Book Launching and the International Seminar on the Reformation of Family Law in Moslem Countries

Rumah Kita Bersama (Rumah KitaB), in collaboration with LIPI and with support from the OSLO Coalition Norwegia, proudly presents an International Seminar to welcome the launching of the new book entitled REFORMATION OF THE ISLAMIC FAMILY LAW: A Struggle for Upholding Gender Justice in Moslem Countries.” The original version of the book is written in English, while the translation into Indonesian is done by LKiS Yogyakarta. The book presents the result of several studies undertaken in various moslem-majority countries, one of them is Indonesia, which took an in-depth look into their struggle in reforming the family law. This event will be held in Gedung Widya Graha LIPI, 6th Floor, Room 6.07, Jakarta, on Wednesday, 11  July 2018, 09.00 – 13.00 WIB.


The international seminar will present experts on the family law and gender from the international fora. They are: Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud from Pakistan; Dr. Aicha El-Hajjami from Marroco; and Dr. Lena Larsen from Norwegia. From the national stage, the event will invite Prof. Dr Nina Nurmila from UIN Bandung; Dr. Faqihuddin A. Kodir from Fahmina Institute; Kyai Ulil Abshar Abdalla, MA; and Lies Marcoes, MA. The moderator of the seminar will be assumed by Dr. Widjajanti M. Santoso (a researcher on gender from P2KK LIPI).


“Moslem-majority countries have a strong interest in reforming family law because that’s where the justice for women begins”. Ziba Mir Hosseini, the editor and the leader of the family law reform research project explains. “This is because the family law is where the rights of the (moslem) women in the domestic space are determined, and thus it will further shape and influence their social and political roles in the public sphere”.


Lies Marcoes, Director of Rumah Kita Bersama, asserts that gender analysis tool will be very critical in determining whether or not the rights for justice for women have been fulfilled in the current context where the social relationships that are not always equal. Further according to Lies, “More democratic countries have a key trait of harboring and demonstrating more equal relationships between men and women in the family. However, it is a long, hard road to get to that point given the fact that the relations occurring in the family are largely perceived as part of the worshiping regime itself, which makes people become very resistant to the idea of changing it. On this basis, a reform in the family law is imperative in ensuring justice for women.


Dr. Lena Larsen from the OSLO Coalition affirms that, “What happens with the family law reform in Indonesia brings up hope and solidify good practices that also occur in other (Islamic) countries. It can also be a model for those countries. This success owes to the fact that not only Indonesia is a country that successfully harmonizes the law between Western law, Islamic law and customary law into a national law, but also because Indonesia is a leading country that has successfully developed gender analysis and translated it into a series of formal laws. PERMA no 3/2017 on the need for gender sensitivity in the legal and court process is one of the key examples. Dr. Larsen also appreciates the fatwa issued by the Indonesian Women’s Ulama Congress (KUPI), which calls on the state’s obligation to prevent child marriage, eliminate any forms of violence against women, and prevent environmental damage which exacerbates the two earlier issues.”


During the seminar the participants will be facilitated to look at more depth into the reform initiatives undertaken in various moslem-majority countries. The efforts usually takes two major forms: the adoption of international convention and the interpretation of the Islamic texts serving as the source of the family law in concern. The learning from other countries in how they try to change the family law is highly relevant to Indonesia’s interest because the Islamic family law has served as the main source of many national laws of the country and that Indonesia has been struggling on this arena since post-reform era in the early 2000s in the bigger goal to fulfill the rights of justice for its citizen indiscriminately.


The book in concern comprises of 12 chapters and written by Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Kari Vogt, Lena Larsen and Christian Moe. In the Indonesian version, the book presents annotation from Dr. Nina Nurmila. In the book we will find critical references written by Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Mukki Al-Sharmani, Marwa Sharafeldin, Aicha el Hajjami, Zainah Anwar, Muhammad Khalid Masud, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir, Hassan Yousefi Eshkewari, Mohsen Kadivar, and Anver M. Emon. From Indonesia, there are essays written by Dr. Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir from Fahmina entitled “Gender Equality and Muhammad’s Hadits in the re-interpretation of the Mahram and Qiwama concepts”.


The book is a result of a knowledge project from the University of Oslo in that took form in a research. The findings and analysis of the research was later compiled and written as a book entitled “Reformation of the Islamic Family Law: A Struggle for Upholding Gender Justice in Moslem Countries. The Indonesian version of the book is done by LKiS Yogyakarta and is published in 2017.

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