Yenny Wahid: empowerment prevents women from radicalism

Yenny Wahid: empowerment prevents women from radicalism

Wahid Institute Director Yenny Wahid emphasized the importance of empowering women to prevent them from perpetrators of radicalism (AntaraNews/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)

Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - Wahid Institute Director Yenny Wahid emphasized the importance of empowering women to prevent them from perpetrators of radicalism that have exploited women as terrorists.

Yenny made the remark in her speech at the second session of the National Gathering of the One Thousand Indonesian Women`s Organizations, here, Friday.

She referred to the suicide bombing case in Surabaya, East Java, in May 2018 which involved a woman and a mother as a suicide bomber.

"The event showed us how a mother could bomb her own child. Whereas as mothers, we cry every time when our children fall down. But the mother (bomber) conducted it because the father believed that by doing so, the family could go to heaven. If our women are strong enough, they will definitely reject the doctrine as she could only enter heaven through her pious husband or her pious father," she said.

According to Yenny, women must be empowered, so they can be strong enough to reject such false doctrines. She argued that everyone, both men and women, have their own responsibility for their deeds and sins.

"According to any religion, our sin is our own responsibility. The parents have a responsibility to educate their children, but once the children turn adult, they are responsible for their own sins. It is a pity if parents whose children are corruptors or criminals should be responsible for their children`s sins," said the daughter of late President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Therefore, Yenny called on all KOWANI members to participate in empowering women by providing them with education, knowledge and ideas so as to make them able to reject any doctrine of radicalism, including that on efforts to force women to commit acts of radicalism.

"This is a challenge for all of us, if in the past women became `recruiters` or `fund raisers` or `organizers` of terrorist acts, now we have been targets to become perpetrators. How can we prevent women from being used in radical acts? The answer is women empowerment," she said.

Based on the Wahid Institute`s research, it is known that Indonesian women are more tolerant than men so they are better examples for children. They can educate their children and instill values of tolerance.

"When women have a chance to educate their children to be tolerant, then that is the answer to the question of how to avoid radicalization," she said.

The National Gathering of One Thousand Indonesian Women`s Organizations is held to coincide with the 35th General Assembly of the International Council of Women (ICW), on September 13-20, 2018.

Both events are jointly organized by the ICW, the KOWANI, with the full support from the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises and 35 State-Owned Enterprises, including state news agency Antara.

Reporting by Azizah Fitriyanti

Editing by Gusti NC Aryani/Bambang Purwanto