Women, Islam and Everyday Life: Renegotiating Polygamy in by Nina Nurmila

By Nina Nurmila

This ebook examines Islam and women’s way of life, focusing particularly at the hugely debatable factor of polygamy. It discusses the competing interpretations of the Qur’anic verses which are on the middle of Muslim controversies over polygamy, with a few teams believing that Islam enshrines polygamy as a male correct, others seeing it as accredited yet discouraged in favour of monogamy, and different teams arguing that Islam implicitly prohibits polygamy. according to distinctive fieldwork carried out in Indonesia, it presents an empirically-based account of women’s lived studies in polygamous marriages, describing different perceptions of the perform and methods in facing it. It additionally considers the impression of adjusting public coverage, particularly Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage legislation which constrained the perform of polygamy. It indicates that, in reality, this legislations has now not ended in common adherence, and considers how public coverage might be converted to extend its effectiveness in affecting behaviour in way of life. total, the booklet argues that polygamy has been a resource of injustice in the direction of ladies and youngsters, that this can be opposed to Islamic educating, and simply Islamic legislation would have to demand the abolition of polygamy.

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Extra info for Women, Islam and Everyday Life: Renegotiating Polygamy in Indonesia (Asaa Women in Asia Series)

Example text

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that although many Javanese women have some autonomy, this autonomy is often limited to minor economic decisions and only located within their household. Within society, women are often seen to be subordinate to men and therefore may be vulnerable to polygamous marriage. 13 To better understand these changing patterns, I shall first describe the pattern of marriage and divorce from the 1950s to the 1970s. Prior to the 1970s, marriage in Indonesia was considered very important and was almost universal (Wolf, 1992: 60; Hirschman, 1994: 407; Dube, 1997: 124), representing a critical rite of passage from childhood to adulthood (Geertz, 1961: 69).

Ideally, I wanted to interview both husband and wife (in separate interviews) to get a balanced view of their marriage. From the 39 marriages, however, I could only interview both husband and wife in 16 cases in total. In the other 23 marriages, I could only interview either the wife or the husband. From the 16 cases, I could only interview four polygamous families along with all their family members (the husband, his first and second wives and, where relevant, their children): these were the families of Jajang, Suhadi, Fahmi and Maman.

Because of such anxieties, parents usually arrange for the pregnant girl to marry as soon as possible. 22 Smith-Hefner describes parents’ embarrassment over a daughter’s premarital pregnancy: For her parents then, what should be the final testimony to their skill and accomplishment, and a joyous public display of their social status and prestige within the community, is instead a painful, hurried ordeal which becomes the focus of malicious community gossip. (Smith-Hefner, 2005: 453) However, as Bennett (2005) pointed out, marriage was not always the solution for unmarried pregnant women because not all their sexual partners were willing to be responsible for their partner’s pregnancy and some of the pregnancies might be concealed from their parents for shame and fear of destroying family reputation.

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