gender mainstreaming of post-tsunami funding. 55 The Acehnese word for ‘wife’ is not ‘housewife’, as in the Indonesian language (ibu rumah tangga in Indonesian), but ‘the one who owns the house’ (njang po rumoh in Acehnese). 56 The head of the meunasah is referred to as the ‘mother’ of the village, whereas the village head is referred to as ‘father’ (Jayawardena 1977: 37, footnote 11). 57 There is ongoing research of constructed womanhood in GAM and amongst female combatants, but it is yet to be published. 58 In this context I was told of anecdotes of the occurrence of same-sex practices, known as ‘women’s friendships’.

Women Can Do It Too!


59 The drama portrays the situation as if the migrating pattern would be of males only, whereas female migration, as already pointed out in the previous section of this chapter, is common too. 60 TNA, Tenaga Nasional Aceh, National Army of Aceh, the armed wing of the GAM. 61 These figures may be higher than the actual figures as it potentially includes fraud names, because during the time of the listing economic assistance and social entitlements were provided to the people on the list. 62 According to statistics from 2003, 26 per cent of the workforce, 23 per cent of the workers and 48 per cent of the unemployed have completed secondary high school in Aceh (President of the Republic of Indonesia 2005: V.2–2). 63 Farmers are not a homogenous group within a village. Usually there is one landowner who owns most of the land, while the rest have just small landholdings, rent land for farming, or work as wage labourers.


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming Governing spatial and temporal landscapes of post-tsunami Aceh

The drive to Lhokseumawe was full of emotions. The driver had migrated to Malaysia during the conflict and through the six-hour long drive, he told stories of his life, relating them directly to the route we drove. Right after taking off from Banda Aceh he told me that he is alive today because he was travelling to Langsa on 26th December. He returned to Banda Aceh on the same evening to witness the destruction and disappearance of friends and family members. Throughout the night, when it was impossible to see outside the car, he kept pointing out to the dark and said, for example: ‘This is where I was stopped by the TNI [Indonesian army] and was asked for money to be able to continue the journey’. I knew the route from my first drive to Lhokseumawe in 2006, yet I felt overwhelmed by the details of the villages and locations he was pointing at. I realized that my first encounter with the physical maps and geographies of Aceh in 2006 focused solely on constructing my map of Aceh based on the GIS maps provided by the aid organization I was working with. My map of the route between Banda Aceh and Lhokseumawe was mostly filled with [tsunami] reconstruction sites: sites of housing construction, community-based activities and micro-credit groups and so on. I realized that I was not able to see what the driver was pointing at, not only because it was pitch dark, but because my map of Aceh was not the same experiential map of having lived in Aceh during the conflict, where places and locations, such as hills, plains, forests, and military posts, had very different connotations and meanings than today. That trip opened my eyes concretely to how spatiality in Aceh is highly divided and how multiple and simultaneously constructed temporal and spatial maps of the Acehnese landscape exist next to one another. (field notes, 23 October 2008) Encounters such as the one I recorded in October 2008 plainly illustrate the ways in which aid workers, and researchers, are offered numerous opportunities to become aware of the multitude of temporalities and spatialities in Aceh. Once these experiential landscapes become visible, there is rarely any turning back. Consequently, this chapter argues that project managerial tools

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


form an important technology of government through which aid reconstruction efforts, such as gender mainstreaming, govern ‘post-tsunami Aceh’. Project managerialism reiterates developmentalist notions of temporality and spatiality, familiar to Aceh from both Dutch colonial and Indonesian state ideals. These ideals normalize the village and community as naturally and harmoniously existing spheres that further signify ‘natural’ development temporality: progress and the move towards modernity. With the focus on community empowerment in project implementation, aid expert knowledge, or more specifically gender expert knowledge, becomes invisible. As a consequence, community-based activities supported by disaster/development aid appear as a ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ part of everyday life in the post-tsunami Acehnese village. Linking these arguments to the analysis of governmentality of gender mainstreaming made in the previous chapters, I suggest that the heteronormative binary of sex/gender, the fantasy of the adolescent girl’s bright future, and the transformation into a harmonious, heteronormative nuclear family, can only exist in the context of a future-oriented, neoliberal ideal of a progressive and self-reliant village and the developmentalist state, which is further intimately linked with the idea of implementing Islamic law in Aceh and the formation of modern Muslim subjectivity (see also Feener 2012). Whilst constructing progressive images of ‘new Acehnese citizenship’, gender policies portray an idealized image of the village, of community life, of the relationships between the community and development/disaster aid and development planning, and significantly, of the reconstructed developmentalist state. Community appears ‘as a space of emotional relationships through which individual identities are constructed through their bonds to micro-cultures of values and meanings’ (Nikolas Rose, quoted in Li 2007: 233). A close reading of the radio drama posters further reveals an emerging idealization of whiteness that adds a troubling racial dimension to the normative message of gender advocacy, positioning whiteness as an indicator of progress and development. This chapter can also be read as a ‘reversed reading’ of Oxfam International’s (OI) radio drama production: moving backwards from the broadcast episodes to the initial planning of it, making the production process and the ‘voices’ of the producers visible. Thus, the chapter offers a close reading of aid practices that normalize certain understandings of space and time; communitybased approaches, the use of project management tools, and the role of expert knowledge. Furthermore, the chapter locates the simultaneously emerging subversive notions of time and space, disruptions and cracks, which subvert the linear narratives of progress. These narratives subvert dominant gender advocacy discourse. Returning to the ideas of performativity, and the politics of subversion, I argue that Aceh could be understood to consist of multiple landscapes that are in a constant process of ‘becoming’. Instead of narrating the post-tsunami


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

Aceh as ‘better’ and ‘reconstructed’, this chapter suggests that ‘Aceh’ should be understood as a multitude: an open, performatively produced social space (Butler 1990; Campbell 2006) through which norms are continuously politicized and the traumas of the tsunami and armed conflict are kept open. This chapter has two parts: the first part focuses on aid practices that normalize and govern Acehnese understandings of spatiality and temporality. The focus is on naturalized understanding of the village as the focus of development, the role of village elites in articulating the needs of the village, the use of project managerial tools, and the role of gender expertise. The second part of the chapter focuses on subversive notions of temporality and spatiality that challenge the narratives of progress and simplistic understandings of the post-tsunami landscapes of Aceh.

Progressive village as a development ideal It [the project] is just to start the discussion, try to shape the thinking [of Acehnese society]. (Gender officer of an INGO) Tanya Murray Li has argued that the ‘ideology of improvement’ has shaped Indonesian landscapes, livelihoods and identities for nearly two centuries and has been orchestrated by colonial officers, missionaries, politicians, bureaucrats, aid organizations, experts and specialists, and NGOs. As already discussed in Chapter 4, OI’s radio drama Women Can Do It Too! is set in an anonymous Acehnese village where Ida and her family live. This focus on community and village life is a dominant way in which post-tsunami programmes and national development plans are organized. The idealization of the village as the epicentre of development planning is nothing new in an Indonesian or Acehnese context; it has in fact been part of development planning from the time of the Acehnese sultanates and the Dutch colonial period up to the present time. During the Dutch colonial period, the ‘Village Regulation’ in 1906 aspired to transform villages into cost-effective instruments of welfare. The idea was that experts should reinvigorate the ‘natural autonomy’ of the villages with interventions after which the villagers should take responsibility for their own improvement. Training included record keeping, accounting, banking and the exercise of democratic governance through elected village representatives (Li 2007: 43). The village was later hailed by Suharto’s regime as an exemplar of the Indonesian way of life. The law passed in 1979 on village governance produced a standardized Indonesian-wide village governance structure replacing earlier governance structures, generically known as adat. The new statesupported administrative village leader positions either replaced or weakened the positions of the existing adat leaders. This led to various consequences in different parts of the Indonesian archipelago: at times it meant that previously strong adat positions were weakened, in other cases the adat leaders took up

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


the formal village administration positions, and in some other cases the system created an ongoing power struggle amongst these village elites (UNDP 2007: 50). During the conflict in Aceh, the GAM established its own parallel governance structures from the provincial level all the way down to the village level as part of its conflict tactics in an attempt to paralyse the state-supported administrative structures. During President Suharto’s New Order (1965–98), villages became the target of massive development schemes focusing on agriculture, irrigation, family planning and so on. The president himself was called the ‘Father of Development’ (Bapak Pembangunan), whereas his governments became known as ‘Development Orders’ (Heryanto 1988). Further, the Indonesian word to ‘develop’ (membangun) has a specific ideological genealogy. Since independence in 1947, ‘development’ has had strong connotations of ‘nation building’, ‘modernization’, ‘economic growth’ and the development of ‘Indonesian character/identity’. Experts and technocrats planned and determined the direction of ‘development’ and the process of achieving ‘the development’ was built into concepts that have aimed to convey a positive meaning, such as ‘participation’, ‘mutual cooperation’ (gotong-royong), and ‘socialization’ (see e.g. Heryanto 1988; and Bowen 1986). In Acehnese usage, the term ‘socialization’ (sosialisasi) is used to mean both dissemination and publicizing of information, but curiously also socialization assumes that individuals, after the socialization process, behave according to socially desired norms (Feener 2012: 30). The emphasis on ‘community participation’ has taken place simultaneously with the emphasis on ‘participation’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘community-driven development’. In the Indonesian context decentralization reforms implemented after the 1997 economic crisis were supported by the major international aid organizations. One of the most influential initiatives is the World Bank’s Sub-District Development Programme (KDP, Kecematan Development Programme), initiated in 1998. KDP-established development committees in the villages have been used as a vehicle of advancing gender equality and the KDP model has been replicated in other post-conflict locations such as the Philippines, East Timor and Afghanistan (Li 2007: 231–32).1 In Aceh, the KDP has become one of the aid mechanisms used to deliver post-tsunami and post-conflict aid in Aceh, not just by the World Bank, but also by several bilateral donors, international organizations and gender mainstreaming initiatives (DSF 2007). The main thrust of the KDP project was that ‘empowered communities would be able to plan their own projects, manage conflicts, and reform the state apparatus from below’ (Li 2007: 230). These explicitly promoted goals are combined with elaborate procedures, rule books, monitoring and auditing formats, which turn the romanticized idea of ‘community-driven development’ into machinery that ‘shape desires and act on actions, setting the conditions so that people would behave as they ought’ (ibid.: 231, emphasis in original).


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

In the post-Suharto context, the decentralization laws passed in 1998 relocated the responsibility for development planning to districts. However, due to the ongoing conflict, the development planning in Aceh remained at the provincial level as stipulated in the law 44/1999 On the Special Status of the Province of Aceh.2 Using the same law, however, the government of Aceh passed a local regulation, 7/2000 On the Establishment of Adat Life. This regulation attempted to re-localize the Indonesian state terminology for ‘village head’ (kepala desa) with the Acehnese adat term keuchik, and the term ‘village’ (desa) was replaced with the Acehnese word gampung. Furthermore, the regulation recognized other Acehnese adat village-based governance structures: the council of five elders (tuha peut, who oversee aspects of village law and religion), the local religious scholar (ulama) and the head of the village mosque (imam meunasah). One of the tasks of these adat institutions is the settling and mediation of disputes between community members (IDLO 2007: 15; UNDP 2007: 50, 51). If a dispute occurs in a village, adat village leaders will attempt to resolve the issue through consultation, generally known as musyawarah (IDLO 2007: 16).3 In the current legal framework the lowest level of the legal system, the adat law, is located in the village. This means that before approaching the formal legal system (be it the Shari’a court or the civil court), an adat process should be attempted first. This has led to a situation where it is widely believed that the adat system is the only legal system available, or that the decisions taken by the adat cannot be appealed in other courts. Furthermore, an assessment that was conducted at the time of the radio programme in 2006 concluded that adat decisions were by no means just or fair, but were rather corrupt and marginalized vulnerable groups within the village (ibid: 17). In this respect, the revitalization of the adat system in the post-conflict context in Aceh has not only renewed decision-making structures, but in fact (re)created a new political and legal elite at the village level. There is strong social pressure to use the adat system and individuals, such as women seeking divorce or widows asking for social benefits, are often locally stigmatized for going beyond the village system (ibid: 17–18; Nurlaila 2010). Lee-Koo has argued that this indicates that ‘peace in Aceh was sought without radically altering or challenging the existing patterns of social relations and, in particular, gendered power relations’ (Lee-Koo 2012: 73). Recognizing this longstanding focus on development through the improvement of village life and the creation of well-being through community life, it is not surprising that most organizations involved in the promotion of gender equality take the village or community as their starting point. As one of my interviewees put it: I think the first priority is to influence the village, to change their mindset about gender, feminism so that it would be integrated in their policy. Then, I think we can go easily, with them supporting us doing it. (Gender officer of an INGO)

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


Li has argued that although the village is considered natural, it is also assumed that its condition has to be improved: ‘Communities are said to have the secret of [the] good life, yet experts must intervene to secure that goodness and enhance it’ (Li 2007: 232). The importance of the village as the focus of ‘development’ is also constructed through the storyline of OI’s radio drama, where all the main dialogues take place in the village space. It is remarkable that apart from one migrant worker, none of the other characters who live in the village leave the village. However, various visitors enter and leave the village, just as the listener of the radio drama does. The storyline constructs the lives of the Acehnese coastal villagers and their relationship with tsunami aid reconstruction. They continue living their lives within their village and it is outsiders (those who provide tsunami assistance) who help them to move forwards as empowered and progressive citizens, as a family and as a village. However, there is a clear ideological shift apparent in the storyline, which reflects the shift within wider tsunami aid reconstruction – a move away from technical assistance-driven development projects using short- and long-term consultants and experts, towards a community-driven development approach. Whereas the script of episode 4 relies on a ‘gender emancipation’ expert, the version broadcast shows how the women’s animal husbandry group manages to negotiate a better deal for the price of eggs without any outside help, or rather with help that is invisible/inaudible. The storyline paints a picture in which any problems arising within the village and the eventual solutions to these problems can be found within the village sphere, as if there were no connection with the wider global political economy, or even with various government structures at the sub-district, district, provincial, national, or international level. No global political or economic debates take place, unlike how ‘Acehnese problems’ are portrayed in Aceh in general by politicians, media and civil society to name a few. Thus, the radio drama production de-politicizes tsunami aid and cuts its connections to Shari’a implementation, development plans and budgets, liberalized markets, foreign investments and so on. I argue that this normative picture has a wider intertextual connection to what Mark Duffield has called the ‘ultimate ideal of development/betterment’: self-reliance. For Duffield, the discourse on development relies on the dichotomy between developed/insured and underdeveloped/non-insured populations (Duffield 2007: 49). Duffield also argues that humanitarian assistance ‘invokes a more thoroughgoing self-reliance as the best way to proof non-insured peoples against disaster’ and ‘each crisis of self-reliance is used to restate selfreliance as the only possible future of non-insured surplus life’ (ibid.). Duffield describes relief aid as constructing an unending need for aid: media coverage from emergency situations is used to further mobilize resources for new relief aid in other contexts. Although progress reports are produced of the ongoing and completed programmes, it is unlikely that the ‘need’ for relief aid is ever going to diminish or disappear (see also Edkins 2000).


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

Furthermore, state structures are largely absent from the dominant aid images. If portrayed at all, the state is described as a problem. The absence of state structures relates to the wider liberal distrust towards state mechanisms and thus provides a justification for aid efforts by NGOs. Decentralized planning and local decision making are related to a wider ‘ideological allergy’ to state-led development programming. Whilst portraying the state as inherently problematic, NGOs are portrayed as morally better, and featured as working directly with communities (Duffield 2007: 52–53). Emphasis on the active participation of citizens within aid activities seems to neglect the question of access to justice and services and thus constitutes boundaries and social inequalities in the post-tsunami and post-conflict context. In all fairness to Oxfam’s gender work internationally, it is important to acknowledge that the tools produced for Oxfam’s gender mainstreaming work include sensitivity towards ‘gender biases’ in existing national or regional economic policies and practices (see e.g. Gell and Motla 2002). However, the linkages between disaster aid, the context of conflict, and wider economic policies and practices seem to be omitted at least from the post-tsunami programme’s gender advocacy initiatives.

Village elites as trustees of development Li argues that various ‘trustees’ are at the core of the ‘will to improve’. These trustees claim to know how others should live, what is best for them and what they need.4 As Li puts it, ‘it is not to dominate others – it is to enhance their capacity for action, and to direct it’ (Li 2007: 5). Who are the trustees of development in the context of gender mainstreaming? A closer look at the radio drama production illustrates a wider practice of aid that became apparent to me throughout the data collection process in Aceh. The radio drama reveals at least two layers of expertise. The first layer appears in the storyline: the characters who play key roles in supporting development and improvement within the village sphere. The second layer is apparent in the production phase of the radio drama: the gender expertise that planned the drama and made decisions about its contents, which will be discussed later in the chapter. In the radio drama, village elites such as the village head, the leader of the women’s group and the teacher perform the tasks of ‘trustees’ claiming to know how to improve the village. The focus on these select villagers replicates the ways in which aid organizations, as well as researchers, often become dependent on such elites as their ‘key informants’ for their ‘grassroots information’. Their position within village-based power relations is not always questioned. As already mentioned, prescriptions for village life have been part of governmental arrangements since the colonial period. The often-uttered ideal of decentralization and community-based planning is the empowerment of the village. Recent research suggests, however, that the move away from the

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


centrally administered and managed New Order development ideology does not necessarily lead to a stronger civil society or increased social justice. It is argued that decentralization has been accompanied by new forms of authoritarian rule and has strengthened the local village and district-based elites (Nordholt and van Klinken 2007: 1–2). Formalized village positions have produced vertical social hierarchies and situations where the village leaders are likely to represent the government or interests other than the interests of the common villagers. OI’s evaluation reported, for instance, that Acehnese women considered formal women’s groups in the village as functional even though they did not take up issues that were of concern to local women (Oxfam 2008a: 6; see also Telford and Cosgrave 2007: 18). Furthermore, the radio drama idealizes the village authorities as rational people who do not lose their tempers even in difficult situations. It is the task of the village head and the village secretary to remind other villagers and listeners alike of the importance of the active participation of all in the ‘village development towards progress’. This ideal is emphasized in moments where the leadership expresses their frustration about non-participation and passiveness, for example when the village head complains: Quiet please … you are still as noisy … as children … how can we improve ourselves if we always behave like this … It is better washing the cow than taking care of people [spoken in Acehnese]. (episode 5 as broadcast, transl. by MJ)


Oh God … I am confused, actually it is better washing the cow than taking care of people. It is not only the women but also the men who have not arrived … I am tired of making announcements. (script of episode 5, original translation)


Or when villagers ‘educate’ one another: UMAR:

Oh that’s normal, life is naturally like that and the meeting is important for our village … and if there is a meeting, as many as possible are required to attend it … think about it, if there was a meeting but no one attended it, what would our village become? (episode 5, translated by MJ, emphasis added)

The frustration of the village head is not an isolated case but is reminiscent of the images of laziness and disinterest of the villagers. The reference to children illustrates the power relationship between the village authorities (adults) and non-participating villagers (children).5 Teivo Teivainen calls this ‘the pedagogy of global development’, understanding pedagogy as a broad dimension of a hegemonic relationship where development actors are ‘teachers’ and the developing world is the child who is being educated (Teivainen 2009: 163–64). In the case of the radio drama, the village elite and the


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

pedagogical voice of the narrator function as the ‘teacher’ of the common villagers and the listeners of the radio drama. The issue of elite control over the delivery of aid was raised as a concern in Oxfam’s evaluation process in 2008. The Acehnese participants of the evaluation workshop claimed the aid distribution lists were manipulated by the committee members and powerful individuals, resulting in low quality and quantity of aid for socially marginal groups within the village. Inequitable distribution was said to stimulate internal conflicts within communities (Oxfam 2008a). I further suggest that women as a social group are not immune from such power struggles, and in fact that the constructed image of women as essentially peaceful and promoting universal sisterhood hides the power relations that exist in a community. However, on closer examination it is the married women and women with university degrees who play the most important roles and are hailed by other women. This resonates with another normative boundary that also emerged in the interviews with women activists: age and educational background matter. It seems that younger girls and particularly unmarried women stand lower in the hierarchy than married women or women with leadership positions, or who are married to village leaders. Women were often represented in the meetings by the village leader’s wife (who is also the head of the Pembinaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga, Pemberdayaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga, Family Welfare Movement, or PKK), their husbands, or sons (Pennells 2008). The respect for university education was also evident amongst the women activists: some members of the gender email discussion list complained about not being taken seriously if they had not completed tertiary education. Thus, the story of Ida can also be seen as the story of a future elite member in the making. It is, however, not just the younger, uneducated generation that is sidelined from decision making and active citizenship. For example, the IOM assessment suggested alarmingly that the largest ethnic group in Aceh, i.e. the Acehnese, have low levels of trust in other ethnic groups, and further that village meetings are not organized to discuss or resolve disputes between divided communities (IOM 2008: 25, 26). Furthermore, Oxfam’s evaluation revealed that problems related to women’s participation were not limited to village or formal structures: ‘women felt that they were neither heard or understood by the agencies and NGOs’, and that ‘the women who participated felt it more as an extra burden, added to their family and community responsibilities and worries’ (Oxfam 2008a: 4). These situations were further complicated by the fact that staff of each aid agency organized their own meetings, even in the same villages. As Oxfam’s evaluation participants said, they felt ‘insecure and intimidated by NGO approaches, and felt obliged to participate, but didn’t understand why they were participating. NGOs didn’t visit people in their homes, but [meetings were held] only in the public sphere’ (Oxfam 2008a: annex). All in all, these examples suggest that if one attempts to understand what is at stake in gender advocacy in post-tsunami

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


reconstruction efforts, one needs to analyse the various aid practices, and the kinds of possibilities for participation they provide, more critically.

Committees and focus group discussions as aid knowledge production I noted in my field notes when I was in Aceh in 2008: This idea is somewhat bizarre: There was a disaster on 26th December 2004, and as a result there are hundreds if not thousands of workshops and training programmes organized to ‘empower’ and Acehnese society. The outspoken threats are patriarchal society and other cultural practices. The logic seems to be that people need help and development. I argue that the gender advocacy initiatives rely on the notion of ‘governance at a distance’ (Li 2007). The production of knowledge of ‘development’ and ‘gender and development’ in Aceh is created with the help of experts, consultants and facilitators in community meetings using tools such as focus group discussions. I argue, following Jane Parpart, that the collection of ‘local knowledge’ and supporting local analytical and planning skills is a more complicated process than the project documents lead us to anticipate. Parpart stresses that ‘knowledge is not something that just exists out there, ready to be discovered and used. It is embedded in social contexts, exerted in relations of power and attached to different power positions’ (Parpart 2002: 49). One of the commonly used concepts in Indonesian development practice is ‘socialization’, which has a particular genealogy in the context of Indonesia, and was commonly used by President Suharto’s New Order regime. Government programmes and plans to ‘develop and modernize’ rural parts of Indonesia were introduced to rural populations through open community meetings and the process was called ‘socialization’. New ways to ‘conduct conduct’ include an emphasis on the ‘capabilities, self-reliance and mental endurance of women’ (Office of the State Minister for the Role of Women 1996). Self-sufficiency and sustainability are common ideals repeated by the central government’s gender mainstreaming policies as discussed in the previous chapter, and they also inform the thinking of all aid organizations, whether local, or international, state or non-state institutions. This is done by emphasizing community participation and advocating the establishment of issue-based groups and committees, whose main task is to hold meetings, prepare plans and proposals to receive gender funds, and monitor their implementation. The committees are made responsible for development planning in the community. Many of the organizations recruit locals who are trained in community organizing and leadership, social analysis, organizational management skills and technical facilitation. Committees and groups are trained to draw up action plans that are then later implemented, monitored and evaluated. The template is simple. Committees are made to write project


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

proposals based on the ideas coming from the community-based meetings. Earmarked grants are then distributed based on the evaluation of the feasibility of the proposals.6 Usually, a certain number are reserved for womenspecific projects, and this is called gender mainstreaming. The goal of the competitive proposal production and project implementation is not necessarily the achievement of the project work as such but it is rather to teach ‘mechanisms of project planning and delivery’ (Li 2007: 248). This was explained to me in one of the interviews: The concept is not what they need but how it is that they want to propose something, at the village level, is that they have to talk about it and they have to discuss it. So the concept is more likely to make people [come together]. (Programme officer of an international organization) One of the most commonly mentioned techniques in the community is to either conduct ‘situational assessments’ or to ‘introduce new ideas’ using focus group discussions (FGD), which are defined as ‘a group discussion of approximately six to twelve persons guided by a facilitator, during which group members talk freely and spontaneously about a certain topic’ (IDRC n.d.). One Acehnese organization describes their rationale for organizing a FGD as an: [a]ttempt to identify the problems … and discussion will be directed more towards one problem, that is how to improve the women’s economy … FGD is conducted to identify problems so that it will be easier to solve the problems and to encourage the group members to form the habit of always discussing the problems they face … [expected] results of the FGD: members now comprehend the [UN Security Council] Resolution 1325 and why it is important to implement the programme in their village. (document discussed with programme officer of an international organization) FGDs are often used to gather information about the target communities and the importance of reliable data was highlighted repeatedly in the interviews: The most important thing about data is to give [a] clear picture of what is actually happening and that when we are dealing with it or when we are working on it, we have justifications for this. So that’s after we know and we try to break it down to indicators, if we want to make improvement in the future. (Programme officer of an international organization) The everyday lives of Acehnese people are narrated in the language of solvable problems in these meetings. Sometimes aid organizations attempt to

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


overcome the ‘distance’ between them and their target populations by recruiting local ‘community volunteers’ or by locating some staff members permanently in the village, bridging the distance: We have 500 facilitators … the facilitators live in the village with the people and they can see what’s really important for these people, but you have to make sure that they are qualified enough. (Gender adviser of a bilateral assistance project) Although the emphasis is on the potentiality of ‘communities’, expert knowledge and positions, such as those of trained facilitators, community volunteers or civil society organizations, are required to secure the success of the process, whether the agenda is state-driven or donor driven, NGO-driven or civil society-driven. In fact, Tanya Murray Li is sceptical about how much difference these actors really make. Regardless of activists’ different and sometimes critical politics they still ‘find numerous deficiencies in the population they aim to support’ (Li 2007: 24). Li argues that even the more critical development activism quickly becomes a technical process of instructing people and programming their futures through the discourse of ‘empowerment’ (see also Teivainen 2009 on the pedagogy of global development). As one of my interviewees reflected: ‘this situation, the receiver, the giver – is never an equal relationship’ (Gender officer of an INGO). Thus, community-based development becomes a process where ‘the will to improve’ is no longer orchestrated from outside by the government or aid organizations, but ideally it becomes part of the self-disciplining of the everyday lives of the village members who follow their own self-interest (Li 2007: 5). The emphasis on the empowerment of communities flourishes at the same time as a strong emphasis on top-down policy, illustrated in another interview where the interviewee reflects on gender mainstreaming as a ‘flow from the province to the district’ (Gender adviser of an international organization). I argue along with Parpart and Crawley that the discourse on empowerment and participation establishes the illusion of ‘moral superiority’ which then shields the aid practitioners, gender experts included, from criticism (Crawley 1998: 25; Parpart 2002: 48).

Project cycle and logical framework guiding aid temporality Projects represent the commitment of human and physical resources to produce specific outcomes in a given time and budget framework. (FAO 2001: 11) Projects and project management tools are at the core of development and disaster aid practices, gender mainstreaming initiatives included.7 The focus of aid has moved towards planned, managerial and interventionist approaches (Saunders 2002: 2). Aid practitioners are trained to describe aid as an


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming identification




implementation and monitoring proposal, approval and financing

Figure 5.1 Stages in the project cycle

investment of human and physical resources using ‘project cycle’ vocabulary.8 In the ‘project cycle’, the ‘project’ is divided into six phases: identification; preparation; appraisal; proposal preparation, approval and financing; implementation and monitoring; and evaluation. This is usually visualized as a cycle with arrows indicating the movement in time (Figure 5.1). Similarly, the Gender Analysis Pathway Flowchart, used by the gender mainstreaming bureaucrats of the Indonesian central government and the Acehnese provincial government, portrays the analysis processes as cyclical, as illustrated in Figure 5.2. Whereas the cyclical temporality of the ‘project cycle’ describes the overall phasing of the aid, another management tool, originating from 1969, is

PGllcy analysis The existing Goalsfobjective of the

developmenl policy! p rog ra m/p rej E:cila ctivi1y


f Policy

5. RefOfmu lale deve~opment

2. Dala AnalyslS

{Sex Di s..,agg regatBd • Q~lan1ila'ive • Qualltatlll8

policy/p rogra m/p roj 8Ct' activity to be gel'lde~ responswe

Adon Plans 7. Ar;(ion Plfln

8. Targel

3 Gender 961 p factors Access Par1icipation



6 Gender Jndicators

4. Gender Problems. What Where



Figure 5.2 Gender Analysis Pathway Flowchart Source: (MOWEa 2002)








Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming Activity Description Goal or Impact - The long term development impact (policy goal) that the activity contributes at a national or sectorallevel Purpose or Outcome The medium term result(s) that the activity aims to achieve - in terms of benefits to tar!=jet !=jroups Component Objectives or Intermediate Results - This level in the objectives or results hierarchy can be used to provide a clear link between outputs and outcomes (particularly for larger multicomponent activities) Outputs - The tangible products or .c:p.rvi/'":p..c: th~t the activity will deliver

Indicators How the achievement will be measured - including appropriate targets (quantity, quality and time) How the achievement of the Purpose will be measured including appropriate targets (quantity, quality and time) How the achievement of the Component Objectives will be measured - including appropriate targets (quantity, quality and time)

How the achievement of the Outputs will be measured including appropriate targets (quantity, quality and time)


Means of Verification Sources of information on the Goal indicator(s) - including who will collect it and how often


Sources of information on the Purpose indicator(s) - including who will collect it and how often

Assumptions concerning the Purpose to Goal linkage

Sources of information on the Component Objectives indicator(s) - including who will collect it and how often

Assumptions concerning the Component Objective to Output linkage

Sources of information on the Output indicator(s) - including who will collect it and how often

Assumptions concerning the Output to Comparative Objective linkage

Work program (not usually included in the matrix itself)

Figure 5.3 Table illustration of a ‘Logical Framework Matrix’ Source: (AusAID 2005: 3)

known as the ‘logical framework’,9 a tool widely used by aid organizations to describe the ‘logic’ of each separate intervention (Figure 5.3). The ‘logic’ of the logical framework can be traced to the matrix itself. Each box in the matrix is supposed to have a logical, i.e. causal, relationship with the other boxes in the same column. The arrow plays an important role in indicating the direction of the movement, i.e. progress. For example, the ‘activity description’, sometimes known as the ‘project logic’, has four boxes, which represent the project hierarchy: the Outputs of the project should ideally lead to Intermediate Results of the project, which further lead to fulfilment of the purpose of the project, which then contribute to the long-term goal of the project. The arrow in Figure 5.3 points at the temporal starting point of the project (see also Gasper 2003). For example, OI’s radio drama production was part of the wider gender mainstreaming plan ‘Promoting Gender Equality in Aceh/Nias Programme’. The project strategy was outlined to consist of ‘capacity building, networking, advocacy, lobbying and research’. The project document also defined that: the outcome is enhanced commitment and capacity in promoting gender equality as well as an increased recognition of women’s role in the family and community development by women and men within OGB [Oxfam Great Britain] and in the communities, manifested through changed attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. (Oxfam Business Unit 2006: 1) Thus, gender equality (the goal) is claimed to be reachable, once the activities (capacity building, networking, advocacy, lobbying and research) are completed. The completed activities would further result in ‘commitment and capacity’ (the outcome), which would be monitored as a change in ‘attitudes, perceptions and beliefs’ (indicators of change, also called means of verification).


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

Figure 5.4 Project temporality as a spiral

These commonly used project planning tools and concepts illustrate how the micro-cosmos of project thinking is based on an understanding of causality (logical framework), yet is portrayed as cyclical (project cycle management): ‘the cycle represents a continuous process’ (FAO 2001: 12). It is usual practice that an evaluation of one project leads to identification of new project ideas, which then leads to a new preparation process and so on. The logical framework seems to imply that there are identifiable causal relationships between inputs, outputs, results and the goal. Perhaps even more importantly, these identifiable elements are assumed to constitute and cause the change that becomes observable in a given target population as an ‘improvement’ or an image of ‘better’. I suggest therefore, that Figure 5.4, which constructs the project’s temporality as cyclical, could be replaced with a figure of a three-dimensional spiral.10 This would better illustrate the idea of ‘progress’ that informs development thinking: a spiral-shaped visualization which has a starting point, and clear spiralling movement forward, usually upwards. I argue that this spiral understanding of temporality, seemingly cyclical yet continuously progressive, would more appropriately correspond to how project temporalities are constructed in the aid project documents. I argue that a normative notion of temporality as a spiral remains the dominant notion of time in development and disaster relief projects and development planning in general, gender mainstreaming initiatives included. Aid initiatives rely on the idea of progress and future orientation that

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


emphasizes the importance of reaching the project’s milestones, narrated into a logical framework and progress and evaluation reports. To use the radio drama as an example, many of the dominant norms are introduced along with another discourse: a discourse on modernity and progress. A key character to witness the forward moving tendency in the village is the grandmother: she repeatedly remarks how things have changed and the situation has got better for women. The claim that things are better for women is an interesting contrast with the Acehnese women activists’ notions of how things did not get better when the implementation of Shari’a Islam was strengthened after the establishment of the Shari’a police. Acehnese women activists on many occasions refer to how in fact some things were better in the past than today, referring specifically, for example, to the four queen rulers and the matrilineal inheritance system. However, the narratives of ‘progress’ would not be complete if a particular visual detail of OI’s radio drama posters (see Figures 4.1, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7), namely the fair skin colour of the characters, were not incorporated into the analysis. All the characters are portrayed as fair skinned, in line with the existing beauty norm widely advertised in women’s magazines and on television. Whitening powder and cream is available in Acehnese shops and is used by the urban middle class, not just for adults but also small babies, females and males alike. Skin colour produces a class distinction: ‘dark skin implies the need to spend the whole day working in a rice field under the hot sun’ (Dakin 2003: 107). This identification of whiteness with progress, empowerment and class distinction is what Sara Ahmed has described as the ‘phenomenology of whiteness’: an effect of racialization, which shapes and orients how bodies ‘take up’ space and what bodies can do (Ahmed 2007a: 150). The idealization of whiteness adds a troubling dimension to the normative message of gender advocacy, positioning whiteness ‘as a background to experience’ (ibid.) and an indicator of progress and development. This takes the storyline of the radio drama back to the centre of the critique by women of colour and postcolonial feminism: the production of white skin and white-embodied experience as an ideal and an indicator of progress. The ‘fair complexioned’ bodies in the posters ‘are a reminder of the histories of colonialism … which makes the world “white”, a world that is inherited, or which is already given before the point of an individual’s arrival’ (ibid.: 153). The fact that this notion of progressiveness and linearity of time has to be repeated and reiterated points towards its inherently socially constructed nature. Time is constructed in everyday practices so that it appears ‘normal’. By distancing the familiarity of certain reconstruction events and understandings of temporality within the gender mainstreaming initiatives and gender policies, I attempt to make the constructedness of understandings of temporality as linear visible, and will return to alternative notions of temporality later in this chapter.


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

Gender experts reproducing normative boundaries and social differentiations The emergence of gender policies and the institutionalization of feminist strategies into state structures and mechanisms have created a new highly professional state and governance-oriented network of gender equality advocates with access to the institutions of power (Squires 2007: 2). In fact, the emergence of gender in disaster and development aid has provided many job opportunities for people who either specialize in gender analysis or have specialized training in conducting gender analysis. In the Acehnese context gender experts belong to a heterogeneous group of people either employed as gender advisers, gender or project officers in charge of ‘gender issues’, or employees or volunteers of local (women’s) organizations usually contracted by INGOs, international governmental organizations and other donor agencies to implement ‘gender’ or women’s empowerment programmes. For example, in the case of the radio drama production, the project document11 was prepared by the gender coordinator of OI’s Banda Aceh office, and the overseeing of the production process was a collaboration between the media and gender units. None of this work ‘behind the scenes’ is visible if one only focuses on the storyline of the final broadcast episodes. As with the radio drama production, most of the gender advocacy materials and gender policy documents are results of processes that usually include inputs from gender advisers or gender programme officers. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at the gender expert positions that exist in government bodies and international organizations. The tsunami wave is said to have created another ‘wave’, a wave of (inter) national emergency experts mainly from Europe, the USA and Australia arriving in Aceh and other tsunami-affected areas. However, not all of the recruited experts were from the geographical West, as there were a number of gender experts recruited from the South and Southeast Asia (Fulu 2007: 856). From early on in Aceh, gender experts formed a mixed group of expatriates (non-Indonesian citizens), and Indonesian and Acehnese gender advocates. The recruitment of gender experts in Aceh between 2006 and 2009 illustrates how small the core group is: most of the Indonesian and Acehnese gender experts were ‘recycled’ from other existing gender expert positions: either within Aceh, or more widely from other parts of Indonesia. The Gender Working Group (GWG), originally an initiative of local and national gender advocates who worked in the UNFPA and the UNIFEM, has become one of the important forums where members share their experiences, but also plan joint events and advocacy campaigns. The gender email list, GWG meetings and evenings together in Banda Aceh cafés provide a space for Acehnese and Indonesian gender advocates to network together. To become a gender expert usually requires a university education and related work experience, proven skills to conduct gender analysis and gender advocacy, and in Aceh increasingly, knowledge of Islamic studies and Shari’a law. Gayatri

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


Chakravorty Spivak argues that ‘metropolitan education’ has created a foreign and a corresponding indigenous elite who share a class line that cuts across race and the North–South divide, and who speak the same language over the subaltern voices. This language reproduces colonial subjects and distances the gender experts from those whom they intend to protect (Spivak 2008: 16–18). However, particular differentiations amongst the group of experts became clear during my fieldwork. The first differentiation was made between the ‘expatriate women’ whose ideas are generally accepted, and the ‘local staff, especially the women, [who] will have to face the social resistance’ (Oxfam 2008b: 5). Some interviewees also pointed out the politics of the recruitment process: ‘when the recruitment criteria are set too high, there are not many local women who are able to apply for it’ (Gender coordinator of an international NGO). This has led to criticism of the gender recruitment paradigm: a focus on the curriculum vitae and formal qualifications (university degree) instead of practical experience. It also has led to situations where general imbalances in aid organizations are reflected in the general composition of the ‘gender staff’: imbalance in race and ethnicity, ‘urban people serving the rural poor’ and a ‘bias towards the white women’ (gender coordinator of an international NGO, 9 October 2008). Christine Sylvester argued already in 1995 that although most experts (in Africa) were indigenous women, ‘Northern’-based women still controlled the greater share of global funding and resources such as publications and consultancy work (Sylvester 1995: 956). It appears that in the context of posttsunami Aceh, gender experts are mainly recruited from the universityeducated middle class who are from the urban ‘development hubs’ of Indonesia or locally recruited Acehnese. International experts seem to be recruited for specific shorter-term assignments to conduct assessments, training or project evaluation. Various other differentiations were articulated during the interviews. One interviewee noted that there was a resistance to the perceived ‘outsider influence’ amongst the experts and activists, even though if ‘you talk about the same thing … they [local women activists] feel threatened by so-called outsiders trying to dictate to them what is useful for Aceh’ (Gender adviser of an international organization). Similarly, some of the other interviewees noted how some of the gender advocates had difficulties in positioning themselves between the older women’s organizations and newly emerging organizations representing Acehnese female ex-combatants, or how advocates respond to violence justified using Shari’a Islam discourse and literal/textual interpretations of the Qur’an.

Aid expert – community relations Most of the post-tsunami and post-conflict aid gender expert positions in Aceh are located in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, although sometimes people would work part-time in Aceh and part-time in Jakarta, and some are


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

located in the districts. When within Aceh or between gender working outside Banda Aceh or hierarchies, interviewees would interviewee said:

asked about the social differentiations experts, depending on their experience their own positionality within the social answer differently. For example, one

Most of my experience is in Banda-Aceh. So I believe there are issues such as rural-urban [differentiation], but I am not really an expert on that … Javanese and Acehnese … I have a stigma for being non-Acehnese for example … of course GAM and non-GAM differentiation … I don’t know about district levels, but there must be some [differences]. (Programme officer of an international organization) The distance between the aid workers and the target communities was further reiterated in project progress reports that complained about the difficulty staff members had in reaching the communities because the target villages were isolated, and project locations were far away from the town. Also, references were made to the ‘problem of time’ where the target population was not prioritizing the project activities and showed a ‘lack of discipline’. An example from the radio drama provides an interesting insight to the emerging aid subjectivities and aid temporalities. In the drama, the aid community appears in the form of one character in one of the episodes (episode 10) – Saleh, a staff member of LBH Anak12 is invited by the village head to give advice on a guardianship dispute. Saleh comes to the village to take part in a meeting with a specific agenda (the guardianship dispute), but has difficulty in remembering the names of the people whom he is advising and disappears once the case is solved. All this portrays a common image of aid workers in Aceh in 2006: aid workers in their white SUVs with the aid organizations’ logos on their doors enter the tsunami-affected villages to oversee and advise on ongoing project activities and leave the villages to go back to their office in the district capital or in Banda Aceh to write a report about it afterwards (see e.g. Oxfam 2007).13 Another signposting of the presence of the aid community appears before the radio drama dialogues, through the announcements made by the narrator in the beginning, reminding the audience that the production is part of Oxfam’s tsunami programme and through the visible Oxfam logos in the posters. This repeated another common sight in Aceh: street signs with the logos of aid organizations pointing towards their offices or project sites, or white jeeps passing by with logos of the aid organizations on the doors. I argue further that the language used in the dialogues and the posters establishes yet another difference between the aid community (experts) and the target population. Many gender experts found it challenging to ‘translate’ gender policies and a gender approach into the language of the ‘target population’. However, some admitted that a change of language made the topics more approachable for ‘ordinary people’. The interviewees reflected

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


critically on the existence of different languages referring to ‘S1, S2, S3 languages’14 and the ‘community language’ and to the need to adjust one’s language: It actually depends on whom we talk with, like for the NGO activists it’s little bit different than [in a community]. (Gender officer of an international NGO) 70% of the women in village x are illiterate and the majority of the population in village x cannot speak bahasa Indonesia. (extract from a project progress report) The language used in the radio drama, for example, is mostly formal bahasa Indonesian, but bahasa Aceh and colloquial bahasa Indonesian are also used. The post-production focus group, made up of participants from four villages in Aceh Besar, reflected upon the language of the drama episodes in the following way: Participants found the drama confusing and difficult to understand, especially in parts where the use of Indonesian language in Acehnese dialect is mixed with Acehnese. Since the military and NGOs came in, we have to use Indonesian language to get along with them. That is why most villagers can speak Indonesian. The language used in the dramas is too urban; they do not reflect our condition in the village. We feel uncomfortable listening to it. (Info Aceh 2007: 13) I argue that the shifts in the language differentiate a variety of positions: differences of status and position between characters. In the rural Acehnese context, formal bahasa Indonesian and English signify formal positions within government structures or the military, or local or international aid organizations, and have become signifiers of reconstruction efforts, progress, enlightenment and knowledge.15 Postcolonial theory has stressed the role of translation ‘as a moment of hegemonic incorporation of the “other voice” in the colonial process’ (Rodriguez 2006: paragraph 8), a process where Western epistemology is transferred through the process of translation. Instead of seeing this process as totalitarian, I turn to Tom Boellstorff’s use of concepts ‘dubbing culture’ and ‘voice over’ to describe post-colonial state and gay and lesbi subjectivities in Indonesia, and the incommensurability of two languages: moving lips that do not match with the soundtrack (Boellstorff 2005a: 582–83). Paying closer attention to the shifts in language and acknowledging the workings of several languages simultaneously, it is possible to make the politics of aid practices visible (see further e.g. Ahmed 2000; Spivak 1993). My field notes from


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

attending a meeting of local women’s organizations in Bener Meriah in November 2008 illustrate these shifts: I sit in a classroom where the meeting of district-based women’s organizations is about to start. There is a problem with getting the computer connected to the video projector. Participants use the time to talk, while the event organizers go through the cables, and push various buttons on the computers … After 20 minutes, the meeting starts, without the computer. … Participants are using vocabulary that the Banda-Aceh based facilitator does not recognise, as they are in the local dialect. However, when it is time to make recommendations based on the meeting the familiar ‘development’ vocabulary reappears: Seminars, training, workshops, strategic planning, being effective, power points, assessments, stakeholders, programmes, political education, advocacy and socialisation.

Disruptions to chronological time ‘World’s Bell’ Here we were, fifty-six women trying to reach a termination how we want our duek palat inong16 to be. Here we were, on the fourth floor of this dank hotel, musty, fusty and rank reminding us so of tsunami overtones and Death. Yet we plough on to talk about post-tsunami acts and Hope. What would happen, the poet asked, if women told the truth about their lives? The world would split open. (From Debra H. Yatim’s English-language poem collection titled Of Aceh and Turning Tides: Songs for My Sisters, 2005: 29) Debra H. Yatim is a Jakarta-based half-Acehnese NGO activist who participated in the process of engendering the reconstruction efforts through her voluntary work, but also as an aid consultant. In 2006 the poem collection was widely available at so-called ‘bule shops’17 in Banda Aceh, shops that sell

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


Western food (such as the supermarket Blang Rakal and Caswell’s café), and primarily served the expatriate tsunami aid experts. In a review of the collection, Nelden Djakababa (2006) described how the poem collection gave voice to Acehnese pain, horror and grief and simultaneous hope and laughter, but also painted her personal reflections on in-between-ness and multiple identities. Yatim’s poems can be read to verbalize some of the tabooed gendered, sexualized aspects of the experiences of tsunami and the political violence in Aceh (Jauhola 2011). Yet, the poem ‘World’s Bell’ also verbalizes a disruption to aid normativity: it portrays the simultaneously existing temporalities and spatialities in Aceh. First, it narrates a story of reconstruction optimism: ‘post-tsunami acts’ and hope, making plans for Acehnese women’s futures, and reiterating that the move to a ‘better future’ is possible. Second, the poem makes the ‘auxiliary space’ (Smirl 2008), spatial and material practices of international humanitarianism such as the dank hotel in the poem, visible. Third, the latter part of the poem dramatically subverts the aid optimism with a phrase ‘the world would split open’, if the ‘real truth’ were told. These two parallel registers of presence located within the aid spatiality, I argue, point to an important distinction between what is normatively expected to be discussed – a focus on the reconstruction process – and yet how that expectation of expressly articulated progress does not necessarily reflect at all what is going on in the minds of the people; how these people experientially connect to one another. It appears as if the revelation of the existence of other registers, loss, despair and sorrow, would distort the reformation of the social order (Edkins 2003: 9). The radio drama portrays the tsunami survivors in the village as people who, despite their losses – land, house, family members and so on – are able to normalize their lives after the tsunami. Issues that the inhabitants face during their everyday lives are portrayed as manageable and solvable. The village is portrayed as harmonious, or becoming harmonious once and for all when the gender issues in the village have been solved. With a closer reading, however, other kinds of stories emerge from the materials. In their writings on heteronormativity, subversion and disruption to the norm, Samuel Chambers and Terrell Carver call these moments ‘cracks’ (Chambers and Carver 2008: 129, 134). If the official post-tsunami reconstruction and gender mainstreaming discourse mainly portrays an image of progressive chronological temporality, it is not to say that no other notions of temporality and spatiality exist in Aceh. For example, a poster with the slogan ‘To improve family economic management, women also have to organize the domestic finances’ (Figure 5.5) is a concrete example of how ‘cracks’ in the Acehnese context have a specific connotation: cracks in any (re)constructed spaces in Aceh are evidence of constantly recurring earthquakes, phenomena that are unexpected and unpredictable.18 Thus, ‘cracks’ signify the recurrent earthquakes in Aceh, but also memories and bodily experiences of minor tremors. For example, one of my interviews was interrupted in 2007 as my research assistant panicked and


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

Figure 5.5 Oxfam’s Tsunami Response Programme in Aceh, ‘To improve management of family economics, women also have to organize the domestic finances’, 2006 Source: (Reproduced with permission from Oxfam Indonesia Country Office)

rushed out of the office when we felt a strong tremor with a sound of windows moving. She wanted to return home to make sure that her two daughters were safe. The source of the tremor turned out to be a big asphalt-making machine that was being used less than 50 metres from the office where we were conducting the interview. The memory of the earthquake and the

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


tsunami is located in the bodily memory, which is alert to sudden movements and sounds. The prevalence of tsunami memories was also evident in 2009 when the news of the earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra, on 30 September 2009 filled the local broadcast news and newspapers. One of my Acehnese ex-colleagues commented immediately, ‘Earthquakes always bring me the old horrible memories, so I know how it feels like. Padang, you are in my prayer … ’ (JiaJia 2009). The possibility of multiple temporalities in the tsunami context is raised once in the storyline of the radio drama. When preparing for the celebration of Maulid, the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, two women are grateful that they participated in the village meeting as they felt their opinion was listened to (episode 5). According to Ibu Midah and Ibu Jah, although the Maulid should be celebrated, any ‘excessive fun’ should be avoided due to the tsunami losses. This is the only occasion where the tsunami with its darker overtones is mentioned explicitly. Otherwise the tsunami losses are portrayed as rational and solvable problems: village secretary elections (which are held because the previous secretary died in the tsunami), a land dispute (Ibu Lela’s husband died in the tsunami) and guardianship rights (Tati’s parents died in the tsunami). The tsunami deaths of family members and neighbours make up a large part of ongoing discussions about the everyday lives of people in Aceh. In 2006, people told me about the sounds and voices that they could still hear in places where they had on 26 December 2004 tried to rescue those who were buried in the debris; stories of spirits and ghosts that appear at various locations and moments of day; and narrations of oneself through two contexts: through the family one has lost and through the other family that was later found or established after the tsunami. Similarly, those who had experienced violence during the conflict, especially in the notorious torture camps, recounted how they could still hear the tortured people’s voices (Discussion with a human rights expert focusing on conflict victims in 2009).19 In 2008, whilst visiting a conflict-affected region in Takengon with one local women’s organization, the appearance of a ghost to two Acehnese employees materialized the connections between the spatialities of political violence, and everyday lives that are lived side by side with those who died or disappeared due to the conflict: Last night I woke in the middle of the night [and found] that X was sitting on her bed repeating ‘Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar’. I thought she was just having nightmares and offered her to come and sleep next to me. I quickly fell asleep again. Next day I was told that the two women sharing the bedroom with me had woken up that night because a ghost had appeared into the room. Salt was bought and it was sprinkled around the room. There was a lengthy discussion on spirits and ghosts that are part of the everyday lives of many people in the conflict areas, how they are not always inherently bad and harmful, but rather, part of


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming ‘us’. Just the day before I was told how people in this village were not able to sleep at nights as they were afraid to hear sounds of cars, that would have in the past meant that the military were entering the village in search of GAM. (field notes, 30 November 2008)

There are many accounts of spirits and ghosts in Aceh: ‘Asked if there are not ghosts, hantu, here, Rudi said: “yes, but they don’t frighten anyone … so long as there are ghosts, the dead are not forgotten”’ (Siegel et al. 2008: 18–19). In fact, there is no word for ‘nightmare’ in Acehnese, but rather people explain the dreams either as works of devil spirits (jin), or as messages about the future (loempoe); they are often kept secret from others (Grayman 2007). Not all experiences of spirits, ghosts or dreams are negative, suggesting that these visits may also provide pleasure and comfort to people (IOM 2006: 41). The dominant notion of ‘moving forward’ and the temporary nature of mourning overlie more private grief and experiences of re-living the past in everyday lives. Irwan Abdullah’s article on the construction and reproduction of culture narrates a story of a young mother, aged 30, who arrives every day with her daughter and sits at the ruins of her house for several hours to ‘restore her heart and to receive strength to go through her life … the daily pilgrimage to the ruins of the house brings her strength to be able to deal with the future’ (Abdullah 2006: 122). Two years later, during my second field visit in Aceh in 2008, I came across examples where the normative chronological notions of before and after were disrupted: on 6 October 2008, Serambi Indonesia reported from Meulaboh where 27 tsunami victims’ bodies were moved from a mass grave in a village to one in another village, as at the time of their burial there had been no graveyard in their own village. The article was accompanied by a photograph from the prayer ceremony in the receiving village: men were conducting a ceremonial prayer in front of the 27 white body bags (Serambi Indonesia 2008b). Thus, to locate the tsunami and the earthquake only as an event that occurred on 26 December 2004 provides a narrow understanding of the tsunami temporalities in Aceh and the sole focus on the experience of the tsunami masks the relevance of the armed conflict in understanding the wider context in Aceh. The silencing of narratives about the conflict gives the impression that the narratives of Aceh are as a military official described them in October 2008: ‘as there is peace in Aceh, communities should be able to live without the fear’ (Serambi Indonesia 2008a). This statement ignores the experiences of intimidation, unsettled grievances, memories and the bodily experiences of those who were affected by the conflict. In one interview in North Aceh, for example, a representative of a women’s organization gave a vivid explanation of the existence of conflict temporalities in the present. When the organization was conducting an evaluation of its posttsunami work just a couple of months after that programme had ended in the village, some of the female participants were not able to describe in what

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


kinds of activities they had taken part. However, the same people, who were also victims of sexual harassment and rape during the conflict, would be able to give detailed descriptions of the person who raped them, including the colours of their clothes, and the smells that they could still smell (Three programme officers of a local women’s organization). Allen Feldman discusses the genealogy of death within the narratives of conflict landscapes and how the narratives of death and ghosts retell stories of a disordering of space and time and how the narrative is divorced from the linear notions of time (Feldman 1991: 67). Constructing one’s present through memorializing the dead family member is one way in which pluralist and multiple temporality (see discussion in Chapter 1) time is constructed in the everyday lives in Aceh.

Radio drama – a parody of progressive space and time? In this section I return to the radio drama production and suggest reading it as a form of subversive feminism. Close reading of the style of the radio drama production and the posters returns to Butler’s (1990) notions of performativity and parody and the Acehnese concept of peungeut which Siapno translates as ‘ambiguous or impure opposition which may ostensibly appear as co-optation’ (Siapno 2002: 2). The ‘parodic repetition of the “original” … reveals the original to be nothing other than a parody of the idea of the natural and the original’ (Butler 1990: 43). Parody to Butler offers possibilities: ‘the perpetual displacement constitutes a fluidity of identities that suggests an openness to resignification and recontextualization’ (ibid.). The meanings of gender in the radio drama can be clearly located as a product and reproduction of hegemonic and liberal heteronormative culture and norms (Butler 1990: 188). Yet, the ‘out of place’ feel of the production allows us to see the norms as denaturalized and recontextualized – as a parody. I illustrate this with three examples: the posters, the ‘tune in’ music, and the actors’ transfer in and out of their characters at the end of the episodes. First, drawing from Jean-François Lyotard’s work on ‘political posters’ I argue that there is a relationship between the explicitly normative storyline, the ‘organisation of society’ and the ‘plastic surface’ of the posters: a relationship between ‘plastic space’ and ‘textual space’ (Lyotard 1985: 211), or discursive space and visual space. Lyotard argues that without the text, the figures in their silence and immobility would torment the spectator: ‘the text is the order … [a] reassuring image which one recites to oneself – an image into which I can resolutely project myself ’ (ibid.: 214). The textual space conforms to the main plots of the radio drama, each poster repeating the particular women’s rights that the production aims to advocate. Although I have already offered one reading of the ‘naivety’ of the posters in Chapter 4, the ‘plastic space’ of the posters offers possibilities for other readings as well, challenging ‘the assumption that there is a direct relationship between the visible and the real’ (Campbell 2009: 54) and drawing on the inescapable


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

openness to multiple and different, and at times contradictory readings (Campbell 2012; see also Sajed 2012). The child-like, simple and naïvely styled posters use juxtaposed primary colours and by doing that, offer a subversive space away from the storyline of the radio drama production. What is known as ‘naïve art’ or ‘raw art’, either looked down on by high art critics, or considered not subversive enough by theorists, deserves a closer reading as a potential subversive space. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes naïve art as ‘work of artists in sophisticated societies who lack or reject conventional expertise in the representation or depiction of real objects’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 2009), which allows for a narrative of playfulness. Posters are drawn without using the effect of a shadow and could be read as images of people whose experiences of the shadow have been erased, drawing from Michael Shapiro’s notion of ‘gothic Otherness’ (Shapiro 2009b, 2010), the shadow signifies the dark side, the unknown, or the tragic. Furthermore, the posters portray people with smiles on their faces. Sara Ahmed holds that ‘happiness functions as promise, which directs us towards certain objects, which then circulate as social goods’ (Ahmed 2007b: 123), and further: [i]t is the very assumption that good feelings are open and bad feelings are closed that allows historical forms of injustice to disappear. The demand for happiness is what makes those histories disappear … these histories have not gone: we would be letting go of what which persists in the present, a letting go which would keep those histories present. (Ahmed 2007b: 135) Indonesian art critic and feminist scholar Carla Bianpoen suggests that a closer look at the atmosphere of familial happiness and intense child-like joy could also reveal well-hidden pain: ‘the vibrant colours reflect optimistic expectations and wishful thinking rather than reality’ (Bianpoen 2001: paragraph 9).20 Thus, I argue, the use of motionless figures with their childlike smiles could be seen at the same time as playful, but also as haunting, in search of happiness and joyfulness: ‘the violence is in the knowing … not directly in seeing’ (Santu Mofokeng, quoted in Hayes 2009: 37). Second, the swing jazz music used to indicate the start and the end of the radio drama provides another postcolonial ‘out of place’ feeling. Swing music does not quite fit together with the other sound effects used in the radio drama (sounds of traffic, sounds of birds, sounds of walking, closing doors and so on), the general music landscapes in Aceh that consist of traditional Acehnese instrumental music (Kartomi 2005) and poetic song tradition (Siapno 2002), or the ‘top ten chart pop music profile’ of the producer Radio Flamboyant. Swing music’s playfulness offers another queer moment, to question the assumed stable reading of the radio drama narratives or emphasize the ‘staging’ of the narrative. Finally, the ‘staging’ of the narrative becomes obvious through the introduction of the actors at the end of the first two episodes, and at the end of the

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


last episode, where the narrator thanks the listeners for having followed the radio drama’s 12 episodes. The actors are literally divested of their characters – from the theatrical and dramatical space – back to the ‘real’ by introducing them one by one as: ‘Hendra as Pak Umar, Lia as Ibu Pocut’ and so on. The narrator, Ronny Chandra, ‘in real life’ has been paid for the job of directing and narrating the radio drama, and he is also an active artist and filmmaker in Aceh. Amongst other things he directed a short film with Agus Salim titled Sejarah Negeri Yang Karam (officially translated ‘History of a Wrecked Village’, although it could also be translated as ‘History of a Wrecked Nation’). The film narrates a story of Irfandi (aged 29), a survivor of the tsunami, who lives in a temporary tent and makes a living by diving to the ocean floor scavenging iron from the sunken ships. In essence, Irfandi’s story is about the unequal and unclear distribution of aid and emerging grassroots activism to oppose the local government’s plans to relocate Irfandi’s seaside village from Ule Lhee to the town of Jantho, located roughly 60 kilometres from its original location. Irfandi explains that it is impossible to work as a fisherman and live in Jantho. ‘We get the last aid. Well, if there is any’, Irfandi complains. The remains of his village are located next to Banda Aceh’s main harbour, which used to be a popular tourist site before the tsunami. ‘Now the place is like a zoo. Many people come here, look around, and take pictures … to be frank, deep inside we’re really sad. We feel as if we’re not human beings. Because human beings have a home’, he continues (Salim and Chandra 2005). Web-based documentary film portal In-Docs summarizes Irfandi’s story: ‘For Irfandi, the tsunami is a conflict that will never end’ (In-Docs 2009). All in all, a closer analysis of the radio drama production (episodes, posters) provides a possibility to locate multiple narratives of post-tsunami Aceh. On one level, as the previous chapter has illustrated, the explicitly narrated normative storyline focuses on the promotion of gender equality, projecting gender norms into the intersectional web of other social differentiations. However, the details of the radio drama offer the possibility of treating this gender advocacy narrative as a parody, with ironic but also at times tragic overtones.

Conclusion: where is ‘Aceh’ located? I am early for my meeting at the UNFPA’s office in Jakarta, despite the fact that it takes a while to get through two different security posts: one located at the main entrance, and the other on the floor where I am supposed to have my meeting. The person who I am going to meet has not yet returned from her lunch, so I am told to wait here on one of the chairs in the corridor. I sit down and go through my notes for the interview. My wait for the next 30 minutes becomes an interesting journey to the (re)constructed Aceh. The chairs where I was asked to wait, are just opposite to a glass-walled meeting room called ‘Aceh Room’. What kind


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming of Aceh is constructed through these everyday practices of being a development expert on the 7th floor on Jalan M.H. Thamrin? Staff members, dressed in smart business suits and dresses, walk in and out of the room, carrying Starbucks coffee mugs, speaking on their mobile phones to arrange the donor delegation’s next meetings, and hotel reservations. (field notes, 13 November 2008) … Somewhere in South Aceh a villager had pointed out an area between two villages and said that it was the point where the tsunami water reached. His village, as it did not get the tsunami water, was not recognised as [a] tsunami-affected village, he complained. What they got instead was trees, rubble and bodies, but not the status of a tsunami victim. (field notes, 21 October 2008)

Drawing on the observations made in Aceh during my ethnographic fieldwork between 2006 and 2009, the aim of this chapter was to focus on the normative boundaries and subversive potential of project management practices used in gender mainstreaming initiatives. The primary aim of this chapter was to locate the overall analysis of gender mainstreaming conducted in the previous chapters within the wider context of aid and development planning and its normative constructs of temporality and spatiality. My lived experience of tsunami aid in Aceh, first as an aid worker and second as a researcher, opened up the possibility to ask the question ‘where is “Aceh” located?’ or what to do when singularity turns into multitudes of tsunami and conflict experience, such as the above fieldwork notes illustrate. The first part of this chapter focused on the aid practices that normalize certain understandings of space and time. Gender advocacy, as part of the wider aid governmentality, reiterates developmentalist notions of time and space and normalizes village and community as natural and harmoniously existing entities that become signifiers of natural development time, of progress and of the move towards modernity. With this focus on community empowerment, gender expert knowledge becomes invisible, reiterating the community-based aid processes as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. Simultaneous to the constructs of the images of ‘new Acehnese citizenship’, the aid machinery, such as the radio drama, portrays idealized images of the ‘harmonious’ village and community life, and of the relationship between the community and development/disaster aid. The chapter also argued that the fantasy of the adolescent girl and ‘new Acehnese man’ require the wider image of a progressive and self-reliant village in order to exist. The ultimate normalization process in which all these ideals take part is the normalization of time as linear and progressive, and the normalization of Aceh into a universalized narrative of developmentalism.

Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming


The second part of the chapter focused on subversive notions of time and space. Here a conscious effort was made to locate disruptions and cracks that subvert the linear narratives of progress within the gender advocacy initiatives. Returning to Butler’s idea of performativity and Siapno’s notion of impure subversion, I argued that Aceh could be understood as multiple landscapes or panoramas that are in a constant process of ‘becoming’. This offers the possibility of alternative temporalities and narrations of the future outside the discourse of progress (Butler 2009). Thus, instead of narrating post-tsunami Aceh as ‘better’ and ‘reconstructed’ or completed, this chapter concluded that the multiple Acehnese landscapes are never final, but in a constant process of reiteration and reformulation.

Notes 1 The KDP is not the only initiative focusing on community planning, for example AusAID (the Australian Government Overseas Aid Programme) has budgeted AU$40 million for its Local Governance and Infrastructure for Communities in Aceh (LOGICA) initiative. LOGICA was praised by many people for its active approach to supporting gender issues, particularly women’s leadership positions within village governance structures, and its gender adviser for her good approach to speaking about gender in Acehnese society. Similarly, USAID (the US Agency for International Development) has promoted a similar approach in Aceh through a project called the Local Governance Support Program. 2 The Law on the Governance of Aceh passed in 2006 formalized the districts as the centre of development planning in the Acehnese context. 3 The MoU signed in 2005 sets the role of the adat as ensuring public participation in Aceh and specifically securing security, peace, harmony and public order. Resolution of conflicts is stipulated to be solved through adat institutions. 4 For a detailed account of a genealogy of development trustees see e.g. Cowen and Shenton 1996. 5 See the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT)-commissioned film Playing Between Elephants, for a subversive narrative of villagers and the village head. The film narrates a story of a village head in the middle of a housing construction process, who ‘plays’ between the different wishes and demands of the donor agency (Danusiri 2007), villagers, contractors, ex-members of GAM, and government officials. The narrative of the film does not refer to the villagers as traditional or backward, but rather attempts to illustrate how the position of a village head is a difficult one, given the complex context in which the housing construction process is being implemented. 6 See Li 2007 for a detailed analysis of the KDP’s practices, which form a platform for example, for the IOM’s post-conflict gender initiatives in Aceh. 7 According to Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘project’ first appeared in the 16th century, whereas ‘project management’ in the 1950s. However, the early tools of project management, such as ‘a project charter’ are traceable to the early days of colonialism, e.g. the ‘Spanish Book of Privileges and Prerogatives’ that was given to Christopher Columbus in 1492, set out the compensation promised to Columbus if he discovered land on his first voyage to the New World (Cleland and Gareis 2006: 4–5). Apart from development aid, project management tools are mostly used in civil engineering, architecture, construction and defence. 8 Project Cycle Management (PCM) was developed by Warren C. Baum in 1970, who was working for the World Bank (Biggs and Smith 2003: 1743).


Project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming

9 The Logical Framework tool was developed by USAID in the late 1960s (Biggs and Smith 2003: 1743). 10 This form of a spiral is used, for example, to visualize evolution, geological time, mental evolution (see e.g. Encyclopedia Universalis in Hoekstra and Hoekstra-Roscam 2009). 11 A project document is usually produced for all aid interventions. It outlines the logic of the intervention and includes a list of project activities, initial work plan and a budget. The document is used as a basis of making decisions of its funding and usually it provides details of managerial arrangements. Usually it also includes indicators that are used to monitor the success of its implementation. 12 The name translates as a ‘Children’s Legal Advice Association’, and is an existing NGO focusing on children’s rights in Aceh. 13 For more on spatial and material practices of humanitarian aid see Smirl 2008; and Duffield and Hewitt 2009. 14 S1 stands for undergraduate degree, S2 master’s degree, and S3 doctoral degree. 15 I was used to situations where I had to ask for help for translations of more colloquial Indonesian and Acehnese language, as I was primarily taught the formal bahasa Indonesian in my language studies. Through this formality I felt empathy when some Indonesian and Acehnese NGO workers were in situations where they had to ask for translations of certain local concepts, which they did not understand. For the analysis of politics of learning Indonesian see Jauhola 2012. 16 Acehnese name Duek palat inong, translated often as the Second All Acehnese Women’s Congress, was held in June 2005 and it gathered 400 women from 21 districts of Aceh. 17 Bule literally means ‘white-skinned person’ but is generally used for non-Indonesians and many expatriates find the term offensive. What is remarkable, however, based on Fechter’s study in Jakarta, is that white expatriates refuse to recognize their status as a racial one, and discourses on ‘being bule’ persist the notion of whiteness as a racial norm. Focusing on the offensiveness of the naming, attention is rarely drawn into the economic and social power relations (Fechter 2005: 89, 96–97, 101). 18 Earthquakes are frequent in Aceh, which is located in the belt of intense seismic activity also known as the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. The officially used name for the event that occurred on 26 December 2004 is ‘the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami’, indicating that it started with an earthquake and was followed by a tsunami. What this naming does not reveal, however, is that since that one earthquake there have been hundreds of smaller tremors and earthquakes in the same region, and one devastating one in March 2005 that impacted on the island of Nias severely. 19 One of the most notorious locations of torture by the Kopassus, the military’s special forces, was a military post that was set up close to the PT Arun in Lhokseumawe with the assistance of Exxon Mobil (at the time called Mobil Oil), commonly known as Camp Rancong. 20 Wahyuni was trained in the Art Institute in Yogyakarta, the same school where Emy Burhan, the poster artist, also studied, where a ‘naïve movement’ was also located (Tuli 2002).

Conclusion Is Aceh built back better?

Four years ago … pieces of heartache everywhere it brought us together … it changed us many contributed … Four years later A great deal of progress the focus remains ‘Kemenangan Rasa Kemanusiaan’1 A Celebration of Humanity Our thanks to you The World invites you to a Celebration of Humanity Four years after the tsunami Witness Aceh & Nias Smile Again. (CFAN 2009)

On the 13th and 14th of February 2009, the fourth Coordination Forum for Aceh and Nias (CFAN-4) gathered over 500 international humanitarian organizations at the Jakarta Convention Centre to take stock of the four years of post-tsunami reconstruction in Indonesia. The event consisted of meetings of the heads of state, governments and aid organizations, but also included an exhibition, seminars and workshops open to the wider public under the title ‘Celebration of Humanity’. The event was advertised on the CFAN website and the above text was part of a photo reportage looping on its front page. The storyline of the photo reportage portrays a typical narrative of the humanitarian aid organizations that were closing their post-tsunami programmes in Aceh in 2009. The narrative consists of photographs of devastation and gendered grief in December 20042 and the story is completed with images taken four years later: evidence of reconstructed streets, roads, homes and schools combined with smiling children and smiling adults dressed in traditional costume used in Acehnese dance performances. This linear and binary narrative of reconstruction constructs the transformation of devastated Aceh into the ‘better and new Aceh’ as a result of four years of post-tsunami


Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?

reconstruction aid. Narratives such as the ‘Celebration of Humanity’ form a crucial part of the ‘cultural repertoire’ of disaster humanitarianism: social transformation towards a better and happier future (Childs 2006; Edkins 2000). Completed houses and schools, and smiling people, signify feelings of relief, happiness and contentment – a mission completed. These visual representations are actively invoked by the humanitarian aid organizations to complete the call to ‘build Aceh back better’ made four years earlier in 2005 – representations that justify and reiterate ‘us’ and define ‘the World’ in a specific way. Such representations normalize the existence of, and need for, international humanitarian action expressed in 2009 by President Yudhoyono as ‘let’s use our experience in Aceh and Nias to contribute to the solution of global problems … Including resolving conflicts and saving our world from threats such as climate change’ (Reliefweb 2009b). The focus of this book was on gender mainstreaming initiatives that take the promotion of gender equality as the focal point of ‘building Aceh back better’. Aligning with the observation that ‘better never means better for everyone … It always means worse, for some’ (Atwood 1985: 222), this book has aimed to locate the normative boundaries and subversive feminist potential in the post-tsunami Aceh. The book took issue with the celebration of gender mainstreaming as a success of governance feminism and provided a contextualized analysis of the effects of gender mainstreaming in post-tsunami Aceh, treating it as a technique and practice of governmentality. Gender politics are a controversial component in the battle for political power in Indonesia, as Kathryn Robinson has concluded (Robinson 2009: 165). In the Acehnese context, gender mainstreaming initiatives are an intimate part of the social transformative ideas of ‘better’ promoted in the aftermath of the tsunami, embedded in the complex desires of making ‘Aceh better’ and narrated through the state, religion, liberal governance and international humanitarianism. Thus, this book could be read as a feminist strategy of ‘gazing back’ (hooks 2003) at the disaster aid complex and desire to make things better, asking the reader to look closer to the post-tsunami reconstruction as a form of political performativity and resist the simplistic ‘cultural repertoires’ of gender mainstreaming: by paying attention to the multitude of expressions and experiences that coexist and that are produced and constructed in the circulation of post-tsunami humanitarianism. No story of the post-tsunami Aceh can tell the story fully. Rather, there are always other stories to be seen and heard. Stories that are never told or stories that remain unheard. To conclude, I wish to summarize the main arguments made in the book. First, the book offered a conceptualization of gender mainstreaming as a technique of governmentality, and importantly, defined feminism as a subversion of the desire to govern and to be governed. According to this view, instead of celebrating gender mainstreaming as a victory of governance feminism, or locating feminism in identity politics, demands for group-based rights, politics of representation, or politics of inclusion, feminism emerges

Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?


from the subversion to dominant norms. It is located in the disruptive processes of repetition and subversion that expose the constructed norms and make them visible. Drawing from this notion of feminism, this book has had two major aims: to interrogate the normative boundaries of gender mainstreaming and its social consequences, and to provide accounts of the simultaneously emerging feminist subversiveness that challenges norms by mundane expressions of normative violence and experiences of inequality. Further, the analysis raised a methodological concern in focusing public and visible subversion, pointing methodologically towards the silent and the invisible. The analysis of normativity and subversion of gender mainstreaming in post-tsunami reconstruction aid context in Aceh was interrogated through a focus on three governmental practices: the use of the concept pair sex/gender; the use of gender as an exclusive category of feminist analysis and advocacy; and the use of project management practices. The analysis of normativity and subversion was guided by an understanding of intersectionality, the idea that gender norms do not work in isolation from other forms of social inequalities and discrimination. This book understood intersectionality as a wider field of normalization and fluidity of potential sites of social violence, drawing on Emily Grabham’s notion of intersectionality as an expression of trauma, produced across physical and emotional encounters (Grabham 2009: 199). One of the contributions of this book is thus to bring the poststructuralist and postcolonial feminist critique of the liberal subject, discussion of normative violence and subversion into the discussion of gender, feminism and global governance through disaster and reconstruction aid. Therefore, this book can be seen as a response to criticism that poststructuralist feminism remains theoretical and lacks concrete alternatives for policy change (Squires 2005: 375). My aim was to illustrate that a poststructuralist feminist take on the subject and the political does not lack policy alternatives, but in fact reworks the conceptualization of what is political in post-disaster contexts. Second, the book illustrated how gender mainstreaming and the concept of gender has become intelligible in the Acehnese context primarily through the wider economic and political reforms, decentralization of the post-Suharto Indonesia, continuous negotiation of the relationship between Islam and the state, ethnonationalist armed conflict, and the opening of Aceh for the international humanitarian organizations after the tsunami in 2004. However, the book argued that gender becomes intelligible primarily within the context of ‘shari’aization’ of Acehnese public debates through which subjectivities are shaped, mapped and named. Third, the book focused on the ways in which gender mainstreaming makes gender intelligible by normalizing the distinction between biological sex and socio-culturally constructed gender. At the core of this normalization are arguments that draw simultaneously from biology, theology and feminist theory. Furthermore, by focusing on the subversive sites of gender advocacy, the book further illustrated how this normalization is in a constant process of


Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?

negotiation. This negotiation has opened up windows of opportunity for local liberal LBGTI activism and for a strategic use of the Islamic concepts zauj, tawhid and rahmatan nil alamin. These negotiated meanings point towards possibilities for alternative formulations of the concept of gender and feminism and challenge the priority given to gender, but also the humancentredness of feminist analysis. However, as with the concept of gender, such alternatives emerge under the premise of Islamic law and the developmentalist state, creating new forms of normativity that reiterate the liberal governmental logic of subjectification and politics. Fourth, the book provided a close reading of one public gender advocacy campaign, the radio drama production Women Can Do It Too!, produced by Oxfam International in 2006 and broadcast in the tsunami-affected coastal regions in Aceh. With the focus on intersectionality of norms, the aim was to locate the limitations and social consequences of ‘gender only’ analysis within the wider socio-political context in Aceh and illustrate how the ideal of the heteronormative nuclear family actively participates in normalizing and silencing other emerging social differentiations in Aceh. These other contextualized social differentiations were analysed through two normative images of ‘better’ that emerge from the narrative: ‘adolescent girl as a future hope’ and the ‘harmonious home’. The adolescent girl appears as an ultimate signifier of modernity and progress, epitomized by economy, employability, Islamic religiosity and reproduction. Further, it was argued that the ideal of the heteronormative nuclear family actively participates in silencing other social differentiations by normalizing liberal feminist ideals into gender mainstreaming practices and tsunami reconstruction efforts. Using the example of higher education, the context of armed conflict and the diversity of household arrangements, the chapter demonstrated the complexity of the social inequalities in Aceh and illustrated the shortcomings of an exclusive analytical focus on gender. Fifth, the book took issue with the project managerial practices of gender mainstreaming and argued that the ultimate normalization process entails the normalization of Acehnese temporality into linear and progressive, and reconstructed development spatiality. Gender policies and expertise normalize village and community as natural and harmoniously existing entities which further become signifiers of natural development temporality: of progress and of the move towards modernity. With the focus on community empowerment, gender expert knowledge becomes invisible, reiterating the community-based aid processes as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. The book made a special effort to locate disruptions and cracks within such normalized representations. Returning to Butler’s (1990) idea of performativity, and Siapno’s (2002) articulations of peungeut and muslihat as impure forms of subversion, the book argued that Aceh could be understood as multiple landscapes or panoramas that are in a constant process of ‘becoming’. Thus, instead of narrating the post-tsunami Aceh as ‘better’ and ‘reconstructed’, this book concludes that the normative landscapes are never final, but in a constant process of reiteration and reformulation.

Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?


Alternatives for governance feminism? It is time to consider the relevance of this book for the wider debates on feminism and disaster and reconstruction aid. This book reiterates Judith Squires’s observation that promotion of gender equality is no longer to be considered as marginal counter-cultural activity (Squires 2007: 2), but rather gender mainstreaming initiatives have been successful in normalizing liberal feminist ideals into disaster response. Squires has identified two dominant ways of interpreting institutionalized gender equality initiatives. The first, sceptical, one considers feminist strategies that engage with the ‘mainstream’ aligning with neo-liberal economic paradigm, liberal governance discourse and de-democratization of policy making. The second interpretation regards gender equality initiatives more positively and considers gender policies, institutions and mechanisms as feminist openings through which subversive strategies emerge (ibid: 7–8). This book argues that it is in the process of repetition that people become ‘better men and women’, a reconstructed house becomes a home, and bodies become sites for the deployment of ethical and political values. Home, family or community are thus not pre-discursive elements of a society, but rather products of an active process of making one. The production of norms is a dynamic site of contestation, which while producing the norm simultaneously creates potentiality for subversion to emerge. As the gender analysis for post-tsunami reconstruction efforts has primarily narrated Acehnese men and women as tsunami victims and survivors, it has contributed towards silencing the narratives arising from the impact of the 30-year conflict in the province. Omitting the wider context and intersecting social inequalities has contributed to the construction of idealized female citizens who fulfil their ‘triple gender roles’ of reproduction, production and active participation in public spheres, whereas the focus on men is solely on becoming better fathers and husbands. Alternatives that construct femininity and masculinity outside of the heteronormative matrix are omitted and the power relations affecting them are left intact. Gender mainstreaming practices, when analysed as part of the wider context of disaster reconstruction aid practices, illustrate how both temporality and spatiality are constructed solely as progressive, chronological and pointing towards the ideals of modernity. However, by focusing on the subversive sites of gender mainstreaming it is possible to locate alternative narratives of how the concept of gender, experiences of social inequalities, or the ‘doctrine of equality’ could be challenged. These subversive sites argue for social space for lives that are not reducible into a binary of sexes, heteronormativity, or stable identity categories. Encounters with the complexity of social inequalities in the Acehnese narratives suggest that negotiation of what Aceh or being Acehnese is is constantly contested. Finally, as an attempt to reiterate Jennifer Hyndman’s and Malathi de Alwis’s (2003) call for feminist approaches to development and disaster relief


Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?

I ask, where is feminist potential located in post-tsunami Aceh? By offering a poststructuralist reading of gender mainstreaming and feminist practice, this book attempted to respond to the criticism that poststructuralist feminist approaches to gender mainstreaming lack policy alternatives. Based on the research conducted in Aceh, I suggest that the gender mainstreaming approach and the norms that are advocated through it are always potentially violent and thus have severe social consequences. Yet, those norms are constantly challenged and negotiated. Karen Zivi has argued that ‘the potential of performative politics lies with the fact that unconventional repetitions can expand the thinkable’ (Zivi 2008: 168). Judith Butler has further reiterated that the politics of subversion remains a politics of the incalculable, a non-programmatic and ungrounded politics of possibility, but that the incalculable should not be conflated with the indescribable or the unthinkable (Chambers and Carver 2008: 142). According to this view, concepts, ideas and norms should be opened up for their internal otherness, and a politics of subversion should be understood as an open-ended feminist agenda (Roman-Lagerspetz 2009: 167). Thus, gender mainstreaming offers a platform where normative boundaries are simultaneously drawn and being renegotiated. The subversive feminist reading of the slogan ‘building back better’ would therefore require a constant alertness to the normativity of what constitutes ‘better’, and to the cracks that allow new ways to formulate it. Thus, what are the implications of this book for disaster and reconstruction aid practices and international humanitarianism in general? Conducting this research leads me to direct new kinds of questions towards the disaster and reconstruction aid complex: can the governments, development organizations and humanitarian operations cope with a ‘queered’ gender adviser, who instead of ‘knowing gender’, would have the task of interrupting the processes of knowing and subverting the normalized understandings of gender? Or with someone who would question the assumption that there ever could be something called a ‘gender expert’ or a singular way of ‘building back better’? Consequently, I remain hesitant to make suggestions for how to make disaster policies or gender policies ‘better’, because normalizing queer bodies into gender policies or policies of intersectionality can potentially lead to new forms of vulnerability and violence, surveillance and disciplinarity, new forms of homonormativity and universal sexual ontologies, where certain bodies and their desires remain silent. If unintelligible lives need recognition to gain social existence, is it desirable to seek recognition for non-normative lives from the state and aid machinery? One of the clearly stated goals of the reconstruction efforts is the revitalization of the economy and human resources. Humans seem to matter, as long as they become productive citizens and actively take part in development efforts. Therefore, one of the conclusions of this book is that feminism is located in the critique of multiple and localized antagonisms, in subversive sites where non-normative lives are lived at the margins of society, in alternative

Conclusion: Is Aceh built back better?


life-worlds, and queer spaces and temporalities. As indicated in the book, feminism takes at times visible and at other times invisible forms. Secession from the visible field of politics into a less invisible one can erupt and restructure the field of the visible (Butler 2009; Halberstam 2011). This observation leads to new openings for future research on politics and feminism: ethnographies of multiple landscapes in which alternative notions of femininities, masculinities, gender and accounts of subtle subversion of social inequalities emerge. Throughout this book I have attempted to avoid what Lila Abu-Lughod has called the ‘tendency to romanticize resistance, to read all forms of resistance as signs of the ineffectiveness of systems of power and of the resilience of the human spirit in its refusal to be dominated’ (Abu-Lughod 1990: 41–42). To her, subversive sites of resistance point towards an analysis of resistance as a diagnostic of power (ibid.). Taking Abu-Lughod’s critique seriously means that this research will not provide a ‘happy ending’, i.e. provide a solution to the question of feminism. Thus, rather than aiming to solve the limitations of feminism and gender mainstreaming in disaster contexts, this research concludes that critical feminist practice and analysis, gender mainstreaming included, is, and should remain, in a constant flux and a process of potential becoming.

Notes 1 Kemenangan rasa kemanusiaan translates into victory of the ‘notion of the humanity’, but kemenangan translates also into a conquest, triumph, superiority and mastery. 2 The dominant commemoration of the tsunami takes place internationally on 26 December each year. However, according to the Islamic lunar calendar, the tsunami occurred on the 13th day of Dhu- al-Qi’da, which, for example, four years after the tsunami falls on the 1 November in 2009.


Adat (Ind.) Customary law Akal (Ind.) Rationality, intellectuality Aurat (Ar./Ind.) Part of the body that is not to be exposed in public AusAID Australian Government Overseas Aid Programme Beijing Conference Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995 Beijing Platform for Action The outcome document of the Beijing Conference BKKBN Badan Kordinasi Keluarga Berencana Nasional, National Population and Family Planning Board BPP Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan, Agency for Women’s Empowerment (2000–07) BPPPA/BP3A Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Agency for the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in Aceh (2008–) BRA Badan Reintegrasi-Damai Aceh, Aceh Peace-Reintegration Board (2006–) BRR Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh dan Nias, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (central government body mandated to coordinate the tsunami reconstruction efforts; established May 2005 and closed down April 2009) CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women CFAN-4 Coordination Forum for Aceh and Nias CIDA Canadian International Development Agency Dayah (Ac.) Islamic boarding school Dayah khalafiyah Islamic boarding school, also called as ‘modern Islamic boarding school’, which teaches religious and general topics Dayah salafiyah Islamic boarding school that follows the Salafi movement and teaches only religious studies DOM Daerah Operasi Militer, Military Operation Area FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency FGD Focus Group Discussion



Fiqh Islamic jurisprudence. There are four prominent Sunni schools of fiqh: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali. The schools differ on which Hadith they accept and the weight that is given to reasoning Fitnah (Ar./Ind.) Often used to describe a source of chaos. The word has a range of meanings, one of them referring to civil wars of the early Islamic state, but it can also refer to a political or social threat within the internal order of the Islamic community, or disruption or distraction form one’s love of God, often located to exist in women bodies FPI Front Pembela Islam, Islamic Defenders’ Front, established in 1998 GAD Gender and Development GAM Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, Free Aceh Movement (1976–2005) Gampung (Ac.) Village GWG Gender Working Group, or Kelompok Kerja Gender, KKG (gender coordination group established 2005 in Aceh with the Governor’s mandate) Hadith A narrative record of the sayings or customs of Muhammad and his followers. Used to supplement the Qur’an as a source of the Islamic law Haram (Ind./Ar.) Forbidden Hari Ibu Women’s/Mother’s Day, celebrated 22 December Hikayat Aceh (Ind.) ‘The story of Aceh’, manuscript literature written during the reign of sultans/sultanas in Aceh HUDA Himpunan Ulama Dayah, Aceh Association of Acehnese Dayah Ulama Ibadah (Ar.) Religious rituals in Islam Ibu Mother, formal address to an adult woman IDP internally displaced person ILO International Labour Organization IMF International Monetary Fund INGO International Non-Governmental Organization IOM International Organization for Migration IWD International Women’s Day, celebrated 8 March Jilbab (Ar./Ind.) Muslim women’s headscarf, concealing hair Jin (Ind./Ac.) Devil spirit, jinn (Ar.) refers to supernatural creatures that occupy a parallel world to the mankind. Jinn, humans and angels make up three sentient creations of Allah Kafir (Ar./Ind.) Infidel, pagan, disbeliever, but has also been used to describe the ‘colonizers’, i.e. the foreign (non-Muslim) soldiers fighting against the Acehnese during the Aceh war in the nineteenth century KDP Kecematan Development Program, World Bank’s Sub-district Development Project Keuchik (Ac.) Village head KKTGA Kelompok Kerja Transformasi Gender Aceh, Banda-Aceh-based local NGO (est. 1995) to provide support female victims of violence Kodrat (Ind.) Intrinsic nature of woman and man, or ‘God’s will’ and ‘creation of God’



KPP Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan, Ministry for Women’s Empowerment (MOWE) LBGTI lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex LINA Liga Inong Acheh, Acehnese Women's League Logical Framework Project Management Tool LOGA Law on the Governing of Aceh (11/2006), passed in July 2006 (Ind. Undang-Undang Pemerintahan Aceh, UUPA) LOGICA Local Governance and Infrastructure for Communities in Aceh Maulid Celebration of the birth of the Muhamma Mawaddah wa rahmah (Ar.) Concept from the Qur’an (30:21) and which translates into English as ‘love and mercy’ or ‘love and compassion’, which in the Indonesian context is used to describe the ideal relationship of a husband and wife within a household MDGs Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 as part of the UN Millennium Declaration, aiming to reduce extreme poverty by 2015 Merantau (Ac./Ind.) Migration Meunasah (Ac.) Community hall MiSPI Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia, True Partner of Indonesian Women MoU memorandum of understanding, signed 15 August 2005 by the government of Indonesia and GAM MPU Majelis Permusyawaratan Ulama, Ulama Consultative Assembly MTsN [emtsen] Refers to Madrasah-Tsanawiyah Negeri, the Islamic junior high school Muhrim (Ar./Ind.) A person who is allowed a close family connection but prohibited from marrying a member of that family MUI Majelis Ulama Indonesia, Indonesian Ulama Council Musyawarah Village meeting, consultation NAD Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (State of Aceh, name of the province following the Law No. 18 of 2001 until 2009) Nafsu, hawa nafsu Understanding of the instinctive nature of human beings: passions and desires Nenek (Ind.) Grandmother New Order Orde Baru (Ind.), 1965–98, the period of Suharto’s presidency, differentiated from Old Order (1947–65), the period of the presidency of Sukarno NGO non-governmental organization OCHA UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OI Oxfam International Old Order Orde lama (Ind.), a term adopted during the presidency of Suharto of the period of President Sukarno (1947–65) Pak, babak (Ind.) Formal address to adult male/father Pemuda (Ind.) Young people, emerged around the time when young people (mostly males) were recruited into the independence struggle against the Dutch, the concept became politicised during the New Order period



Pesantren (Ind.) Islamic Boarding School PKK Pembinaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga, Pemberdayaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga, Family Welfare Movement, established during the New Order by the central government of Indonesia Pos kamling pos kampung lingkungan, village-based security post Qanun (Ac.) Local regulation, word used in Acehnese context Qanun Jinayah Islamic Criminal Law Bill passed by the Aceh Provincial Assembly in September 2009, which Governor Irwandi Yusuf refused to sign Queer Used to refer to LBGTI studies, LBGTI activism or LBGTI identity, but also more generally questioning of heterosexuality as the norm Rahmat nil alamin (Ar.) Qur’anic concept referring to ‘mercy/grace for all creatures’ Reformasi (Ind.) Reformation, refers to a period of reforms after the fall of Suharto in 1998 Remaja (Ind.) Concept used to describe young people; a recent one and emerged after the independence (see also pemuda) Returnee Concept used of those people who since the MoU have returned to their place of origin/habitual residence RPUK Relawan Perempuan untuk Kemanusiaan, Women Volunteers for Humanity Sakinah (Ind./Ar.) Term in the Qur’an which translates as ‘inner peace of mind and heart’ Sakinah keluarga (Ind.) Harmonious family model, a programme launched in 1985 by Aisyiah, women’s wing of the modernist Muslim organization in Indonesia SD Sekolah dasar (Ind.), primary school Shari’a/syari’at Islamic Law SMA/SMK/SMU Acronyms used for three different types of high school SMP Acronym used for the middle school SMP unggul Secular state-run high school that has a good reputation and academic record. Provincial departments of education have in some provinces created such a category to distinguish between the best performing schools and other schools. Suara An-Nisa Women’s Voice: tabloid of the Agency for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in Aceh Tafsir (Ar./Ind.) Exegesis, interpretation of the Qur’an Tauhid/tawhid (Ar.) Qur’anic concept referring to ‘fundamental equality and unity of all humanity’ Teungku dayah salafiah Islamic teacher at the Salafi Islamic boarding school TNA Tenaga Negara Aceh, GAM’s armed wing TP-P2W Tim Pengelola Peningkatan Peranan Wanita/Team to Improve the Role of Women Transmigrant, transmigration A central government programme to provide land and other benefits to landless people from densely populated islands,



such as Java. Transmigrant is usually used of a migrant and his/her family members and the term carries over generations Tuha peut (Ac.) Council of five elders who oversee aspects of village law and religion UIN State Islamic University Ulama (Ac./Ind.) Islamic scholar, religious teacher Uleebalang Noble district chief, controlling trade during the Sultanate of Aceh UN United Nations UNDP UN Development Programme UNFPA UN Population Fund UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlement Programme UNIFEM UN Development Fund for Women USAID US Agency for International Development Waria (Ind.) Male to female transgender: derives from words ‘wanita’ (woman) and ‘pria’ (man) WH Wilayatul Hisbah, Shari’a police in Aceh WID Women in Development Zauj (Ar.) neutral in gender and used in the Qur’an to refer to mate, partner, or group Zina (Ar./Ind.) Adultery, fornication, sexual intercourse between parties not married to one another


Abdullah, I. (2006) Konstruksi dan Reproduksi Kebudayaan, Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar. Abrahamsen, R. (2000) Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa, London: Zed Books. Abubakar, Al-Yasa (2001) Antara Setia dan Durhaka: ulasan tentang hak dan kewajiban suami isteri, Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan Sekretariat Daerah Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2005a) Bunga Rampai Pelaksanaan Syariat Islam (Pendukung Qanun Pelaksanaan Syariat Islam), Banda Aceh: Dinas Syariat Islam Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2005b) ‘Kesederajatan Laki-Laki & Perempuan’, Suara An-Nisa (Agustus): 22–23. Abubakar, Al-Yasa and Hasan, H.S.M. (2006) Perbuatan Pidana dan Hukumannya dalam Qanun Provinsi NAD, Banda Aceh: Dinas Syariat Islam Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Abu-Lughod, L. (1990) ‘The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power Through Beduin Women’, American Ethnologist 17(1): 41–55. ——(1998) ‘Introduction: Feminist Longings and Postcolonial Conditions’, in L. Abu-Lughod (ed.) Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Aceh Institute (2009) ‘Annex 6: Women’s Experience of the Peace Process. Eight Case Studies for the Multi-Stakeholder Review of Post-Conflict Programming in Aceh (MSR)’, annexes/Annex%206%20Women%20and%20the%20Peace%20Process%20by%20Ac eh%20Institute%2C%20English.docx (accessed 23 January 2012). Adnan, G. (2004) Women and the Glorious Qur’an: An Analytical Study of Women-related Verses of Sura An-Nisa, Göttingen: Universitätsdrucke Göttingen. Afrianty, D. (2009) ‘Responses of Local Women’s NGOs to Sharia Implementation in Aceh: The Quest for Equality Within Acehnese Islam’, paper presented at the Conference Women and Politics in Asia: A Springboard for Democracy? 30 September–2 October 2009, University of Hildesheim, Germany. Afrida, N. (2007) ‘Women Dominate Divorce Cases at Banda Aceh Islamic Court’, Jakarta Post, 25 August. Agathangelou, A.M., Bassichis, M.D. and Spira, T.L. (2008) ‘Intimate Investments: Homonormativity, Global Lockdown, and the Seductions of Empire’, Radical History Review 100 (Winter): 120–43. Ahmed, L. (1991) ‘Early Islam and the Position of Women: The Problem of Interpretation’, in N.R. Keddie and B. Baron (eds) Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries, London: Yale University Press.



Ahmed, S. (1998) Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ——(2000) Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality, London: Routledge. ——(2007a) ‘The Happiness Turn’, New Foundations 63 (Winter): 7–14. ——(2007b) ‘Multiculturalism and the Promise of Happiness’, New Foundations 63 (Winter): 121–37. ——(2010) The Promise of Happiness, London: Duke University Press. Akerkar, S. (2007) ‘Disaster Mitigation and Furthering Women’s Rights: Learning from the Tsunami’, Gender, Technology and Development 11(3): 357–88. AK News (2007) ‘Perempuan Aceh Minta Keadilan’ Aceh Kita, 8 March. ——(2010a) ‘Mahasiswa Tuding Media tak Dukung Syariat’, berita/mahasiswa-tuding-media-tak-dukung-syariat/ (accessed 1 November 2011). ——(2010b) ‘Ulama Kecam Kontes Waria’, (accessed 1 November 2011). (2009) ‘Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, 19 September 1981 (21 Dhul Qaidah 1401)’, (accessed 14 February 2012). Allen, P. (2009) ‘Women, Gendered Activism and Indonesia’s Anti-Pornography Bill’, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 19 (February), intersec (accessed 11 February 2012). Amnesty International (1993) ‘“Shock-Therapy”: Restoring Order in Aceh 1989–93’, Amnesty International, 28 July, AI Index: ASA 21/XX/93, library/asset/ASA21/007/1993/en/0428b5b2-ecb7-11dd-85fd-99a1fce0c9ec/asa210071 993en.html (accessed 1 December 2009). ——(2007) ‘Indonesia (Aceh): Torture of Gay Men by the Banda Raya Police’, Amnesty International, ASA 21/004/2007. Amrullah, E.F. (2008) ‘Indonesian Muslim Fashion Styles & Designs’, ISIM Review (Autumn): 22–23. Andaya, B.W. (2006) The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Andaya, L. (2001) ‘The Seventeenth-Century Acehnese Model of Malay Society’, in F. Hüsken and D. van der Meij (eds) Reading Asia: New Research in Asian Studies: 83–109. ——(2008) Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Anonymous (n.d.) ‘Sesion1: konsep gender’ (power point slides), Pusat Studi Wanita, IAIN Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh. ——(2008) ‘Charter of the Rights of Women in Aceh – Piagam: Hak-Hak Perempuan di Aceh’, Banda Aceh: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. Anwar, Etin (2006) Gender and Self in Islam, Oxon: Routledge. Aoláin, F.N. and Hamilton, M. (2009) ‘Gender and the Rule of Law in Transitional Societies’, Minn. J. Int’l L.Minnesota Journal of International Law 18(2): 380–402. Arskal, S. (2009) Challenging the Secular State: The Islamization of Law in Modern Indonesia, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Aspinall, E. (2006) ‘Violence and Identity Formation in Aceh under Indonesian Rule’, in A. Reid (ed.) Verandah of Violence: The Background of the Aceh Problem, Singapore: Singapore University Press.



——(2008) Peace Without Justice? The Helsinki Peace Process in Aceh, Geneva: Center for Humanitarian Dialogue. ——(2009a) ‘Combatants to Contractors: The Political Economy of Peace in Aceh’, Indonesia 87 (April): 1–34. ——(2009b) Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Aspinall, E. and Crouch, H. (2003) The Aceh Peace Process: Why it Failed, Washington: East-West Center, Policy Studies 1. Atwood, M. (1985; 2nd edn 2005) The Handmaid’s Tale, London: Vintage. AusAID (2005) ‘AusGuideline 3.3 The Logical Framework Approach’, www.ausaid. (accessed January 2012). ——(2007) ‘Education Rehabilitation in Aceh (ERA) Program’, au/projects/era.html (accessed 1 December 2009). Avonius, L. and Shadiqin, S.I. (eds) (2010) Adat dalam Dinamika Politik Aceh, Banda Aceh: International Centre for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies. Bacchi, C. and Eveline, J. (2010) ‘Approaches to Gender Mainstreaming: What’s the Problem Represented to Be?’ in C. Bacchi and J. Eveline (eds) Mainstreaming Politics: Gendering Practices and Feminist Theory, Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. Baden, S. and Goetz, A.M. (1997) ‘Who Needs [Sex] When You Can Have [Gender]? Conflicting Discourses on Gender at Beijing’, Feminist Review 56 (Summer): 3–25. Bailey, M.E. (1993) ‘Foucauldian Feminism: Contesting Bodies, Sexuality and Identity’, in C. Ramazanog˘ lu (ed.) Up Against Foucault: Explorations of Some Tensions Between Foucault and Feminism, London: Routledge. Bambang, E. (2006) ‘Penerapan Syariat Islam di Aceh Sudah Keterlaluan’, Journal Perempuan, 21 February. Barlas, A. (2002) Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an, Austin: University of Texas Press. ——(2008) ‘Engaging Islamic Feminism: Provincialization Feminism as a Master Narrative’, in A. Kynsilehto (ed.) Islamic Feminism: Current Perspectives, Tampere: Juvenes Print, Tampere Peace Research Institute Occasional Paper No. 96. Barron, P., Clark, S. and Muslahuddin, D. (2005) ‘Conflict and Recovery in Aceh: An Assessment of Conflict Dynamics and Options for Supporting the Peace Process’, World Bank, 23 August. Bashry, T.H.H. (2007) ‘Aurat Dalam Perspektif Fuqaha Syâfi‘îyah’, in Pemikiran Ulama Dayah Aceh: kumpulan tulisan Ulama Aceh, Banda Aceh: Biro Rekonstruksi dan Rehabilitasi Aceh dan Nias, (page numbers not available). Bedford, K. (2007) ‘The Imperative of Male Inclusion: How Institutional Context Influences World Bank Gender Policy’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 9(3): 289–311. ——(2009) Developing Partnerships: Gender, Sexuality, and the Reformed World Bank, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Berlant, L. (1997) The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship, Durham: Duke University Press. Bhaiya, A. and Wieringa, S.E. (2007) Manual on Sexual Rights and Sexual Empowerment, Jagori, APIK and Kartini Network. Bianpoen, C. (2000) ‘Aceh’s Women Show the Road to Peace: Reflection on International Women’s Day’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 1(2): 363–66. ——(2001) ‘Erica Hestu Wahyuni in Retrospect’, Indonesian Observer, 14 April.



Biggs, S. and Smith, S. (2003) ‘A Paradox of Learning of Project Cycle Management and the Role of Organizational Culture’, World Development 31(10): 1743–57. BKKBN (Kementerian Negara Pemberdayaan Perempuan) and UNPFA (2003; 4th edn 2005) Bahan Pembelajaran Pengarusutamaan Gender, third edn, Jakarta: Kementerian Negara Pemberdayaan Perempuan, BKKBN, UNFPA. Blackburn, S. (2004) Women and the State in Modern Indonesia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ——(2008) ‘Indonesian Women and Political Islam’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39(1): 83–105. Blackwood, E. (2005) ‘Transnational Sexualities in One Place: Indonesian Readings’, Gender & Society 19(2): 221–42. ——(2010) Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Blackwood, E. (2011) Tombois & Femmes: Defying Gender Labels in Indonesia, Jakarta: Godown Lontar. Bleiker, R. (2001) ‘The Aesthetic Turn in International Political Theory’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 30(3): 509–33. Boellstorff, T. (2005a) ‘Between Religion and Desire: Being Muslim and Gay in Indonesia’, American Anthropology 107(4): 575–85. ——(2005b). The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia, Oxford: Princeton University Press. Booth, K.M. (1998) ‘National Mother, Global Whore, and Transnational Femocrats: The Politics of AIDS and the Construction of Women at the World Health Organisation’, Feminist Studies 24(1): 115–39. Bowen, J.R. (1986) ‘On the Political Construction of Tradition: gotong royong in Indonesia’, Journal of Asian Studies 45(3): 545–61. ——(1997) ‘Modern Intentions: Reshaping Subjectivities in an Indonesian Muslim Society’, in R.W. Hefner and P. Horvatich (eds) Islam in an Era of Nation-States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. ——(2003) Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ——(2007) ‘The New Anthropology of Ethnicity and Identity – and Why it Matters for Aceh and Indonesia’, paper presented at the First International Conference of Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies, February. BPP (Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan) (n.d.) Apa gender, itu gender: kesetaraan dan keadilan, Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan, Sekretariat Daerah Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2007) ‘Persepsi Perempuan Terhadap Masalah KDRT (Kekerasan Dalam Rumah Tangga)’, Suara An-Nisa’: Pemberdayaan, Kesetaraan, Persatuan dan Pengabdian, April: 13,16. BPPPA (Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak) (2007; 2nd edn 2008) Perempuan & Laki-laki: Dalam Realisasi Sosial dan Negara. Menurut Perspektif Agama Islam, Banda Aceh: Badan Pemperdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2008a) Gender – Apa Itu Gender? Banda Aceh: Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2008b) Profil Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Banda Aceh: Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak.



——(2008c) Suara An-Nisa’: Pemberdayaan, Kesetaraan, Persatuan dan Pengabdian, Edition March. Braginsky, V. (2004) ‘The Science of Women and the Jewel: The Synthesis of Tantrism and Sufism in a Corpus of Mystical Texts from Aceh’, Indonesia and the Malay World 32(93): 141–75. Braidotti, R (2006) Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, Cambridge: Polity Press. Brenner, S.A. (1995) ‘Why Women Rule the Roost: Rethinking Javanese Ideologies of Gender and Self-control’, in A. Ong and M.G. Pelez (eds) Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia, London: University of California Press. ——(1996) ‘Reconstructing Self and Society: Javanese Muslim Women and “the Veil”’, American Ethnologist 23(4): 673–97. Briggs, L. (2003) ‘Mother, Child, Race, Nation: The Visual Iconography of Rescue and the Politics of Transnational and Transracial Adoption’, Gender & History 15(2): 179–200. Brooke, P. (1995) Communicating Through Story Characters: Radio Social Drama, Boston: University Press of America. BRR (Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction for Aceh and Nias) (n.d.a) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Economic Sector 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.b) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Education Sector 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.c) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Health Sector 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.d) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Housing and Settlements 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.e) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Planning and Budget Sector 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.f) Gender Guidelines and Checklist for Religious, Social and Cultural Affairs Sector 2007–8, unpublished. ——(n.d.g) Tips on Acehnese Culture, Pedoman tentang Budaya Aceh. ——(2006a) Core Gender Indicators – Rehabilitation and Reconstruction – Aceh/Nias, BRR consultative meetings with women organizations 25/406-24/5/06, unpublished. ——(2006b) Policy and Strategy Paper: Promoting Gender Equality in the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Process of Aceh and Nias, Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction for Aceh and Nias, September, unpublished. ——(2009a) ‘Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction for Aceh and Nias’, (website closed in April 2009). ——(2009b) Religion, Social Culture: Revitalizing the Dignity of Society, Jakarta: Multi Donor Fund/UNDP. Bruhm, S. and Hurley, N. (2004) ‘Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children’, in S. Bruhm and N. Hurley (eds) Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children, London: University of Minnesota Press. Bröckling, U., Krasmann, S. and Lemke, T. (2011) ‘From Foucault’s Lectures at the Collège de France to Studies of Governmentality: An Introduction’, in U. Bröckling, S. Krasmann and T. Lemke (eds) Governmentality: Current Issues and Future Challenges, Oxon: Routledge. Bunch, C. and Fried, S. (1996) ‘Beijing ‘95: Moving Women’s Human Rights from Margin to Center’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 22(1): 200–4. Butler, J. (1990; 2nd edn 1999) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Dubversion of Identity, New York: Routledge. ——(1992) ‘Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of “Postmodernism”’, in J. Butler and J.W. Scott (eds) Feminist Theorize the Political, London: Routledge.



——(1993) Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, London: Routledge. ——(1997) ‘Imitation and Gender Insubordination’, in L. Nicholson (ed.) The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory, London: Routledge. ——(2004a) ‘Bodies and Power Revisited’, in D. Taylor and K. Vintges (eds) Feminism and the Final Foucault, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ——(2004b) Undoing Gender, Oxfordshire: Routledge. ——(2006) ‘Afterword’, in E.T. Armour and S.M. St Ville (eds) Bodily Citations: Religion and Judith Butler, New York: Columbia University Press. ——(2009) ‘A Conversation with Simon Critchley, Judith Butler and Jacques Rancière’, an event hosted by Verso, 23 October 2009, New School for Social Research, New York, shtml (accessed 1 January 2010). Butt, L. (2005) ‘Sexuality, the State, and the Runaway Wives of Highlands Papua, Indonesia’, in V. Adams and S.L. Pigg (eds) Sex in Development: Science, Sexuality, and Morality in Global Perspective, Durham: Duke University Press. Campbell, D. (2006) ‘Geopolitics and Visuality: Sighting the Darfur Conflict’, Political Geography 26(4): 357–82. ——(2009) ‘“Black Skin and Blood”: Documentary Photography and Santu Mofokeng’s Critique of the Visualization of Apartheid South Africa’, History and Theory 48(4): 52–58. ——(2012) ‘“This Photo is Not Just What it is: Reading the World Press Photo Debate’, (accessed 20 February 2012). Carver, T. (2004) Men in Political Theory, Manchester: Manchester University Press. CFAN (Coordination Forum for Aceh and Nias) (2009) ‘Celebration of Humanity’, (accessed 10 January 2009, website closed). CGI (Consultative Group on Indonesia) (2005) Indonesia: Preliminary Damage and Loss Assessment: The December 26, 2004 Natural Disaster, Jakarta: BAPPENAS. Chambers, S.A. (2009) ‘A Queer Politics of the Democratic Miscount’, borderlands e-journal 8(2): 1–23. Chambers, S.A. and Carver, T. (2008) Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics, Oxon: Routledge. Chan-Tiberghien, J. (2004) ‘Poststructural Feminisms, Transnational Feminisms, and World Conference Against Racism’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 6(3): 454–84. Chhachhi, A. (2006) ‘Reflections: Kumari Jayawardena. Interviewed by Amrita Chhacchi’, Development and Change 37(6): 1335–46. Childs, M. (2006) ‘Not Through Women’s Eyes: Photo-essays and the Construction of a Gendered Tsunami Disaster’, Disaster Prevention and Management 15(1): 202–12. Chinkin, C. (2000) ‘Gender and International Society: Law and Policy’, in R.C. Thakur and E. Newman (eds) New Millennium, New Perspectives: The United Nations, Security and Governance, New York: United Nations University. Chuzaifah, Y. (2007) ‘Political-Social Movements: Feminist: Indonesia’, in S. Joseph (ed.) Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, Vol VI: Supplement & Index, Boston: Brill. Clavé-Çelik, E. (2008) ‘Images of the Past and Realities of the Present: Aceh’s Inong Balee’, IIAS Newsletter 48 (Summer): 10–11.



Cleaver, F. (2002) ‘Men and Masculinities: New Directions in Gender and Development’, in F. Cleaver (ed.) Masculinities Matter! Men, Gender and Development, London: Zed Books. Cleland, D.I. and Gareis, R. (2006) Global Project Management Handbook: Planning, Organizing, and Controlling International Projects, New York: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing. Clinton, W.J. (2005) ‘Six Months After’, New York Times (22 June). Cohen, C.J. (2004) ‘Deviance as Resistance: A New Research Agenda for the Study of Black Politics’, Du Bois Review 1(1): 27–45. Cohen, J.J. and Ramlow, T.R. (2006) ‘Pink Vectors of Deleuze: Queer Theory and Inhumanism’, Rhizomes 11/12, (accessed 1 January 2010). Cohn, C. (2006) ‘Motives and Methods: Using Multi-sited Ethnography to Study US National Security Discourses’, in B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Colebrook, C. (2000) ‘Introduction’, in I. Buchanan and C. Colebrook (eds) Deleuze and Feminist Theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ——(2009) ‘On the Very Possibility of Queer Theory’, in C. Nigianni and M. Storr (eds) Deleuze and Queer Theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Coleman, L.M. and Tucker, K. (2011) ‘Between Discipline and Dissent: Situated Resistance and Global Order’, Globalizations 8(4): 397–410. Connell, R. (2009) Short Introductions: Gender, Cambridge: Polity Press. Consultative Group on Indonesia (2005) Indonesia: Preliminary Damage and Loss Assessment: The December 26, 2004 Natural Disaster, Jakarta: BAPPENAS. Cooper, D. (2004) Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cornwall, A. (2006) ‘Marginalisation by Sexuality: Report of an IDS Workshop’, Gender & Development 14(2): 273–89. Cornwall, A., Corrêa, S. and Jolly, S. eds. (2008) Development with a Body: Sexuality, Human Rights & Development, London: Zed Books. Cowen, M.P. and Shenton, R.W. (1996) Doctrines of Development, London: Routledge. Crawley, H. (1998) ‘Living Up to the Empowerment Claim? The Potential of PRA’, in I. Guijt and M.K. Shah (eds) The Myth of Community: Gender Issues in Participatory Development, London: Intermediate Technology Publications. Crenshaw, K. (1991) ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color’, Stanford Law Review 43(6): 1241–99. Crouch, H. (2010) Political Reform in Indonesia After Soeharto, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) (2004) 48th Session 1–12 March 2004, (accessed 1 March 2010). Cvetkovich, A. (2003) An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures, Durham: Duke University Press. Dakin, B. (2003) Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos, Bangkok: Asia Books. Daly, P. and Rahmayati, Y. (2012) ‘Cultural Heritage and Community Recovery in Post-Tsunami Aceh’, in P. Daly, R.M. Feener and A. Reid (eds) From the Ground Up: Perspectives on Post-tsunami and Post-conflict Aceh, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.



Danial (2008) ‘Seri Makalah Diskusi 1: Islam, CEDAW dan perlindungan hak perempuan’, United Nations Development Fund for Women, East and Southeast Asia Regional Office. Danusiri, A. (2007) Playing Between Elephants (film). Dara (2010) ‘Gay & Lesbi Minta tak Dikucilkan’, Aceh Kita, 28 January, www.aceh (accessed 25 January 2012). Davies, S.G. (2010) Gender Diversity in Indonesia, Oxon: Routledge. Davis, K. (2005) ‘Editorial’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 12(5): 5–7. D’Costa, B. (2006) ‘Marginalized Identity: New Frontiers of Research of IR?’ in B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. de Alwis, M. (2009) ‘Interrogating the “Political”: Feminist Peace Activism in Sri Lanka’, Feminist Review 91(1): 81–93. Dean, M. (1999) Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society, London: SAGE Publications. Death, C. (2011) ‘Counter-conducts in South Africa: Power, Government and Dissent at the World Summit’, Globalizations 8(4): 425–38. de Lauretis, T. (1987) Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Desai, M. (2005) ‘Transnationalism: The Face of Feminist Politics Post-Beijing’, International Social Science Journal 57(184): 319–30. Djajadiningrat-Nieuwenhuis, M. (1987; 2nd edn 1992) ‘Ibuism and Priyayization: Path to Power?’ in E. Locher-Scholten and A. Niehof (eds) Indonesian Women in Focus: Past and Present Notions, Leiden: KITLV Press. Djakababa, N. (2006) ‘Anthology Mulls Over the Turning Tides’, The Jakarta Post, 22 January. Djohar, Z. (2008) ‘Meretas Keadilan dan Membangun Keseimbangan’, in F. Zain and S. Mahdi (eds) Timang: Aceh, Perempuan, Kesetaraan, Banda Aceh: Aceh Institute Press. DSF (Decentralization Support Facility) (2007) ‘Gender Review and PNPM Strategy Formulation: Working Paper on the Findings of Joint Donor and Government Mission’, (accessed 1 March 2010). Duffield, M. (2001) ‘Governing the Borderlands: Decoding Power of Aid’, Disasters 25(4): 308–20. ——(2005) Global Governance and the New Wars, London: Zed Books. ——(2007) Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of Peoples, Cambridge: Polity Press. Duffield, M. and Hewitt, V. (2009) ‘Introduction’, in M. Duffield and V. Hewitt (eds) Empire, Development & Colonialism: The Past in the Present, Rochester: James Currey. Duggan, L. (2002) ‘The New Homonormativity: The Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism’, in R. Castronovo and D.D. Nelson (eds) Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Dwyer, L.K. (2000) ‘Spectacular Sexuality: Nationalism, Development and the Politics of Family Planning in Indonesia’, in T. Mayer (ed.) Gender Ironies of Nationalism: Sexing the Nation, London: Routledge. Dzuhayatin, S.R. (2001) ‘Gender and Pluralism in Indonesia’, in R.W. Hefner (ed.) The Politics of Multiculturalism: Pluralism and Citizenship in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.



Dzulkarnain, I. (2006) ‘Perilaku Homoseksual di Pondok Pesantren’, unpublished thesis, Sekolah Pascasarjana. Universitas Gajah Mada. Edkins, J. (2000) Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid, London: University of Minnesota Press. ——(2003) Trauma and the Memory of Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Effendy, B. (2003) Islam and the State in Indonesia, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Emond, B. (2009) ‘Hartoyo: Coming Out for his Rights’, The Jakarta Post, 27 March. Enarson, E. and Meyreles, L. (2004) ‘International Perspectives on Gender and Disaster: Differences and Possibilities’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 24(10/11): 49–93. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2009) ‘Naïve Art’, topic/401931/naive-art (accessed 1 December 2009). Eng, D.L., Halberstam, J. and Muñoz, J.E. (2005) ‘Introduction: What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?’ Social Text 23(3–4): 1–17. Eveline, J. and Bacchi, C. (2005) ‘What are we Mainstreaming when we Mainstream Gender?’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 7(4): 496–512. Eyben, R. (n.d.) ‘What is Happening to Donor Support for Women’s Rights?’ in Contestations: Dialogues on Women’s Empowerment, issue 4, issues/issue-4/what-is-happening-to-donor-support-for-women%E2%80%99s-rights/ (accessed 1 April 2011). ——(2010) ‘Subversively Accommodating: Feminist Bureaucrats and Gender Mainstreaming’, IDS Bulletin 41(2): 54–61. Eye on Aceh (2006) A People’s Agenda? Post-tsunami Aid in Aceh, Banda Aceh: Eye on Aceh. ——(2007) The ‘Golden Crop’? Palm Oil in Post-tsunami Aceh, Banda Aceh: Eye on Aceh. Fakih, M. (1996; 2nd edn 2003) Analisis Gender & Transformasi Sosial, Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) (2001) ‘Project Cycle Management Technical Guide: Socio-economic and Gender Analysis Programme’, sd/Seaga/downloads/En/projecten.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). Farr, V., Myrttinen, H. and Schnabel, A. (2009) Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Tokyo: United Nations University Press. Fealy, G. and Hooker, V. (2006) ‘Sharia’, in G. Fealy and V. Hooker (eds) Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A Contemporary Sourcebook, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Fechter, A.-M. (2005) ‘The “Other” Stares Back: Experiencing Whiteness in Jakarta’, Ethnography 6(1): 87–103. Feener, R.M. (2011) ‘The Acehnese Past and its Present State of Study’, in R.M. Feener, P. Daly and A. Reid (eds) Mapping the Acehnese Past, Leiden: KITLV Press. ——(2012) ‘Social Engineering through Shari’a: Islamic Law and State-directed Da’Wa in Contemporary Aceh’, Islamic Law and Society 19(3): 275–311. Feener, R.M. and Cammack, M. (2007) ‘Introduction: Islamic Law in Indonesia: Formations of a Modern Tradition?’ in R.M. Feener and M. Cammack (eds) Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia: Ideas and Institutions, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.



Feldman, A. (1991) Formations of Violence: The Narrative of the Body and Political Terror in Northern Ireland, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Felten-Biermann, C. (2006) ‘Gender and Natural Disaster: Sexualised Violence and the Tsunami’, Development 49(3): 82–86. Fitzpatrick, D. (2012) ‘Between Custom and Law: Protecting the Property Rights of Women after the Tsunami in Aceh’, in P. Daly, R.M. Feener and A. Reid (eds) From the Ground Up: Perspectives on Post-Tsunami and Post-Conflict Aceh, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Flax, J. (1997) ‘Postmodernism and Gender Relations in Feminist Theory’, in S. Kemp and J. Squires (eds) Feminisms, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Foucault, M. (1998) The History of Sexuality 1: The Will to Knowledge, trans. Robert Hurley, London: Penguin Books. ——(2007) Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978, trans. Graham Burchell, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Freedman, J. (2007) ‘Women, Islam and Rights in Europe: Beyond a Universalist/ Culturalist Dichotomy’, Review of International Studies 33(1): 29–44. Fulu, E. (2007) ‘Gender, Vulnerability, and the Experts: Responding to the Maldives Tsunami’, Development and Change 38(5): 843–64. Gapi, S.R.H.R (2006) ‘Jilbab dan Aurat Wanita dalam Konteks Islam’, in Wanita & Islam: Kumpulan Tulisan Santriwati Aceh, Banda Aceh: Institute for Culture and Society. Gasper, D. (2003) Studying Aid: Some Methods, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Working Paper Series No. 382. Gayatri, B.J.D. (1996) ‘Indonesian Lesbians Writing their Own Script: Issues of Feminism and Sexuality’, in M. Reinfelder (ed.) Amazon to Zami: Towards a Global Lesbian Feminism, London: Cassell. Gell, F. and Motla, P. (2002) ‘Gender Mainstreaming Tools: Questions and Checklists to Use Across the Programme Management Cycle’, Oxfam GB, November 2002, available in Gender Resource CD. Giffney, N. (2004) ‘Denormatizing Queer Theory: More Than (Simply) Lesbian and Gay Studies’, Feminist Theory 5(1): 73–78. Giffney, N. and Hird, M.J. (eds) (2008) Queering the Non/Human, Hampshire: Ashgate. Goetz, A.M. (1994) ‘From Feminist Knowledge to Data for Development: The Bureaucratic Management of Information on Women and Development’, IDS Bulletin 25(2): 27–36. Gouda, Frances (2001) What’s To Be Done With Gender and Post-Colonial Studies? Amsterdam: Vossiuspres UvA. Government of Republic of Indonesia (1998) ‘Garis-Garis Besar Haluan Negara (GBHN) 1999–2004’, (accessed in 1 March 2010). ——(2000) ‘Questionnaire: Indonesia. Questionnaire to Governments on Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and the Outcome of the Twenty-Third Special Session of the General Assembly (2000)’, womenwatch/daw/followup/countrylist.htm (accessed 1 March 2010). Grabham, E. (2009) ‘Intersectionality: Traumatic Impressions’, in E. Grabham, D. Cooper, J. Krishnadas and D. Herman (eds) Intersectionality and Beyond: Law, Power, and the Politics of Location, Oxon: Routledge-Cavendish. Grayman, J.H. (2007) ‘No Nightmares in Aceh’, Inside Indonesia 90. Grewal, I. and Kaplan, C. (2001) ‘Global Identities: Theorizing Transnational Studies of Sexuality’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 7(4): 663–79.



Griffin, P. (2009) Gendering the World Bank: Neoliberalism and the Gendered Foundations of Global Governance, Hampshire: Macmillan. Grossmann, K. (2009) ‘Women as Change Agents: Power and Powerlessness of Women Activists in the Transformation Process in Aceh, Indonesia’, paper presented at workshop Women and Politics in Asia: A Springboard for Democracy? 30 September–2 October 2009, University of Hildesheim, Germany. ——(2012) ‘Women as Change Agents in the Transformation Process in Aceh, Indonesia’, in Andrea Fleschenberg and Claudia Derichs (eds) Women and Politics in Asia: A Springboard for Democracy? Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 97–122. Gubernur Aceh (2009) ‘Qanun Aceh nomor 6 tahun 2009 tentang pemberdayaan dan perlindungan perempuan’ (print out). Gubernur Daerah Istimewah Aceh (2001) Peraturan Daerah Propinsi Daerah Istimewah Aceh nomor 23 tahun 2001 tentang susunan organisasi dan tata kerja Dinas Sosial Propinsi Daerah Istimewa Aceh, Banda Aceh: Pemerintah Daerah Istimewa Aceh. Gubernur Provinsi NAD (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam) (2007) Peraturan Gubernur NAD nomor 21 tahun 2007 tentang Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Mengunah Provinsi NAD 2007–2012, Banda Aceh: Pemerintah Aceh. Gunkel, Henriette (2010) ‘“I Myself Had a Sweetie … ”: Re-thinking Female Samesex Intimacy Beyond the Institution of Marriage and Identity Politics’, Social Dynamics 36(3): 531–46. Gyatso, J. (2003) ‘One Plus One Makes Three: Buddhist Gender, Monasticism, and the Law of the Non-excluded Middle’, History of Religions 43(2): 89–115. Habib, S. (2007) Female Homosexuality in the Middle East: Histories and Representations, Oxon: Routledge. ——(2008) ‘Queer-Friendly Islamic Hermeneutics’, ISIM Review 21 (Spring): 32–33. Halberstam, J. (1998; 2nd edn 2006) Female Masculinity, Durham: Duke University Press. ——(2003) ‘What’s That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives’, The Scholar and Feminist Online (2.1 – Public Sentiments – Summer): 1–9. ——(2005) In a Queer Time & Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, London: New York University Press. ——(2011) The Queer Art of Failure, London: Duke University Press. Hall, H. and True, J. (2009) ‘Gender Mainstreaming in a Post-conflict State’, in B. D’Costa and K. Lee-Koo (eds) Gender and Global Politics in the Asia-Pacific, London: Palgrave MacMillan. Halley, J., Kotiswaran, P., Shamir, H. and Thomas, C. (2006) ‘From the International to the Local in Feminist Legal Responses to Rape, Prostitution/Sex Work and Sex Trafficking: Four Studies in Contemporary Governance Feminism’, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 29: 335–423. Hamid, S. (2006) ‘Aceh’s Women Speak Out About Discrimination’, Jakarta Post, 23 May. Hancock, A.-M. (2007a) ‘Intersectionality as a Normative and Empirical Paradigm’, Politics & Gender 3(2): 248–54. ——(2007b) ‘When Multiplication Doesn’t Equal Quick Addition: Examining Intersectionality as a Research Paradigm, Perspectives on Politics 5(1): 63–79. Handajani, S. (2008) ‘Western Inscriptions on Indonesian Bodies: Representations of Adolsecents in Indonesian Female Teen Magazines’, Intersections: Gender and



Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 18 (October), handajani.htm (accessed 6 February 2012). Handrahan, L. (2004) ‘Conflict, Gender, Ethnicity and Post-Conflict Reconstruction’, Security Dialogue 35(4): 429–45. Harian Aceh (2008) ‘MPU Aceh: Status Waria Harus Jelas’, Harian Aceh, 24 March. Hartoyo (2009) ‘Gay VS Pesantren’, (accessed 12 February 2012) Hasan, E. (2008) ‘Ada Apa Dengan Gender?’, in F. Zain and S. Mahdi (eds) Timang: Aceh, Perempuan, Kesetaraan, Banda Aceh: Aceh Institute Press. Hassan, R. (1987) ‘Equal Before Allah? Woman-Man Equality in the Islamic Tradition’, Harvard Divinity Bulletin Vol. WVII, no. 2 (Jan.–May), farooqm/study_res/islam/gender/equal_riffat.html (accessed 1 February 2009). Hayes, P. (2009) ‘Santu Mofokeng, Photographs: “The Violence is in the Knowing’, History and Theory 48(4): 34–51. Hedman, E.-L.E. (2005) ‘Back to Barracks: relokasi pengungsi in post-tsunami Aceh’, Indonesia 80 (October): 1–19. Hefner, R.W. (1997) ‘Introduction: Islam in an Era of Nation-State: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia’, in R.W. Hefner and P. Horvatich (eds) Islam in an Era of Nation-State: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Hellman, J. (2003) Performing the Nation: Cultural Politics in New Order Indonesia, Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. Heryanto, A. (1988) ‘The Development of “Develoment”’, Indonesia 46 (October): 1–24. Hewitt, M. (1992). Welfare, Ideology and Need: Developing Perspectives on the Welfare State, Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Hickey-Moody, A. and Rasmussen, M.L. (2009) ‘The Sexed Subject in-between Deleuze and Butler’, in C. Nigianni and M. Storr (eds) Deleuze and Queer Theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation) (n.d.) ‘Violet Grey – Aceh’, (accessed 25 January 2012). Hoekstra, A. and Hoekstra-Roscam, A. (2009) ‘Spirals Visualizing Progress’, www. (accessed 1 December 2009). hooks, b. (2003) ‘The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators’, in A. Jones (ed.) The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, London: Routledge. HRW (Human Rights Watch) (2004) Help Wanted: Abuses Against Female Migrant Domestic Workers in Indonesia and Malaysia, Human Rights Watch, July, Vol. 16, No. 9 B. ——(2010) Policing Morality: Abuses in the Application of Sharia in Aceh, Indonesia (December). Husein, M.M. (2008) ‘Asas Egaliter dalam Pemahaman Teks-teks Suci Tentang Issue Gender’, in Perspektif Pemikiran Ulama Perempuan Aceh, Banda Aceh: Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia (MiSPI). Hutchings, K. (2007) ‘Happy Anniversary! Time and Critique in International Relations Theory’, Review of International Studies 33(1–2): 71–89. Hyndman, J. (2008) ‘Feminism, Conflict and Disasters in Post-tsunami Sri Lanka’, Gender, Technology and Development 12(1): 101–21. Hyndman, J. and de Alwis, M. (2003) ‘Towards a Feminist Analysis of Humanitarianism and Development in Sri Lanka’, Women’s Studies Quarterly 31(3–4): 212–26.



Ibrahim, S.Z.H. (2006) ‘Islamikah tradisi jilbab kita’, in Wanita & Islam: kumpulan tulisan santriwati Aceh, Banda Aceh: Institute for Culture and Society. ICG (International Crisis Group) (2006) ‘Islamic Law and Criminal Justice in Aceh’, Jakarta/Brussels: International Crisis Group, Asia Report No. 117, 31 July. Ichwan, M.N. (2007) ‘The Politics of Shari’atization: Central Governmental and Regional Discourse of Shari’a Implementation in Aceh’, in R.M. Feener and M. Cammack (eds) Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia: Ideas and Institutions, Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press. Ichwan, M.N. (2011) ‘Official Ulema and the Politics of Re-Islamization: The Majelis Permusyawaratan Ulama, Shari’atization and Contested Authority in Post-New Aceh 1.’, Journal of Islamlic Studies 22(2): 183–214. Idham, R. (2008) ‘Perempuan Aceh Pasca Tsunami dan Perubahan Identitas Sosial Kultural’, in Perempuan Aceh Bicara. Bangkok: United Nations Development Fund for Women, Kantor Wilayah Asia Timur dan Tenggara. IDLO (International Development Law Organisation) (2007) ‘Guardianship, Inheritance, and Land Law in Post-Tsunami Aceh’, (accessed 1 March 2010). IDRC (International Development Research Centre) (n.d.) ‘Module 10C: Focus Group Discussion’, (accessed 1 December 2009). IGLHRC (International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) (2010) ‘Acehnese Gays Face a Climate of Fear and Abuse’, takeaction/partners/1200.html (accessed 25 January 2012). Indodic Media, (n.d.) Online Dictionary, (accessed 20 February 2013). In-Docs (2009) ‘Sejarah Negeri Yang Karam’, entary/sejarah-negeri-yang-karam-/id (accessed 1 March 2010). Info Aceh (2007) Report (post-production assessment of the radio drama), unpub lished report. IOM (International Organisation for Migration) (2006) ‘Psychosocial Needs Assessment of Communities Affected by the Conclift in the Districts of Pidie, Bireuen and Aceh Utara’, (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2008) ‘Meta Analysis: Vulnerability, Stability, Displacement and Reintegration. Issues Facing the Peace Process in Aceh, Indonesia’, myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/activities/countries/docs/usaid_meta_analysis.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). Ismail, H.B. (2006) ‘Gender dalam budaya masyarakat Aceh’, Suara An-Nisa (Agustus): 18–19. Ismail, N. (2007a) ‘Desa yang Layak untuk Perempuan dan Anak dalam Perspektif Islam’, (accessed 1 December 2007, blog closed). ——(2007b) ‘Gender dalam Perspektif Islam’, www.pemberdayaanperempuanbrr. (accessed in 10 March 2007, blog closed). ——(2007c) ‘Keadilan Gender Dalam Syari’at Islam’, in H.S. Rijal (ed.) Dinamika dan Problematika Penerapan Syariat Islam, Banda Aceh: Dinas Syariat Islam Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2008) ‘Keadilan Islam dalam Syariat Islam’, in Perspektif Pemikiran Ulama Perempuan Aceh, Banda Aceh: Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia (MiSPI).



Isserles, R.G. (2003) ‘Microcredit: The Rhetoric of Empowerment, the Reality of “Development as Usual”’, Women’s Studies Quarterly 31(3–4): 38–57. Jackson, S. (2006) ‘Heterosexuality, Sexuality and Gender: Re-thinking the Intersections’, in D. Richardson, J. McLaughlin and M.E. Casey (eds) Intersections Between Feminist and Queer Theory: Sexualities, Cultures and Identities, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Jahan, R. (1995) The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development, London: Zed Books. Jamil, A. and Lubis, A. (2003) ‘Seks dan Gender’, in Pengantar Kajian Gender, Jakarta: Pusat Studi Wanita, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah and McGill Project/IISEP. Jauhola, M. (2010) ‘“Building Back Better”? Negotiating Normative Boundaries of Gender Mainstreaming and Post-Tsunami Reconstruction in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Indonesia’, Review of International Studies 36(1): 29–50. ——(2011) ‘“Building Aceh Back Better”? – Discourses of “New Aceh” as Performative and Politicised Social Space’, paper presented at the Conference ‘Otherness, Subjectivity and Representation’, 21–22 October, Finland: Åbo Akadami. Jauhold, M. (2012) Welcome to ‘Indonesia!’ Feminist Readings of ‘teach yourself Indonesian’ Self-Learning Language course, Jurnal Hubungan International 5(1), 94–110. Jauhola, M., Bergman, A. and Juntunen, J. (2012) ‘This is Gender’, MEjELrY6_po (animation). Jayawardena, C. (1977) ‘Women and Kinship in Aceh Besar, Northern Sumatra’, Ethnology 16(1): 21–38. Jemadu, A. (2006) The Post-Tsunami Reconstruction of Aceh and the Implementation of the Peace Agreement, Singapore: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, IDSS Monograph no 9. JiaJia (2009) Facebook Status on 1 October 2009, (accessed 1 October 2009). Jolly, S. (2007) Why the Development Industry Should Get Over its Obsession With Bad Sex and Start to Think About Pleasure, Institute of Development Studies, Working Paper 283, May. Juvonen, T. (2002) Varjoelämää ja julkisia salaisuuksia, Tampere: Vastapaino. Kamaruzzaman, S. (2006) ‘Violence, Internal Displacement and its Impact on Women in Aceh’, in C.A. Coppel (ed.) Violent Conflicts in Indonesia, London: Routledge. ——(2008) ‘Bagaimana Pakaian Perempuan Aceh?’, (accessed 1 February 2009). Kamila, R. and Sugesty, M. (2008) The Odyssey of Rani Monika (film), MIRAS (Sekolah Jeumpa Puteh). Kandiyoti, D. (1995) ‘Reflections on the Politics of Gender in Muslim Societies: From Nairobi to Beijing’, in M. Afkhami (ed.) Faith & Freedom: Women’s Human Rights in the Muslim World, London: I.B. Tauris Publishers. Kantola, J. and Nousiainen, K. (2009) ‘Institutionalizing Intersectionality in Europe: Introducing the Theme’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 11(4): 459–77. Kantola, J. and Outshoorn, J. (2007) ‘Changing State Feminism’, in J. Kantola and J. Outshoorn (eds) Changing State Feminism, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Kantola, J. and Valenius, J. (2007) ‘Maailmanpolitiikka’, in J. Kantola and J. Valenius (eds) Toinen maailmanpolitiikka: 10 käsitettä feministisen kansainvälisen suhteiden tutkimukseen, Tallinna: Vastapaino.



Kapoor, I. (2004) ‘Hyper-self-reflective Development? Spivak on Representing the Third World “Other”?’ Third World Quarterly 25(4): 627–47. Kartomi, M. (2003) ‘Aceh-Jakarta and Aceh Fieldnotes, February–March 2003’, (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2004) ‘Some Implications of Local Concepts of Space in the Dance, Music and Visual Arts of Aceh’, Yearbook for Traditional Music 36: 1–49. ——(2005) ‘On Metaphor and Analogy in the Concepts and Classification of Musial Instruments in Aceh’, Yearbook for Traditional Music 37: 25–57. Khan, S.B.A.L. (2010) ‘The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641–99’, in A. Graf, S. Schröter and E. Wieringa (eds) Aceh: History, Politics and Culture, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. KKG (Kelombok Kerja Gender) (2007) Evaluasi situasi perempuan tahun 2006 di Aceh, 8 Maret, unpublished. ——(n.d.) Gender & Konflik Pasca Bencana (brochure). Kloos, D. (2010) ‘Supporting Syariah, Advancing Women’, Inside Indonesia 101 (July– September 2010), (accessed 27 February 2012). Kodir, F.A. (2007) Hadith and Gender Justice: Understanding the Prophetic Traditions, Cirebon: Fahmina Institute. Koivunen, A. (2003) Performative Histories, Foundational Fictions: Gender and Sexuality in Niskavuori films, Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, Studia Fennica, Historica. Komnas Perempuan (2006) As Victims, Also Survivors: A Report on Documentation Findings on the Status of Women IDPs’ Human Rights in Aceh, Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan. ——(2008a) ‘Dari Suara Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, dan Transgender (LGBT)-Jalan Lain Memahami Hak Minoritas’, 2008/10/dari-suara-lgbt-jalan-lain-memahami-hak-minoritas-1-1.doc (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2008b) ‘Pemetaan Kekerasan Terhadap Perempuan, Pengalaman Kelompok LGBT: Laporan’, Komnas Perempuan, 18 November (print out). KPP (Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan) (2002) Apa itu Gender (brochure). ——(2004) Kesetaraan dan Keadilan: gender dalam perspektif agama Islam, Jakarta: KPP. ——(2005) Rencana strategis Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan tahun 2005–2009 (print out). ——(2008) Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan, (accessed 5 May 2008). Kugle, S.S al-Haqq (2003) ‘Sexuality, Diversity, and Ethics in the Agenda of Progressive Muslims’, in O. Safi (ed.) Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism, Oxford: Oneworld Publications. Landry, D. and MacLean, G. (1996) ‘Subaltern Talk: Interview with Editors (1993–94)’, in D. Landry and G. MacLean (eds) The Spivak Reader, London: Routledge. Laqueur, T. (1990) Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, London: Harvard University Press. Lee-Koo, K. (2012) ‘Gender at the Crossroad of Conflict: Tsunami and Peace in Post-2005 Aceh’, Feminist Review (101): 59–77.



Li, T.M. (2007) The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics, London: Durham University Press. Lind, A. ed. (2010) Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance, Oxon: Routledge. Lind, A. and Share, J. (2003) ‘Queering Development: Institutionalized Heterosexuality in Development Theory, Practice and Politics in Latin America’, in K.-K. Bhavnani, J. Foran and P. Kurian (eds) Feminist Futures: Re-imagining Women, Culture and Development, London: Zed Books. Lindsey, T., Hooker, M.B., Clarke, R. and Kingsley, J. (2007) ‘Sharia Revival in Aceh’, in M. Feener and M. Cammack (eds) Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia: Ideas and Institutions, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Lips, H.M. (1988; 2nd edn 2005) Sex & Gender: An Introduction, New York: McGraw-Hill. Lloyd, M. (2005) Beyond Identity Politics, London: SAGE Publications. Lombardo, E., Meier, P. and Verloo, M. (2009) ‘Stretching and Bending Gender Equality: A Discursive Politics Approach’, in E. Lombardo, P. Meier and M. Verloo (eds) The Discursive Politics of Gender Equality: Stretching, Bending and Policymaking, Oxon: Routledge. Lombardo, E. and Verloo, M. (2009) ‘Stretching Gender Equality to Other Inequalities: Political Intersectionality in European Gender Equality Policies’, in E. Lombardo, P. Meier and M. Verloo (eds) The Discursive Politics of Gender Equality: Stretching, Bending and Policymaking, London: Routledge. Lyotard, J.-F. (1985) ‘Plastic Space and Political Space’, boundary 2 14(1/2): 211–23. McLaren, M.A. (2004) ‘Foucault and Feminism: Power, Resistance, Freedom’, in D. Taylor and K. Vintges (eds) Feminism and the Final Foucault, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. McLaughlin, J., Casey, M.E. and Richardson, D. (2006) ‘Introduction: At the Intersections of Feminist and Queer Debates’, in D. Richardson, J. McLaughlin and M.E. Casey (eds) Intersections Between Feminist and Queer Theory: Sexualities, Cultures and Identities, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. McRuer, R. (2003) ‘As Good as it Gets: Queer Theory and Critical Disability’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9(1–2): 79–105. Mahdi, S. (2012) ‘Factors Determining the Movements of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Aceh’, in P. Daly, M.R. Feener and A. Reid (eds) From the Ground Up: Perspectives on Post-tsunami and Post-conflict Aceh, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Mahmud, D.S. and Sa’dan, D.I. (2001) ‘Tuntunan Islam Mengenai Kehidupan Dalam Keluarga’, Banda Aceh: PKK Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Manicom, L. (2001) ‘Globalising “Gender” in – or as – Governance? Questioning the Terms of Local Translations’, Agenda 48: 6–21. March, C., Smyth, I. and Mukhopadhyay, M. (1999). A Guide to Gender-Analysis Frameworks, Oxford: Oxfam GB. Marcoes, L. (2002) ‘Women’s Grassroots Movements in Indonesia: A Case Study of the PKK and Islamic Women’s Organisations’, in K. Robinson and S. Bessel (eds) Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity and Development, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Massad, J.A. (2007) Desiring Arabs, London: University of Chicago Press. May, B. (2008) ‘The Law on the Governing of Aceh: The Way Forward or a Source of Conflicts?’ Accord (20): 42–45.



McRuer, Robert (2003) ‘As Good as it Gets: Queer Theory and Critical Disability’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9(1–2): 79–105. Menon, N. (2009) ‘Sexuality, Caste, Governmentality: Contests Over “Gender” in India’, Feminist Review 91(1): 94–112. Mernissi, F. (1990; 2nd edn 1993) The Forgotten Queens of Islam, Oxford: Polity Press. Milallos, M.T.R. (2007) ‘Muslim Veil as Politics: Political Autonomy, Women and Syariah Islam in Aceh’, Contemporary Islam 1(3): 289–301. Miller, M.A. (2004) ‘The Nanggroe Aceh Darusalam Law: A Serious Response to Acehnese Separatism?’ Asian Ethnicity 5(3): 333–51. Mills, C. (2003) ‘Contesting the Political: Butler and Foucault on Power and Resistance’, Journal of Political Philosophy 11(3): 253–72. Mir-Hosseini, Z. and Hamzic´, V. (2010) Control and Sexuality: The Revival of Zina Laws in Muslim Contexts, London: Women Living Under Muslim Laws. MiSPI (2008) Mutiara Hatéé: ‘Suloh key Ureung Inong’, Banda Aceh: MisPI, Bank Dunia. Moghissi, H. (1999) Feminism and Islamic Fundatmentalism: The Limits of Postmodern Analysis, London: Zed Books. Mohanty, C.T., Russo, A. and Torres, L. (1991) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Mosse, D. (2005) Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice, London: Pluto Press. MOWE (Ministry of Women’s Empowerment) (2000) The 2000–2004 National Development Masterplan for Women Empowerment (RIPNAS), Republic of Indonesia (print out). ——(2002a) Technical Guideline for Implementation of Presidental Instruction Number 9 Year 2000 on Gender Mainstreaming in National Development, Ministry of Women Empowerment Republic of Indonesia, No. B-89/Men.PP/Dep.II/IX/2002, 2 September (print out). —— (2002b) ‘The Manual of Implementation Guidelines on Gender Mainstreaming in National Development as an Annex of Circular of Minister for Women’s Empowerment no. B-89/Men.PP/Dep.II/IX/2002, dated September 4 2002’ (print out). Mubary, H. (2006) ‘Pasca Konflik, Banyak Istri Gugat Cerai’, Aceh Kita, 2 June. Muhammad, H. (2007) ‘Re-reading the Qur’an: The Relation between Text and Context’, in K.H.H. Muhammad, F.A. Kodir, L. Marcoes-Natsir and M. Wahid (eds) Dawrah Fiqh Concerning Women: Manual for a Course on Islam and Gender, Cirebon: Fahmina Institute. Muhammad, K.H.H., Kodir, F.A., Marcoes-Natsir, L. and Wahid, M. (2007) Dawrah Fiqh Concerning Women: Manual for a Course on Islam and Gender, Cirebon: Fahmina Institute. Muhammad, R.P.A. (2001; 2nd edn 2008) Gender dalam Perspektif Islam, Banda Aceh: Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2002a) Remaja Putri Dalam Bingkai Kehidupan Mawaddah wa Rahmah, Banda Aceh: Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan Sekretariat Daerah Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. ——(2002b) ‘Syariat Islam dan Eksistensi Perempuan’, Suara An-Nisa (July): 7. ——(2005) ‘Peningkatan Kualitas Sumber Daya Perempuan Suatu Upaya Mewujudkan Kesetaraan dan Keadilan Gender’, Suara An-Nisa (Agust): 27.



——(2008a) ‘Jender & Sosial Budaya’, Suara An-Nisa (June): 23. ——(2008b) ‘Peran Keluarga Awal Kesetaraan Laki-Laki dan Perempuan’, Suara An-Nisa (September): 3–4. ——(2008c) Relasi Gender Dalam Masyarakat Aceh (Perspektif Islam), Banda Aceh: Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak, Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia) (1997) ‘Fatwa MUI 1 November 1997’ (print out). Mulia, S.M. (2004) Muslimah Reformis: perempuan pembaru keagamaan, Bandung: Mizan Media Utama. ——(2007) ‘Tauhid: A Source of Inspiration for Gender Justice’, in K.H.H. Muhammad, F.A. Kodir, L. Marcoes-Natsir and M. Wahid (eds) Dawrah Fiqh Concerning Women: Manual for a Course on Islam and Gender, Cirebon: Fahima Institute, 39–59. ——(2008a) ‘Islam Ramah Terhadap Lesbian’, in C. Sawitri (ed.) Pelangi Perempuan (kumpulan puisi dan cerpen lesbian muda Indonesia), Jakarta: Institut Pelangi Perempuan. ——(2008b) ‘Presentation at the Seminar “Seksualitas yang ditabukan”’, 11 November, Jakarta (print out). Mulia, S.M. and Cammack, M. (2007) ‘Toward a Just Marriage Law: Empowering Indonesian Women through a Counter Legal Draft to the Indonesian Compilation of Islamic Law’, in R.M. Feener and M. Cammack (eds) Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia: Ideas and Institutions, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Munir, L.Z. (2004) ‘Islam, Gender and Formal Shari’a in Indonesia’, edu/ihr/worddocs/lily2.doc (accessed 1 March 2010). Muttaqin, F. (2004) ‘Sejarah Gerakan Perempuan yang Bias Jender’, com/group/wanita-muslimah/message/47368 (accessed 23 January 2012). ——(2008) ‘Progressive Muslim Feminists in Indonesia from Pioneering to the Next Agenda’, unpublished MA thesis, Center for International Studies: University of Ohio. ——(2011) ‘Tinjauan Kritis tentang Peran Perempuan dalam Sejarah Aceh’, www. uan-dalam-Sejarah-Aceh/ (accessed 23 January 2012). Mäkinen, A. (2008) Oikeesti Aikuiset: Puheenvuoroja yksineläjänaisen normaaliudesta, hyväksyttävyydestä ja aikuisuudesta, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Tampere: University of Tampere. Nashriyah, M.A. (2004) Konsep Kesetaraan Jender Menurut Persepsi Teungku Dayah Salafiah (Suatu Penelitian di Dayah Ulee Titi), Banda Aceh: Pusat Penelitian Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial dan Budaya, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Darusssalam. Nef-Saluz, C. (2007) Islamic Pop Culture in Indonesia. An Anthropological Field Study on Veiling Practices Among Students of Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta, Institut Fur Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern, Arbeitsblatt Nr. 41. Noble, C. and Thorburn, C. (2009) Multi-Stakeholder Review of Post-Conflict Programming in Aceh: Identifying the Foundations for Sustainable Peace and Development in Aceh, Jakarta: World Bank. Noerdin, E. (2007) ‘Women in the Decentralized Aceh’, in E. Noerdin and S. Aripurnami (eds) Decentralization as a Narrative of Opportunity for Women in Indonesia, Jakarta: Women Research Institute. Nordholt, H.S. and van Klinken, G. (2007) ‘Introduction’, in H.S. Nordholt and G. van Klinken (eds) Renegotiating Boundaries: Local Politics in Post-Suharto Indonesia, Leiden: KITLV Press.



Nowak, B.S. and Caulfield, T. (2008) Women and Livelihoods in Post-Tsunami India and Aceh, Singapore: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, ARI Working Paper No. 104, May. Nurish, A. (2010) ‘Women’s Same-Sex Relations in Indonesian Pesantren’, Gender, Technology and Development 14(2): 267–77. Nurlaila (2010) ‘Revitalisasi Peradilan Adat di Aceh Besar’, in L. Avonius and S.I. Shadiqin (eds) Adat dalam Dinamika Politik Aceh, Banda Aceh: International Centre for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies. Nurmila, N. (2008) Modul Studi Islam dan Gender. Pedoman Mata Kuliah Studi Islam dan Gender Pada Sekolah Pascasarjana Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Jakarta, Jakarta: Pusat Studi Wanita, Universitas Islam Negeri. Nursiti, Kasim U. and Arianto, B. (2007) Modul Analisis Sosial Berperspektif Keadilan Gender (Pengalaman Penerapan di Aceh), Banda Aceh: Kelompok Kerja Transformasi Gender Aceh. Oakley, A. (1972) Sex, Gender and Society: Towards a New Society, London: Temple Smith. Oetomo, D. (1996) ‘Gender and Sexual Orientation in Indonesia’, in L.J. Sears (ed.) Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, London: Duke University Press. ——(2001; 2nd edn 2003) Memberi Suara pada yang Bisu, Yogyakarta: Pusaka Marwa Yogyakarta. ——(2006) ‘Comments to Peletz’s article “Transgenderism and Gender Pluralism in Southeast Asia since Early Modern Times”’, Current Anthropology 47(2): 330–31. Oey-Gardiner, M. (2006) ‘Women in Aceh Facing Human Rights Problems’, The Jakarta Post, 15 May. Office of the State Minister for the Role of Women (1996) ‘Indonesia National Plan of Action: Follow-up of the Fourth World Conference one Women, 4–15 September 1995’, (accessed 1 March 2010). OI (Oxfam International) (2004) Gender and Development Glossary, in Oxfam International Gender induction pack (paket pengenalan gender), Banda Aceh: Oxfam International Indonesian Tsunami Response. ——(2005) ‘The Tsunami’s Impact on Women. Oxfam Briefing Note March 2005, Oxfam International’, downloads/bn_tsunami_women.pdf (accessed in 1 March 2010). ——(2007) ‘Oxfam International Tsunami Fund: Third Year Report’, www.oxfamame (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2008) ‘Oxfam international Tsunami Fund: End of Program Report’, www. (accessed 1 March 2010). Oxfam (2007) Apa Kaoy ka Mumang Lom. Kesetaraan Laki-laki dan Perempuan – Aceh, Indonesia (DVD), Layarkaca. ——(2008a) Gender Review 13th February 2008 (print out). ——(2008b) Women Evaluate the Tsunami Response, 5–7 Feburary, Conference Report (print out). Oxfam Business Unit (2006) ‘Project Plan IDSB42, Part of PIP-P00225, Promoting Gender Equality in the Aceh/Nias Programme’, in Oxfam International Gender induction pack (paket pengenalan gender), Banda Aceh: Oxfam International Indonesian Tsunami Response. Palin, T. (2004) Oireileva miljöömuotokuva. Yksityiskohdat sukupuoli-ja säätyhierarkian haastajina, Helsinki: Kustannus Oy Taide.



Parker, L. (2008) ‘Theorising Adolescent Sexualities in Indonesia – Where “Something Different Happens”’, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 18 (October), (accessed 6 February 2012). Parpart, J.L. (2002) ‘Lessons from the Field: Rethinking Empowerment, Gender and Development from a Post-(post-?)development Perspective’, in K. Saunders (ed.) Feminist Post-Development Thought: Rethinking Modernity, Post-Colonialism and Representation, London: Zed Books. Pausacker, H. (2001) ‘Dalangs and Family Planning Propaganda in Indonesia’, in S. Blackburn (ed.) Love, Sex and Power: Women in Southeast Asia, Victoria: Monash University Press. Peletz, M.G. (1995) ‘Neither Reasonable nor Responsible: Contrasting Representations of Masculinity in a Malay Society’, in A. Ong and M.G. Peletz (eds) Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia, London: University of California Press. ——(2002) Islamic Modern: Religious Courts and Cultural Politics in Malaysia, Oxford: Princeton University Press. ——(2006) ‘Transgenderism and Gender Pluralism in Southeast Asia since Early Modern Times’, Current Anthropology 47(2): 309–25. ——(2009) Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia since Early Modern Times, Oxon: Routledge. Pemberton, J. (1994) On the Subject of “Java”, London: Cornell University Press. Pemerintah Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (2009) ‘Rancanan Qanun Aceh tentang Pemberdayaan dan Perlindungan Perempuan’ (print out). Pennells, L. (2008) ‘Mission Report: Gender Outcomes & Reflections – Aceh’, Office of the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, OCHA Indonesia, www. clusters%20pages/Gender/ACEH%20REPORT%20FULL%20-%20for%20circulation. doc (accessed 1 March 2010). Phoenix, A. and Pattynama, P. (2006) ‘Editorial: Intersectionality’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 13(3): 187–92. Pietilä, H. (2007) The Unfinished Story of Women and the United Nations, New York: UN-NGLS Development Dossier. Pincha, C. (2008) Gender Sensitive Disaster Management: A Toolkit for Practitioners, Oxfam America, NANBAN Trust, der%20sensitive%20disaster%20management%20Toolkit.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). Pollard, N. (1993) ‘The Small Matter of Children’, in A. Assiter and C. Avedon (eds) Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism, London: Pluto. President of the Republic of Indonesia (2005) ‘Annex 5: Presidential Regulation Number 30/2005 Concerning Master Plan for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Regions and Communities of Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and Nias Islands, Province of North Sumatra, Detailed Book Economy and Manpower’ (print out). ——(2006) ‘Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 11 of the Year 2006 Regarding Governing of Aceh’. Prügl, E. (2011) ‘Diversity Management and Gender Mainstreaming as Technologies of Government’, Politics & Gender 7(1): 71–89. Puar, J.K. (2005) ‘Queer Times, Queer Assemblage’, Social Text 23(3–4): 121–39. ——(2007) Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, London: Duke University Press.



Purnomo, M.I. (2002) Keluarga awal Kesetaraan dan Kemitraan Lelaki & Perempuan, Banda Aceh: Tim Penggerak PKK Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Qibtiyah, A. (2007) ‘Islamic Feminism and Global Feminism: Problems, Methods, and Solutions in Indonesian Contexts’, in Moving with the Times: The Dynamics of Contemporary Islam in Changing Indonesia, (accessed in 1 December 2009). Qudsy, S.Z. (2006) ‘Dalaq in Pesantrens: The Discourse on Homosexuality in Pesantrens’, unpublished master’s thesis, Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, Gadjah Mada University. Rahayu, M. (2005) ‘Sexuality in Pesantren: Study of Power/Knowledge Relation in Gedung Putih Complex of Ali Maksu Pesantren Krapyak Yogyakarta’, unpublished master’s thesis, Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, Gadjah Mada University. Rakyat Aceh (2007) ‘Perempuan dan Waria Tuntut Keadilan’, 9 Maret 2007. Ramazanog˘ lu, C. (1993) ‘Introduction’, in C. Ramazanog˘ lu (ed.) Up Against Foucault: Explorations of Some Tensions between Foucault and Feminism, London: Routledge. Ramly, A. (2008) ‘Lokalisasi budaya universal’, (accessed 1 March 2008). Razavi, S. and Miller, C. (1995) From WID to GAD: Conceptual Shifts in the Women and Development Discourse, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UN Development Programme, Occasional Paper 1. Reid, A. (2005). An Indonesian Frontier: Achenese & Other Histories of Sumatra, Singapore: Singapore University Press. ——(ed.) (2006) Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem, Singapore: Singapore University Press. Reliefweb (2009a) ‘Aceh: Women Soldiers Get Down to Business’, rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/EDIS-7Z8N6N?OpenDocument&query=Aceh:%20Women%20 soldiers (accessed 1 December 2009). ——(2009b) ‘Indonesia Returns the Favor to the World: “Sharing the Lessons Learned from the History-Making Aceh-Nias Post-Tsunami Recovery”’, 297605 (accessed 09 February 2012). Repo, J. (2011) The Biopolitics of Gender, Helsinki: Unigrafia. Reuters (2011) ‘Women’s Marriage Baffles Islamic Police in Indonesia’s Aceh’, 0824 (accessed 25 January 2012). Riddell, P.G. (2006) ‘Aceh in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: “Serambi Mekkah” and Identity’, in A. Reid (ed.) Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem, Singapore: Singapore University Presss. Rinaldo, R. (2002) ‘Ironic Legacy: The New Order and Indonesian Women’s Groups’, Outskirts: Feminisms Along the Edge 10, volume-10/rinaldo (accessed 6 February 2012). ——(2006) ‘Contesting Womanhood in Two Indonesian Islamic Organizations’, Antropologi Indonesia 30(1): 21–35. Rizki, A. (2011) ‘Westernisasi Inöng Aceh’, westernisasiinng-aceh (accessed 23 January 2012). Roberts, D. (2011) Liberal Peacebuilding and Global Governance: Beyond the Metropolis, Oxon: Routledge. Robinson, K. (1995) ‘Indonesian National Identity and the Citizen Mother’, Communal/ Plural 3: 65–81.



——(2009) Gender, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, London: Routledge. Rodriguez, E.G. (2006) ‘Translating Positionality: On Post-colonial Conjunctures and Transversal Understanding’, (accessed 6 February 2012). Roman-Lagerspetz, S. (2009) Striving for the Impossible: The Hegelian Background of Judith Butler, Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Acta Politica 36. Rothschild, C., Long, S. and Fried, S.T. (2005) Written Out: How Sexuality is Used to Attack Women’s Organising, New York: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Center for Women’s Global Leadership. Rusdi, P. (2005) Strategi adaptasi masyarakat tionghoa pasca tsunami (studi kasus barak peunayong Kecematan Kuta Alam Banda Aceh), Banda Aceh: Pusat Penelitian Ilmu Sosial dan Budaya, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Darussalam, Banda Aceh. Saad, H. (2008) ‘Peran Perempuan dalam Perspektif Sejarah dan Adat Aceh’, paper presented at Seminar Raya Memperingati 100 tahun Wafatnya Cut Nyak Dhien, Badan Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak Provinsi NAD, November 2008. Sabaratnam, M. (2011) ‘Situated Critiques of Intervention: Mozambique and the Diverse Politics of Response’, in Susanna Campbell, David Chandler and Meera Sabaratnam (eds) A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding, London: Zed Books, 245–64. Saby, Y. (2005) Islam and Social Change: The Role of the Ulama in Acehnese Society, Bangi: Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Safrina (2008) ‘Eksploitasi Sumber Daya Alam Serta Dampaknya Terhadap Kehidupan Perempuan’, Bulletin Soliper 3: 10–14. Safuwan (2008) ‘Non-Muslim dan Syariat Islam’, Banda Aceh: Aceh Research Training Institute (unpublished essay). Sahardin, I. (2002) ‘Keluarga Sejahtera’, Suara An-Nisa (December): 20–21. Saiful, T., Ramli, R. and Nurhafifah (2007) ‘Analisis Terhadap Peningkatan Gugatan Cerai oleh Pihak Istri pada Mahkamah Syar’iah Kota Banda Aceh’, in S.W. Rahayu (ed.) Potret Pengalaman Perempuan di Aceh Pasca Tsunami: Kumpulan Riset Kajian Feminis Hukum dan Gender, Banda Aceh: Unifem, PSG Universitas Syiah Kuala. Sajed, A. (2012) ‘The Post Always Rings Twice? The Algerian War, Poststructuralism and the Postcolonial in IR Theory’, Review of International Studies 38(1): 141–63. Salim, A. and Chandra, R. (2005) ‘Sejarah Negeri Yang Karam’, %20Negeri%20Yang%20Karam%20%28dengan%20subtitel%20Bahasa%20Inggris% 29 (accessed 15 December 2011). Salkeld, A. (2007) ‘Gender Analysis of the Livelihood Sector and Oxfam’s Livelihoods Programs in Calang Aceh’, Oxfam. Sanders, P. (1991) ‘Hermaphrodites in Medieval Islamic Law’, in N.R. Keddie and B. Baron (eds) Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries, London: Yale University Press. Sanger, T. (2008) ‘Trans Governmentality: The Production and Regulation of Gendered Subjectivities’, Journal of Gender Studies 17(1): 41–53. Saunders, K. (2002) ‘Introduction: Towards a Deconstructive Post-Development Criticism’, in K. Saunders (ed.) Feminist Post-Development Thought: Rethinking Modernity, Postcolonialism and Representation, London: Zed Books. Save the Children, Dinas Pendidikan NAD and UNICEF (2007) Rapid Assessment of Islamic Boarding Schools (Dayahs) in Post-Tsunami Aceh, Jakarta: Save the Children.



Sawicki, J. (1991) Disciplining Foucault: Feminism, Power, and the Body, London: Routledge. ——(1998) ‘Feminism, Foucault and “Subjects” of Power and Freedom’, in J. Moss (ed.) The Later Foucault, London: SAGE Publications. Schultze, K. (2004) The Free Aceh Movement (GAM): Anatomy of a Separatist Organization, East-West Center Washington, Policy Studies 2. ——(2006) ‘Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency: Strategy and the Aceh Conflict, October 1976–May 2004’, in Anthony Reid (ed.) Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem, Singapore: Singapore University Press. Scott, J.W. (1986) ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’, The American Historical Review 91(5): 1053–75. Sen, K. (1998) ‘Indonesian Women at Work: Reframing the Subject’, in K. Sen and M. Stivens (eds) Gender and Power in Affluent Asia, London: Routledge. Serambi Indonesia (2007) ‘Ratusan Pedagang di Keudah tak Tersedia Kios Baru’, Serambi Indonesia, 24 Maret. ——(2008a) ‘Dandim Bireuen: hilangkan trauma konflik’, Serambi Indonesia, 20 Oktober. ——(2008b) ‘27 Jasad Korban Tsunami Dipindahkan’, Serambi Indonesia, 6 Oktober: 12. ——(2009a) ‘Delegasi Kementerian Perempuan Sri Lanka Kunjungi Aceh’, Serambi Indonesia, 9 Agustus. ——(2009b) ‘Membaca merupakan simbol kemajuan sebuah peradaban’, Serambi Indonesia, 7 September. Shadiqin, S.I. (2009a) Tasawuf Aceh, Banda Aceh: Bandar Publishing. ——(2009b) ‘Timang: perempuan dalam “timbangan”’, www.acehinstitute. org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=402:timang-perempuan-dala m-timbangan&catid=120:info-buku (accessed 1 November 2011). Shaikh, S. (2009) ‘In Search of al-Insan: Sufism, Islamic Law and Gender’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 77(4): 781–822. Shapiro, M.J. (2009a) Cinematic Geopolitics, London: Routledge. ——(2009b) ‘Managing Urban Security: City Walls and Urban Metis’, lecture at the Performance and Politics Research Group, Distinguished Speaker Series 22 April 2009, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, UK. ——(2010) The Time of the City: Politics, Philosophy and Genre, Oxon: Routledge. ——(2013) Studies in Trans-Disciplinary Method: After the Aesthetic Turn, Oxon: Routledge. Sharify-Funk, M. (2008) Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing. Shiraishi, S.S. (1983) ‘Eyeglasses: Some Remarks on Acehnese School Books’, Indonesia 36 (October): 67–83. ——(1997; 2nd edn 2000) Young Heroes: The Indonesian Family in Politics, Itacha: Cornell University. Siahaan, A.Y. (2003) ‘The Politics of Gender and Decentralization in Indonesia’, Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Open Society Institute, pdc. (accessed 1 March 2010). Siapno, J.A. (2002) Gender, Islam, Nationalism and the State in Aceh: The Paradox of Power, Co-optation and Resistance, London: Routledge Curzon. ——(2007) ‘Precarious Reconstruction(s), Contested Development(s): Decolonizing Gender Discourse(s) and Reading Competing Islamist Presentations and



Re-presentations in Aceh’, paper presented at the First International Conference of Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies, 24–26 February, Banda Aceh. ——(2009a) ‘Living Through Terror: Everyday Resilience in East Timor and Aceh’, Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 15(1): 43–64. ——(2009b) ‘The Politics of Reconstruction, Gender, and Re-Integration in Post-Tsunami Aceh’, in M. de Alwis and E.-L.E. Hedman (eds) Tsunami in a Time of War: Aid, Activism and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia, Colombo: International Center for Ethnic Studies. Siegel, J.T. (1969; 2nd edn 2000) The Rope of God, Berkeley: University of Michigan Press. Siegel, J.T., Barker, J. and Djati, A. (2008) ‘Notes of a Trip Through Aceh, December 2007’, Indonesia 86 (October): 1–54. Simanjuntak, H. (2010) ‘Gays, Lesbians Face Discrimination in Sharia Aceh’, The Jakarta Post, 20 January. Singhal, A. and Rogers, E.M. (1988) ‘Television Soap Operas for Development in India’, Gazette: The International Journal for Communication Studies 41(2): 109–26. ——(1999) Entertainment-education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Sjamsuddin, N. (1985) The Republican Revolt: A Study of the Acehnese Rebellion, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Skuse, A. (2005) ‘Voices of Freedom: Afghan Politics in Radio Soap Opera’, Ethnography 6(2): 159–81. Smirl, L. (2008) ‘Building the Other, Constructing Ourselves: Spatial Dimensions of International Humanitarian Response’, International Political Sociology 2(3): 236–53. Sofyati, L. (n.d.) Pemberdayaan Perempuan Di Propinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam: Dulu & Sekarang, Banda Aceh: Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan. Sekretariat Daerah Propinsi NAD, UNFPA. ——(2005) ‘Peran Pemerintah Dalam Upaya Peningkatan Kualitas Muslimah’, Suara An-Nisa, Agustus: 8–9. Spivak, G.C. (1988) ‘Can Subaltern Speak?’ in C. Nelson and L. Grossberg (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, Illinois: Illini Books. ——(1993) Outside in the Teaching Machine, London: Routledge. ——(2008) Other Asias, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Spurlin, W.J. (2010) ‘Resisting Heteronormativity/Resisting Recolonialisation: Affective Bonds between Indigenous Women in Southern Africa and the Difference(s) of Postcolonial Feminist History’, Feminist Review 95(1): 10–26. Squires, J. (1999) Gender in Political Theory, Cambridge: Polity Press. ——(2002) ‘Gender and International Relations Revisited’, in L. Odysseos and H. Seckinelgin (eds) Gendering the International, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ——(2005) ‘Is Mainstreaming Transformative? Theorizing Mainstreaming in the Context of Diversity and Deliberation’, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 12(3): 366–88. ——(2007) The New Politics of Gender Equality, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Srimulayani, E. and Inayatillah (2009) ‘Pendahuluan: Perempuan dalam Masyarakat Aceh’, in E. Srimulayani and Inayatillah (eds) Perempuan dalam Masyarakat Aceh: Memahami Beberapa Persoalan Kekinian, Banda Aceh: LOGICA, ARTI, Puslit IAIN Ar-Raniry. Stern, M. (2006) ‘Racism, Sexism, Classism, and Much More: Reading Security-identity in Margnialized Sites’, in B.A. Ackerly, M. Stern and J. True (eds) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Storey, D. (2000) ‘A Discoursive Perspective on Development Theory and Practice: Reconceptualizing the Role of Donor Agencies’, in K.G. Wilkins (ed.) Redeveloping Communication for Social Change: Theory, Practice, and Power, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. (2011) ‘Eriq Menyerah Kepada Polisi’, 2011/06/eriq-menyerah-kepada-polisi.html (accessed 25 January 2012). Sulaiman, M.I. and van Klinken, G. (2007) ‘The Rise and Fall of Governor Puteh’, in H. Schulte Nordholt and G. van Klinken (eds) Renegotiating Boundaries: Local Politics in Post-Suharto Indonesia, Leiden: KITLV Press. Suryakusuma, J.I. (1996) ‘The State and Sexuality in New Order Indonesia’, in L.J. Sears (ed.) Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, London: Duke University Press. Susanti, E. (2009) ‘Tanggapan Perempuan Terhadap Pembagian Peran Gender dalam Komunitas Petani Padi Sawah (Studi Kasus Desa Kumbang, Kec. Keumala, Pidie)’, in E. Srimulayani and Inayatillah (eds) Perempuan dalam Masyarakat Aceh: Memahami Beberapa Persoalan Kekinian, Banda Aceh: LOGICA,-ARTI. Sweetman, C. (1997; 2nd edn 2004) ‘Editorial’, in C. Sweetman (ed.) Men and Masculinity, Oxford: Information Press. Syam, T.H.G.M. (2007) ‘Peran Ulama Dalam Mewujudkan Kesetaraan dan Keadilan Gender (KKG) Yang Berspektif Islam Menuju Keluarga Sakinah Mawaddah Warahmah’, Suara An-Nisa, Agustus. Sylvester, C. (1995) ‘African and Western Feminisms: World Travelling the Tendencies and Possibilities’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 20(4): 941–76. Tangdililing, A.B. (1980) Orang Asing dan Orang Aceh: stereotip dan realitas. Laporan Hasil Penelitan, Banda Aceh: Pusat Latihan Penelitian Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial Aceh, Universitas Syiah Kuala. Teghtsoonian, K. (2004) ‘Neoliberalism and Gender Analysis Mainstreaming in Aotearoa/New Zealand’, Australian Journal of Political Science 39(2): 276–84. Teivainen, T. (2009) ‘The Pedagogy of Global Development: The Promotion of Electoral Democracy and the Latin Americanisation of Europe’, Third World Quarterly 30(1): 163–79. Telford, J. and Cosgrave, J. (2007) ‘The International Humanitarian System and the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunamis’, Disasters 31(1): 1–28. Thurheer, K. (2009) ‘A House for a Daughter? Constraints and Opportunities in Post-tsunami Eastern Sri Lanka’, Contemporary South Asia 17(1): 79–91. Tiwon, S. (1996) ‘Models and Maniacs: Articulating the Female in Indonesia’, in L.J. Sears (ed.) Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, London: Duke University Press. True, J. (2003) ‘Mainstreaming Gender in Global Public Policy’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 5(3): 368–96. True, J. and Mintrom, M.M. (2001) ‘Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming’, International Studies Quarterly 45: 27–57. Tuli, P. (2002) ‘The Color of Joy’, (accessed 1 July 2009). Törnquist, O. (2009) ‘Introduction and General Conclusions: Social Democratic Peace: To Be Continued’, in O. Törnquist, S.A. Prasetyo and T. Birks (eds) Aceh: The Role of Democracy for Peace and Reconstruction, Jakarta: ISAI. Umar, N. (n.d.) ‘Perspektif Jender Dalam Islam’, Jurnal Pemikiran Islam, media.isnet. org/islam/Paramadina/Jurnal/index.html (accessed 1 February 2008).



UN (United Nations) (1975) ‘World Conference of the International Women’s Year: Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace’, United Nations, E/CONF.66/34, 2 July, www.un-documents. net/mex-dec.htm (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2001) Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action with the Beijing +5 Political Declaration and Outcome Document, New York: Department of Public Information United Nations. ——(2008) ‘United Nations Millennium Development Goals’, goals/ (accessed 1 October 2009). UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2007) Access to Justice in Aceh: Making the Transition to Sustainable Peace and Development in Aceh, Jakarta: United Nations Development Programme, Bappenas. ——(2010) Provincial Human Development Report Aceh 2010: Human Development and People Empowerment, Jakarta: United Nations Development Programme Indonesia. UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) (2005) ‘Report of the National Workshop on the Impact of the Tsunami on “Vulnerable Groups” and Women’, Jakarta, Indonesia, nami_response/TsunamiRegionalWprkshop/JKTWS_Drafrpt_MC_Rev18nov.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2008) ‘UIS Statistics in Brief: Education in Indonesia’, eng&BR_Country=3600 (accessed 1 February 2010). UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) (2005) ‘Gender-Based Violence in Aceh, Indonesia. A Case Study’, Consultative Meeting: Bucharest, Romania 17–20 October, (accessed 1 March 2010). USC (University of Southern California) (2007–09) ‘Translation of Sahih Muslim’, (accessed 1 November 2009). van Doorn-Harder, P. (2006) Women Shaping Islam: Reading the Qur’an in Indonesia, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ——(2007) ‘Reconsidering Authority: Indonesian Fiqh Texts About Women’, in R.M. Feener and M. Cammack (eds) Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia: Ideas and Institutions, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. van Wichelen, S. (2010) Religion, Politics and Gender in Indonesia, London: Routledge. Vickers, A. (2003) ‘The Country and the Cities’, City University of Hong Kong. Working Paper Series no. 56, December. ——(2005) A History of Modern Indonesia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Visweswaran, K. (1994) Fictions of Feminist Ethnography, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. (2010) ‘Ulama Aceh Merasa Ditipu Para Waria’, news/read/129587-ulama_aceh_merasa_ditipu_para_waria (accessed 25 January 2012). Vänskä, A. (2006) Vikuroivia vilkaisuja: ruumis, sukupuoli, seksuaalisuus ja visuaalisen kulttuurin tutkimus, Helsinki: Tieteellisten seurain valtuuskunta, taidehistoriallisia tutkimuksia 35. Väyrynen, T. (2004) ‘Gender and UN Peace Operations: The Confines of Modernity’, International Peacekeeping 11(1): 125–42. Wadud, A. (2009) ‘Islam Beyond Patriarchy Through Gender Inclusive Qur’anic Analysis’, in Z. Anwar (ed.) Wanted: Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family, Kuala Lumpur: Sisters in Islam.



Wahyuingroem, S.L. (2007) ‘Politics of (M)Othering and Women’s Resilience in Aceh and Timor Leste’, paper presented at the European Association for South-East Asian Studies (EUROSEAS) Conference, 12–15 September, Naples, Italy. Waizenegger, A. and Hyndman, J. (2010) ‘Two Solitudes: Post-tsunami and Post-conflict Aceh’, Disasters 34(3): 787–808. ——(2011) ‘Salient versus Silent Disasters in Post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia’, in K. Scott and C. Flint (eds) Reconstructing Conflict: Integrating War and Post-war Geographies, Surrey: Ashgate. Waspada online (2007) ‘Gugatan Cerai Di Aceh Tamiang Alami Peningkatan’, 22 December, 775:gugatan-cerai-di-aceh-tamiang-alami-peningkatan&catid=31:perempuan&Itemi d=99 (accessed 1 May 2009). Weber, C. (2008) ‘Popular Visual Language as Global Communication: The Remediation of United Airlines Flight 93’, Review of International Studies 34(S1): 137–53. White, S. (2006) ‘Gender and the Family’, in G. Fealy and V. Hooker (eds) Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A Contemporary Sourcebook, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. White, S. and Anshor, M.U. (2008) ‘Islam and Gender in Contemporary Indonesia: Public Discourses on Duties, Rights and Morality’, in G. Fealy and S. White (eds) Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia, Singapore: ISEAS. Wieringa, S.E. (1992) ‘Ibu or the Beast: Gender Interests in Two Indonesian Women’s Organisations’, Feminist Review 41 (Summer): 98–113. ——(1997) ‘A Reflection on Power and the Gender Empowerment Measure of the UNDP’, paper presented at the Workshop on GDI/GEM Indicators, The Hague, January. ——(2000) ‘Communism and Women’s Same-sex Practices in Post-Suharto Indonesia’, Culture, Health & Sexuality 2(4): 441–57. ——(2002) Sexual Politics in Indonesia, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ——(2003) ‘The Birth of the New Order State in Indonesia: Sexual Politics and Nationalism’, Journal of Women’s History 15(1): 70–91. ——(2005) ‘Globalisation, Love, Intimacy and Silence in a Working Class Butch/Fem Community in Jakarta’, Amsterdam: Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, ASSR Working Paper 05/08. ——(2010) ‘Gender Variance in Asia: Discursive Contestations and Legal Implications’, Gender, Technology and Development 14(2): 143–72. World Bank (2006a) ‘Aceh Public Expenditure Analysis: Spending for Reconstruction and Poverty Reduction’, Publication/280016-1152870963030/APEA.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2006b) ‘GAM Reintegration Needs Assessment: Enhancing Peace through Community-level Development Programming’, data/doc/en/regCaseStudy/aceh/GAM%20Reintegration%20Needs%20Assessment2. pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2008) ‘Aceh Poverty Assessment 2008: The Impact of the Conflict, the Tsunami Reconstruction on Poverty in Aceh’, SIA/Resources/Publication/280016-1200376036925/acehpoverty2008_en.pdf (accessed 1 March 2010). Wu, T. (2008) ‘Circular Migration and Social Protection in Indonesia’, Maastricht: Maastricth Graduate School of Governance, Maastricth University, Working Paper MGSoG/2008/WP010.



Wulandari, E. (2009) ‘Aspek Gender pada Pola Pengembangan Rumah Bantuan Masyarakat Pesisir di Aceh Besar Pasca Tsunami: kasus kawasan permukiman Krueng Raya’, in E. Srimulayani and Inayatillah (eds) Perempuan dalam Masyarakat Aceh: Memahami Beberapa Persoalan Kekinian, Banda Aceh: LOGICA, ARTI, Puslit IAIN Ar-Raniry. Yatim, D.H. (2005) Of Aceh and Turning Tides: Songs for My Sisters, Banda Aceh: Acehkita Foundation. Yunus, S.M. (n.d.) ‘The Impacts of War on Education in Aceh’, www.acehinstitute. org/opini_saifuddin_english_theimpactofwaroneducationinaceh.htm (accessed in 1 March 2010). Yuval-Davis, N. (2006) ‘Intersectionality and Feminist Politics’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 13(3): 193–209. Zahratul, I. (1999) Peran Isteri Ulama Dayah ‘Tradisional’ Di Kecamatan Ingin Jaya Kabubaten Aceh Besar, Banda Aceh: Pusat Penelitian Ilmu Sosial dan Budaya, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Darussalam, Banda Aceh. Zain, F. and Mahdi, S. (eds) (2008) Timang: Aceh, Perempuan, Kesetaraan, Banda Aceh: Aceh Institute Press. Zalewski, M. (2010) ‘“I Don’t Even Know What Gender Is”: A Discussion of the Connections Between Gender, Gender Mainstreaming and Feminist Theory’, Review of International Studies 36(1): 3–27. Zeccola, P. (2011) ‘Dividing Disasters in Aceh, Indonesia: Separatist Conflict and Tsunami, Human Rights and Humanitarianism’, Disasters 35(2): 308–28. Ze’evi, D. (2006) Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500–1900, London: University of California Press. Zivi, K. (2008) ‘Rights and the Politics of Performativity’, in T. Carver and S.A. Chambers (eds) Precarious Politics: Critical Encounters, London: Routledge. Zuhri, S. (2006) ‘Dalaq di Pesantren’, unpublished thesis, Sekolah Pascasarjana, Universitas Gajah Mada. Zulkhairi, Tgk. T. (2009a) ‘Gender Kebablas’, om_content&view=article&id=648:gender-kebablas&catid=15:isu-gender&Itemid=117 (accessed 1 March 2010). ——(2009b) ‘Menolak Paham Gender’, Serambi Indonesia, 11 November.


9/11 events 45, 113 Abdullah, Irwan 162 Abdullah, Mahdi 118–19 Abdurrauf, Sheikh 64 Abu-Lughod, Lila 24, 130, 175 ‘ACEH’ (Arab, Cina, Eropa, Hindia) term 114 Aceh Institute 46–47 Aceh Kita News 76 Aceh Reintegration Board (BRA) 25, 135 Acehnese female political figures 43 Acehnese Women’s League (Ligong Inong Acheh) 37, 41, 53 adat (customary law) 5–6, 8, 39, 46, 50–51, 79, 140–2, 167 Adnan, Gunawan 72 Adolescent Girl on Edge of Loving and Compassionate Life (booklet) 101, 105–6 Afghanistan 45, 141 Afrianty, Dina 50 Agency for Women’s Empowerment see Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan Ahmed, Sara 21, 26–27, 99, 130, 153, 164 akal (reason and rationality) concept 103 al-Nisâ (Chapter of Qur’an) 62–63, 72 All-Acehnese Women’s Peace Forum 36 ambassador contest (kontes duta waria) 77–78 Amnesty International 31, 36, 60, 77 androgynous capados (sida-sida) 60, 84 anthropomorphism 11, 57, 73, 79, 82 Anwar, Etin 67 Aqidah (theology) 101

arisan (social gathering) 116 As Victims, Also Survivors (report) 40 Aspinall, Edward 53, 103, 125–6, 129 Association of Acehnese Dayah ulama (Himpunan Ulama Dayah Aceh, HUDA) 78 Badan Pemberdayaan Perlindungan Perempuan Anak (BPPPA, Agency for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection) 14, 25, 48, 50, 55, 65, 70, 91, 94 Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh dan Nias (BRR, Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Aceh and Nias) 3–4, 8, 13, 14, 25, 39–40, 57–58, 80–81, 89, 91, 107, 133 Bailey, M. E. 17 Baiturrahaman mosque 74 Bamboo Princess (Puteri Betung) 60 barracks (temporary) 39–40, 54, 97, 132 becoming a good Muslim: Muslim dress 104–15; religious piety 100–104 Bedford, Kate 121 Beijing Platform for Action 35, 86, 99, 133 ‘better men and women’ 173 better men and women – harmonious home (Women Can Do It Too!): beyond nuclear family model 122–25; economic challenges of ex-combatants 128–30; femininities and masculinities in armed conflict 125–28; good father and husband 120–22; introduction 115–16; women’s economic participation and successful reconstruction 116–20 Bianpoen, Carla 164



biola Aceh (dance) 60 Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan (BPP), Agency for Women's Empowerment 8, 13–14, 25, 32, 45, 70, 80, 101 Blackburn, Susan 5, 94, 117 Boellstorff, Tom 20, 57, 76, 157 book: conclusions 169–72, 173–75; summary 10–13 bosom (juyub) 108 BRR see Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency of Aceh and Nias Buddhism 13, 51, 84 ‘build Aceh back better’: conclusion 169–72, 173–75; description 2–3; gendering post-disaster reconstruction efforts 7–10; governance, feminism and its legacies 5–7; introduction 1–2 bule shops 158 Bungöng (newspaper) 112 Bureau for Women’s Empowerment (BPP) see Biro Pemberdayaan Perempuan burqa 107 Butler, Judith 18, 23, 30, 64–5, 67, 69, 73–4, 90, 123, 163, 166–67, 172, 174–75 Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) 32 Carver, Terrell 159 ‘Celebration of Humanity’ 169–70 Chambers, Samuel 159 Charter of the Rights of Women in Aceh (Piagem Hak-hak prempuan di Aceh) 49–50 Chinkin, Christine 7 Christian aid 39, 45 Christianity 45, 51 Clinton, Bill 3 fourth Co-ordination Forum for Aceh and Nias (CFAN-4) 169 Cohen, Cathy 29, 73 Cohn, Carol 24 Colebrook, Claire 29, 91 consultation (musayawarah) 142 Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 48 Cooper, Davina 21, 94 Cornwall, Andrea 19 Council of Indonesian Islamic Fighters 45

Daly, Patrick 8 dayah khalafiyah (modern school) 95 dayah salafiyah (traditional school) 95 de Alwis, Malathi 9, 12, 173–74 Dean, Mitchell 26 Death, Carl 26 Demo jilbabs 113 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ) 49 ‘develop’ (membangun) term 141 ‘Development Orders’ (government) 141 Djakababa, Nelden 159 Duffield, Mark 143–44 earthquakes and Indian Ocean 1, 4, 8, 39, 41, 95, 159–62 East Timor 35, 141 emergency experts 7–8, 12, 19, 44, 46, 48, 97, 139–41, 117, 118, 143–44, 147, 149, 154, 159, 164–5, 172 Encyclopaedia Britannica and naïve art 164 ‘Equal before Allah?’ 73 equality of sexes 66–67 equity (keadilan) 5, 33, 62, 65–6 European Recovery Plan (1948–52) 1 European Union (EU) and Acehnese conflict 45 Fakih, Mansour 68 Family Welfare Movement (PKK) 116–17, 122, 135, 146 fantasising adolescent girl as future hope: adolescence as narrative concept of time and space 98–100; description 92–95; multiplicity of encounters with adolescence 95–97 ‘Father of Development’ (Bapak Pembangunan) 141 fatwa (answer) 43, 67, 71 Feener, R. Michael 102 Fetterley, Judith 28 Fitzpatrick, Daniel 8 focus group discussions (FGDs) 148–49 Foucault, Michel 15, 16–18, 23–25 Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) 3, 35–38, 45, 95, 97, 115, 125–29 Front of the Defenders of Islam 45 GAM see Free Aceh Movement GAM-GOI incidents 35 GAM/TNA ex-combatants 127, 128

Index ‘gazing back’ strategy 170 gender advocacy 146–47, 166, 172 Gender Analysis Pathway Flowchart 150 Gender Analysis and Social Transformation 68 ‘gender’ concept 24, 41–51, 56–82 gender and development (GAD) 24, 121, 147 ‘gender issues’ 46 gender justice 49 gender mainstreaming: definition 5; ethnography 24–29; Oxfam 144; promotion 41; radio drama 25, 151; see also political landscapes of gender mainstreaming gender mainstreaming (project management): aid expert – community relations 155–58; committees and focus groups as aid to knowledge production 147–49; conclusions: where is Aceh located? 165–67; disruptions to chronological time 158–63; gender experts reproducing normative boundaries and social differentiations 154–55; introduction 138–40; progressive village as development ideal 140–44; project cycle and logical framework guiding aid temporality 149–53; radio drama – parody of progressive space and time 163–65; village elites as trustees of development 144–47 ‘gender NGOs’ 33, 46, 125 Gender Trouble 18 Gender Working Group (Kelompok Kerja Gender, GWG/KKG) 8, 25, 46, 70-71, 77, 79, 81, 154 ‘gendering Aceh’ 47 glossary 176–80 Goetz, Anne Marie 90 ‘gothic otherness’ concept 164 governance feminism alternatives 173–75 government of Indonesia (GOI) 41 governmentality – better men and women (gender mainstreaming and governmentality): close reading 26–29; conclusions 30; ethnography of gender mainstreaming practices 24–26; feminist subversive politics resisting governmentality 23–24; feminist trouble with Foucault 16–17; gender technologies:


heteronormativity of sex/gender divide 17–20; gender technologies: intersectional gender norms 20–23; introduction 15–16 Grabham, Emily 21–22, 25, 28, 171 Griffin, Penny 19 Handajani, Suzie 100 Harvard Analytical Framework 115 Hasan, Efendi 47 Hassan, Riffat 64, 72–74 Hewitt, Martin 15–16 Hinduism 51 Hizbut Tahrir party 22 HIV/AIDS 75 ‘homonationalism’ 20 ‘homonormativity’ 20 hooks, bell 28 housing construction 4,12, 54, 88, 97, 118, 170, 173 Hurgonje, Snouck 126 Hyndman, Jennifer 9, 12, 173–74 Ibadah (rituals) 101 Ibuism see state ibuism ‘Indonesia Raya’ (national anthem of Indonesia) 75 intelligibility of gender in post-Tsunami Aceh: gender essentially an antiIslamic agenda? 44–48; gender à la Aceh: as long as it does not mean that men start wearing lipstick and high heels 48–51; historical romanticism vis-à-vis equality 42–44; introduction 41–42 internally displaced people (IDP) 124, 128 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), 2009 57, 74–75, 83 International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 76 International NGOS (INGOs) 8, 26, 32, 89–90, 125, 149, 154–55 International Organization of Migration (IOM) 128, 146 International Women’s Day (IWD) 57, 70–74, 83 ‘internationalism of western sexual ontology’ 20 Irwandi, Yusuf 77 Is Aceh built back better? (conclusions) 169–75 Islam: activist groups 38; boarding schools 95; 154; female rulers 43;



feminist scholarship 62, 63; Free Aceh Movement (GAM) 37; gender experts 154; law 5; legal school 38; practise 1; Rahmatan nil alamin concept 79, 81–82, 83; revivalist interpretations 33; schools 95, 126; ‘self ’ concept 67; sex difference and gender in Acehnese 61–67; Tauhid/Tawhid concept 79, 81–82, 83; see also Shari’a law Islamic Criminal Law Bill (qanun Jinayah) 77 Ismail, Nurjannah 64 Jakarta Post 40, 73 Jayawardena, Chandra 105 jilbab (cloak) 40, 104, 107–8, 112–14 justice and human-conflict violations 37–38 Kamaruzzaman, Suraiya 112 Kandiyoti, Denize 6 Kartomi, Margaret 60 KDP (Kecematan Development Programme) 141, 167 khalwat (banning intimate relationships before marriage) 79, 106 khumur (shawl) 108 KKTGA (Kelompok Kerja Transformasi Gender Aceh) 46, 48, 69–70, 81 kodrat (anatomical sex differences) 44, 65–66, 71–72 Law on the Governing of Aceh (LOGA) 37, 53, 54 LBGTI: activism 11, 57, 76, 78, 83; antipoverty campaign, 2009 74–79; politics 20; Violet Grey (advocacy organization) 75–76, 78 Lee-Koo, Katrina 40, 142 Lela, Raja Adona (capados) 60 Li, Tanya Murray 23, 140–41, 143–44, 147–49 Lips, Hilary M. 68–69 Lloyd, Moya 17 ‘logical framework matrix’ 151 long shirts and skirts (baju kurung) 108 lustfulness (syahwat) 101 Lyotard, Jean-François 163 Majelis Permusyawaratan (Ulama Consultative Assembly) 38, 71, 101 Massad, Joseph 20

Maulid (prophet Mohammed’s birthday) 103, 161 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): ex-political prisoners 124, 128; Free Aceh Movement (GAM) 3; peace process37; schools rebuilding 95 merantau (migration) 125–26 meunasah (community hall) 103, 116, 125, 142 Mid-Term Development Plan of Aceh government 100 Milia, Siti Musdah 73 ‘Military Operation Area’ (Daerah Operasi Militer, DOM) 35–36, 127 Millalos, Theresa M. 105 Mills, Catherine 23 Ministry for Women’s Empowerment (MOWE) 5–6, 32, 34, 45, 80–81, 107–8, 150, 153 mise-en-scène (staging) 76, 88, 121 MiSPI (True Partner of Indonesian Women, Mitra Sejati Perempuan Indonesia) 14, 53, 82, 122 Moghissi, Haideh 51 Moser, Caroline 115 Mosse, David 24 Muhammad, Raihan Putry 64, 66 MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, Indonesian Ulama Council) 71 ‘multiple social antagonisms’ 20 Muslem, H. 71 muslihat concept 172 Muslim dress code 40 musyawarah (village meeting) 71, 142 ‘mutual cooperation’ (gotong-royong) 141 Muttaqin, Farid 34, 44, 47 nafs wahidah (single soul) concept 64 nafsu (instinctive nature) concept 103 National Committee for Elimination of Violence against Women 36 National Development Master Plan for Women’s Empowerment 33 Neoliberalism 7, 19–20, 33–35, 113, 139 ‘New Aceh’ slogan 3 ‘new Acehnese citizenship’ 139 ‘new Acehnese man’ 120 New Order: Aceh’s backwardness 121; authoritarian rule 6, 33; discussion 35; gender ideology 117; remaja 100; ‘state ideology of motherhood’ 117; President Suharto 141, 147 New World Dictionary (Websters) 68

Index non-governmental organizations (NGOs): aid efforts 144; Charter of Rights of Women 49; ‘family welfare’ 122; focus discussion groups 149; ‘gender reconstruction work’ 8; Inong balee members 37; LBGTI antipoverty campaign 74; Oxfam 146; Shari’a law 44; Yatim, Debra H. 158 Oakley, Ann 68 orangkaya (political elite) 43 Oxfam: evaluation of aid requirements 146; gender mainstreaming 144 Oxfam International (OI): gender issues 89, 129, 154; radio drama 143; Tsunami death statistics 1, 109, 131, 172; village elites 145–46; Women Evaluate the Tsunami 97; see also Women Can Do It Too! Oxfam Tsunami Response Programme 25, 93, 97, 109–11, 156, 160 Pak Pandé (folk tale) 104 pancasila (principles of nation) 34 Parpart, Jane 147, 149 ‘participation’ concept 141 Peletz, Michael 22 Pemikiran Ulama Dayah Aceh (Thinking of the Acehnese Ulama Dayah) 107 Perempuan, Komnas 40, 72, 124 pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) 95 peungeut concept 163, 172 PKK (pembinaan Kesejahteraan Kelnarga) see Family Welfare Movement political landscapes of gender mainstreaming (intelligibility of gender in Aceh): artificial division: post-Tsunami/post conflict 41; conclusions 51–52; gendered impacts of armed conflict and peace process 35–39; gendered impacts of Tsunami 39–40; introduction 32–33; postSuharto reforms 33–35; post-Tsunami 41–51 pos kamling (village-based security posts) 121 Promoting Gender Equality in the Aceh/ Nias Programme 87, 151 Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) 44 Prügl, Elisabeth 3, 9, 16


Pt SAI-Lafarge cement facility reconstruction 118 ‘Puppet State’ (theatre performance) 75–76 qanun (bylaw) 49, 77, 79, 101–2, 110, 114 queer studies: al-Nisâ 72; gender policy; intimacy 78; ‘intersectionality’ 21; Islamic hermeneutics 67; liberal governmentality 20; politics 74; radio drama 129, 164; space and temporalities 175; theory 99; see also LBGTI Qur’an 33, 35, 39, 51, 60–64, 67, 71, 108, 155 radio drama: gender advocacy 172; gender mainstreaming 25, 151; miseen-scene 121; parody of progressive space and time 163–65; poster advertising 109–11, 121; production 154; ‘reversed reading’ 139; Tsunami aid 143; village storyline 143, 159, 166; visual detail in posters 153; women’s reproductive rights storyline 121; see also Women Can Do It Too! Radio Flamboyant (producer) 121, 164 Rahman, Guree 127 Rahmatan nil alamin concept 79, 81–82, 83, 172 Rahmayati, Yenny 8 Ramazanog˘ lu, Caroline 17 Realitas (Reality) painting 118–19 reformasi (reformation) 33 Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) 3–4, 8, 25, 39–40, 57–58, 80–81, 89, 91, 107 rituals (ibadah) 101 religious leaders (ulama) 8, 38, 43, 48, 60, 71, 72, 75, 78, 91, 101, 107, 142 remaja (adolescence) 92–100 Repo, Jemima 7 Rich, Adrienne 28 Robinson, Kathryn 102, 113–14, 170 RPUK (Women Volunteers for Humanity) 53, 76 sakinah (inner peace) 109 salafi ulamas 91 same-sex practices 61 sarong 109 Sawicki, Jana 23 Schultze, Kristen 36–37



Sejarah Negeri Yang Karam (‘history of a wrecked village’) film 165 sekolah dasar (primary school) 95 selendang (scarf) 110 Sen, Krishna 117, 120, 122 Serambi Indonesia 162 seudati (dance) 60 sex difference and gender in Acehnese interpretation of Islam: creation of humanity in pairs 62–65; description 61–62; reproduction body as natural body? 65–67 Sex and Gender: An Introduction 69 Sex, Gender and Society: Towards a New Society 68 Shaikh, Sa’ddiya 74 Shapiro, Michael 22, 25, 28, 88, 164 Shari’a law: codification 12, 88; dance forms 60; gender 42, 48; gender experts 154; implementation 4, 38, 44, 71, 101–3, 114, 143, 153; justice and human-conflict 37; non-governmental organizations 44; ‘proper Muslim dress’ 105, 112; ‘same-sex marriage’ 79; violence 155; women and courts 125 ‘shari’aization’ 33, 51 Siapno, Jacqueline 29, 166–67, 172 ‘socialization’ term 141, 147 Solidaritas Perempuan Bungeong Jeumpa Aceh (women’s organization) 118 spatiality 1, 12, 138–40, 159, 166, 172–73 spiral (project logo) 152 Spivak, Chakravorty 26–27, 155 Squires, Judith 173 ‘state ibuism’ (state mothering) 117 State Islamic University (UIN) 8 Suara an-Nisa (Women’s Voice tabloid) 30, 85, 94 subjectification (assujetissement) 15 subversive politics 1, 9, 10, 23–24, 74, 90, 170, 174 subverting naturalized sex/gender divide: International Women’s Day, 2007 70–74; LBGTI anti-poverty campaign in Aceh, 2009: playing back the nation? 74–79; pluralism and tauhid: dislocation of Acehnese feminism 79–82 Sufism 60, 61 Suharto, President 33, 70, 140–41, 147 Sylvester, Christine 155

Taman Sari (fragrant gardens) 74–76 tauhid/tawhid (‘unity of all humanity’) concept 67, 79, 81–82, 83, 172 Team to Improve the Role of Women 32 Technical Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming 107 Teivanen, Teivo 145 temporality concept 152–53 The Forgotten Queens of Islam 43 The Odyssey of Rani Monika 97 ‘this is gender!’ (normalized sex/gender divide and subversive gender): brochure 58–59; conclusions 82–83; feminist theories as discursive practice 68–70; human anatomy and sex difference in the body 57–61; introduction 56–57; sex difference and gender in Acehnese interpretation of Islam 61–67; subverting naturalized sex/gender divide 70–82 ‘This is Gender’/Apu Itu Gender (brochure) 58–59 Thurheer, Katharina 9 Timang: Aceh, Perempuan Kesetaraan (Getting it Straight: Aceh, Women, Equality) 47 transvestites (bencong) 71 ‘triple gender roles’ 131 Tsunami aid: armed conflict in Aceh 125; corruption 95; expatriate expertise 159; feminism 24; GAM 41; gender dynamics 9; lived experience 166; microfinance initiatives 117; ongoing conflict 45; peace 129; radio drama 90, 143; size 1 Tsunami damage map 52 Tsunami Response Programme see Oxfam International Ulama Consultative Assembly 38 Ulama Council in Aceh (Majelid Permusyawaratan Ulama, MPU) 71, 101 ulamas (religious scholars) 8, 142 uleebalang (noble chiefs) 43 UNESCO 96 UNIFEM 48, 89, 154 United Nations (UN): Acehnese conflict 45; Development Programme (DP) 32, 40, 74, 141–42; Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 3; Fund for Population Activities (FPA) 32, 36, 89, 154, 165;

Index World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995 7, 15, 35 ‘unity of all humanity’ concept see Tauhid/Tawhid USAID 115 ‘village’ (desa) 140–44 ‘village head’ (kepala desa) 142 village mosque (imam meunasah) 142 Violet Grey (LBGTI advocacy organization) 75–76, 78 Visweswaran, Kamala 26 Voice of Women (Suara an’Nisa) magazine 94 Wadud, Amina 64, 72 waria term 71–72, 74 Wanita Dan Islam (Women and Islam.) 107 ‘web of intertextuality’ 88 Weber, Cynthia 25 What is Gender? brochure 80 Wieringa, Saskia 18–19, 61, 70


Women Can Do It Too! (radio drama): becoming a good Muslim 100–115; better men and women – harmonious home? 115–30; conclusions 131–32; fantasising adolescent girl as future hope 92–100; gender advocacy campaign 11–12, 172; from gender analysis to gender advocacy 89–91; introduction 87–89 Women in Development/Gender and Development (WID/GAD) 18–19 Women Evaluate the Tsunami (report) 97 Women and the Glorious Qur’an 72 Women’s Congress, 1928 94 Women’s Studies Encyclopaedia 68 World Bank 32, 74, 128, 141 ‘World’s Bell’ (poem) 158–59 Yatim, Debra H. 158–59 Yudhoyono, President 3, 170 zauj (mate, partner or group) concept 11, 57, 64, 73, 83, 172 Zivi, Karen 174

This page intentionally left blank