What Can Kashmiris Learn From Indonesia

From mothers to housewives to farmers to entrepreneurs to workers to social activists to students, the women of Indonesia are reasserting their role as nation-builders. After being suppressed for so long, the women of Indonesia are finally finding their voices again. In short, Indonesia is redefining the role of their women by uncovering their traditional 'societal protection' and metamorphosing their women into equals which is evident from their Armed Forces Day celebration parade where all parachute jumpers are women officers and soldiers of the Indonesian Army.

If we draw this comparison with Kashmir, religion has sustained the role of women in Kashmir. New perceptions of Islam have gained greater impetus in the last years, especially Middle East influenced sentiments driven by the fear of globalization and this has increasingly affected women and altered their positions. Two months ago the NCC girl cadets of J&K echoed one message “shun stone-pelting, sloganeering and enjoy the real azadi in India. We are very lucky to be part of the NCC because we do not only learn discipline and unity but it helps us in our overall development.” They urged to the girls from across the state especially in the Valley, to be part of the NCC for overall development. Sadly, the back lashing and trolling that followed was unimaginable.

However, there is definitely a lesson or two that Kashmiri’s can derive from fellow Indonesians whose women are seen progressing in the right direction, less the Kashmiri women will be left far behind.