Indonesia’s First Female Muslim Clerics Congress Aims to Strengthen Women's Roles

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Female Saudian creric Hatoon Al Fassi (right) delivers a presentation in an international semirar on Women Ulema at The State Islamic Institute of IAIN Syekh Nurjati, Cirebon, West Java on April 25. (Antara/Dedhez Anggara)

The first National Congress of Female Muslim Clerics (Ulema) marked the conclusion of its opening session on Tuesday with the reading of a pledge by seven female clerics representing seven regions across the country.

The three-day congress is expected to come up with recommendations on Thursday, its final day, on the roles female Muslim clerics can play in tackling women’s issues, according to an organizer of the event.  

Congress organizer Ninik Rahayu said Tuesday’s pledge aimed to show that the recommendations would be based on not only Quran and Hadist as the main reference of Islamic teachings, but also on the Indonesian constitution as the country’s highest legal text, as well as international legal references.

Several well-known figures attended Tuesday’s closing, held at the Kebon Jambu Islamic boarding school in Cirebon, West Java, including Netty Prasetyani, the wife of West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan; Cirebon Regent Sunjaya Purwadi Sastra; and chairwoman of the Nahdlatul Ulama’s women’s wing Fatayat, Anggia Ermarini.

“I hope the results of the congress will be able to push Muslim women to be better educators for children and help reduce the number of sexual violence against women,” Netty said. (Nurul Fitri Ramadhani /dan), April 26, 2017