A female leader was never an issue in Indonesia until a few days ago, when on May 29th, 13 Islamic organizations united and said that they are rejecting a female candidate, Netty Heryawan, to run for the West Java gubernatorial office in 2018.
The Alliance of People who Care About West Java (AMPJ) urged an Indonesian party called Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to reconsider their decision choosing Netty Heryawan and change her with a man who is ‘more capable’ of doing the job of a governor. HM Roinul Balad, the chairman of AMPJ, said that the decision was based on views of ulemas and the deep Islamic study. Aside from religious views, AMPJ stated that West Java has a lot of problems so they need a male governor because ‘a man can do it better than a woman’.
However, the country already has several strong female leaders like Sri Mulyani as the Finance Minister, Susi Pudjiastuti as the Fisherman Minister and Tri Rismaharini as the Surabaya’s Mayor. Megawati Soekarnoputri served as president between 2001 and 2004. These strong female leaders show that Indonesia has never had an issue with a female politicians. The rejection of a female candidate for West Java’s upcoming governor’s election makes female leadership an issue. Indonesia will not be getting better in the next few years if this persists. The government needs to realize that they need women more in politics because women’s voices matter as much as men’s.