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Sunday, 09 February 2014 19:01

The Role of Religious Public Spaces in Transforming Private Issues into Community Issues

The Role of Religious Public Spaces in Transforming Private Issues into Community Issues

 

Author:

Dini Anitasari, Fatimah Hasan,

Lely Nurohmah,

Sri Wiyanti Eddyono

 

Research Report April 2010

Written by SCN-CREST and RAHIMA for research program WEMC, 2010.

 

An Abstract

 

Women community Islamic prayer group of Majelis Ta’lim often used by certain political interests to mobilize votes during elections. However, this study shows that at the village Mulyasari, Cianjur regency in Indonesia, the limited space for women to access knowledge places the Majelis Ta’lim as very vital in women lives.

 

This paper shows that religious institution built by people at the micro level is possible to empower women. Through research program on Women Empowerment in Muslim Context (WEMC), Majelis Ta’lim in Mulyasari village does not only gives benefit to gain religious knowledge. Through a two-way learning process and design of special materials related to various real problems faced by women, Majelis Ta’lim may encourages women to empower themselves and to challenge public authorities and religious leaders.

 

CONTENTS

I. Introduction

National Recognition of Majelis Talim

The Political Function of Majelis Talim in Indonesia

Majlis Talim and Salafi Culture in Mulyasari Village

 

II. Majlis Talim Al-Bidayah

III Majelis Talim as a Public Arena for Women; Religion and Religious Institutions as a Medium for Womens Empowerment

Majlis Talim as a Place for Women to Obtain Knowledge

IV. Action Research That Brings About Change: Majelis Talim That Empower Women

V. The Result of Changes at the Majelis Talim for Women

Transforming Private Issues Into Community Issues

 

LIST OF TABLES

Table1: Changes in the material taught in Majelis Talim Al-Bidayah before and after interacting with WEMC

 

...

 

VI. Conclusions

 

This research proves that religious spaces can be used and redefined for the interests of women. Majelis talim, although vulnerable to political co-optation and often internalize traditional gender roles, can be used for the purpose of womens empowerment.

 

Before the WEMC action research program, majelis talim had some benefits for women. Majelis talim provided a safe space for women to study religion, an important element of their lives. Yet through the WEMC, majelis talim were not only used for the development of religion, but also for the development of knowledge that benefits the whole congregation, particularly the female congregation.

 

Introducing the perspectives of womens rights and justice to the majelis talim empowered women to gain additional bargaining power with those in a position of authority; the men in their homes, local government, religious leaders. They were even able to take a problem from the private sphere and transform it into a public issue that deserved attention from a variety of actors.

 

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Additional Info

  • Publication Type: Research Report
  • Topic: Gender analysis

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