CAS Luncheon Series
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
CAS Conference Room

In this talk, I discuss my recent research on the rising divorce rate in Indonesia. While many Indonesian Muslim women aspire to fulfill the Islamic edict to be obedient to their husbands, they also have increasingly high expectations for their husbands. And while Indonesian marriage law and Islamic law are deeply gendered and treat women unequally, many judges in the Islamic courts are fairly sympathetic to women in divorce cases and see divorce as better option than staying in an abusive marriage. I argue that this demonstrates an ongoing shift in Indonesian to a more companionate ideal of marriage, rooted not in secular ideals of equality but in religious ideals of harmony and mutuality. 

Rachel Rinaldo is a cultural sociologist interested in gender and social change, particularly in the context of Muslim societies and Southeast Asia. Her first book Mobilizing Piety: Islam and Feminism in Indonesia is an ethnographic study of Muslim and secular women activists in Indonesia, and examines the different ways these activists engage with global discourses of Islam and feminism. She is currently doing research on marriage and divorce in Indonesia, and on the Muslim fashion industries in the US and Indonesia.