Gender and Politics in Post-Reformasi Indonesia: Women Leaders within Local Oligarchy Networks


Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi (ed)
National Research and Innovation Agency


Politic, Gender, Indonesia, Oligarchy, Women Leaders


This book employs a gendered perspective to uncover an in-depth understanding of the political role of women leaders in local government in Indonesia. Beginning with the story of two women who successfully won the local elections in Indramayu in 2010 and Tangerang Selatan in 2011, respectively, the book uses their experiences as a point of departure to present a discussion on female political leaders’ part within the larger political dynastic structure in Indonesia. The book explores the multiple challenges and difficulties that these women encountered in reaching power and in promoting local democracy, highlighting the patriarchal nature of the oligarchy. In doing so, this book provides a rich empirical account of the current features of female political leaders and their political and familial, linkages. The research, thus, contributes significantly to the work of scholars and political activists seeking to unpack the process and progress of democratization in post-reformasi Indonesia, in which women’s political participation and leadership are an inevitable and vital part. In doing so, the book champions how Indonesian women are playing an increasingly important role in the democratic process, even in the face of the enduring challenges posed by familial ties and political dynasty factors that continue to hinder democratization—trends that are also prevalent across multiple Southeast Asian countries in the twenty-first century. Relevant to scholars and students situated at the intersection of gender and politics, this translated and updated co-publication is a tour de force, led by one of Indonesia’s seminal scholars in women’s studies.


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Author Biographies

Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi, National Research and Innovation Agency

Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi is a senior researcher at the Research Center for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) (formerly known as Indonesian Institute of Sciences LIPI) since December 2000. Her research interests are in gender and politics, women and politics, gender and Islam, local politics, and civil society. She is the founder and coordinator of the Gender and Politics research team at BRIN since 2015. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in politics with Cumlaude from the Government and Political Study, Diponegoro University in 2000, and a master’s degree in Asian Studies with a specialization in gender and politics in Southeast Asia with the First-Class Honor from the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2007. She received her Doctoral Degree in Asian Studies from the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (ASAFAS) Kyoto University Japan in 2012. Her doctoral dissertation on the rise of women political leaders in Indonesian local politics won the Kyoto University’s International Program of Collaborative Research at the Center of Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and Kyoto University President’s Special Fund. It was published as a book entitled Indonesian Women and Local Politics: Islam, Gender and Networks in Post-Suharto Indonesia (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press and Kyoto University Press, 2015). She has been actively building networks with international feminists and scholars and was appointed as Secretary-General of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS) 2020–2022. Some of her key publications are: “Motherhood Identity in the 2019 Indonesian Presidential Elections: Populism and Political Division in the National Women’s Movement”, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 42, No. 2 (August 2020): 224–250.; “Indonesia: Local Advocacy for Suffrage”, in The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, ed. Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook, and Netina Tan (PalgraveMacmillan, 2019),; “Piety and Sexuality in a Public Sphere: Experiences of Javanese Muslim Women’s Political Leadership”, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol. 23, no. 3 (2017): 340–362, as well as various papers in Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Studies Review, Asian Women, SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, Indonesian Feminist Journal. e-mail:

Esty Ekawati, National Research and Innovation Agency

Esty Ekawati Research Center for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

Fathimah Fildzah Izzati, National Research and Innovation Agency

Fathimah Fildzah Izzati Research Center for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

Atika Nur Kusumaningtyas, National Research and Innovation Agency

Atika Nur Kusumaningtyas Research Center for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Central Jakarta, Indonesia


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Dewi, Kurniawati Hastuti. Indonesian Women and Local Politics: Islam, Gender and Networks in Post-Suharto Indonesia. Singapore: NUS Press and Kyoto University Press, 2015.



July 8, 2022