Has Indonesia forgotten contraception?

Contraception is not simply a method to prevent pregnancy. Given the suspicion – if not outright hostility – toward contraception that is common to most religions, debates over its regulation are often deeply political and value-laden.


The problem is that suspicion does not solve problems. In Indonesia, adolescents cannot legally access birth control unless they are married. Yet many adolescents are sexually active, whatever their marital status. In fact, according to Unicef, one in nine Indonesian adolescents are sexually active. The Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (SDKI) puts the figure even higher, at one in four. They have an urgent need for contraception.


There are more than 45 million 10-19 year olds in Indonesia. In 2017, the Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (SDKI) found that only 45 per cent of married or sexually active adolescents aged 15 to 19 said they used contraception. This means the other 55 per cent either had no plans to use contraception or had limited exposure to knowledge about their bodies, sexuality, reproductive health, and contraceptives. These are concerning findings.


A 2016 study by Rumah KitaB found that from 52 female adolescents who married in childhood, 36 (about 70 per cent) got married because of unwanted pregnancies. Nearly all admitted that they never used contraception when they had sex, either because they didn’t know how to obtain the pill or didn’t have the courage to ask their partners to use a condom.


Only one tenth of the child brides surveyed had access to contraception. They usually acquired it from private midwives, not state-run community health centres (puskesmas), with the help of their mothers or mothers-in-law.


On World Contraception Day on 26 September, Indonesia received the distinction of being the country with the greatest unmet need for contraception. Lack of legally available contraception for adolescents contributed to this result. Indonesia was once a leader in family planning but it is fast becoming one of the worst performers in the region.


How did we get to this point? The main problem lies in flawed population policies. Grounded in the ideology of “developmentalism”, which held that the nation would become prosperous if population growth could be controlled, the New Order regime strictly applied a Family Planning project called Keluarga Berencana, or KB.


Using a wide range of methods and approaches, Indonesia’s population policy was deemed successful. But the program’s occasionally coercive methods, in which those who did not practice KB were treated as “the other”, alienated many. This included sections of the Muslim community, which was under the most suspicion when the program was first applied. Any effort to question, let alone oppose, the assertion that families would become prosperous through the KB program was simply crushed by the state.


Islamic mass-based organisations – first Nahdlatul Ulama, and later Muhammadiyah – tried to assuage Muslim anxieties about New Order enforcement of the KB policy. These two organisations agreed to support the New Order government’s population program, relying on interpretation and exploration of Islamic arguments. They justified support for KB in the name of both darurat (emergency) and maslahat (the greater good) to avoid even greater mudharat (harm) if the size of the population were not controlled.


However, this theological discourse from NU and Muhammadiyah certainly did not comfort everyone in the Muslim community. Even today, many Muslims are suspicious of family planning as a “western project” to reduce the size of the Muslim population.


This is not simply because the religious arguments are insufficient to convince them, for example because of differences in interpretation or exploration of Islamic law. Rather, narratives about “genocide of the Islamic community” have taken root, and are now considered truth by many people.


Those who reject family planning point to the fact that promises about family planning delivering prosperity were never truly realised, but it did reduce the size of many Muslim families.


Another problem is that there was never any theological debate or discussion of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) on the use of contraception by young people during the New Order era. The state seemingly sought to increase the moral acceptance of the KB program by guaranteeing that it would not be accessed by adolescents.


The Criminal Code (KUHP) (under Article 283) and the 2009 Population Growth and Family Development Law (under Article 26) still explicitly prohibit provision of contraception services to adolescents and unmarried couples, apart from information, and even that is restricted, with punishments of fines and imprisonment if violated. These prohibitions on serving the needs of adolescents were clearly a “band-aid” strategy to contain the anxiety and suspicions of the religious community.


Ignoring adolescents’ need for contraception has created a huge gap in addressing the problems of reproductive health in Indonesia. Adolescents are now a quarter of the population and among those who most need information on reproductive health and contraception services.


Indonesians cannot simply shut their eyes to the reality that the age at which girls are menstruating and becoming sexually active is steadily decreasing. At the same time, underage marriage is also becoming more common – on the grounds of fear of committing the “sin of premarital sex”, or if pregnancy has already occurred.


As long as the government remains closed to discussion on reproductive health education for adolescents, and the law remains unchanged, young people will remain shut off from accurate information.


The government’s reluctance to address adolescent sexual and reproductive health also provides room for conservative religious groups to push their position. And their solution is worryingly simplistic: Just marry them off!


Now is the time for the state, assisted by NU and Muhammadiyah, to come down from the mountaintop, and take a frank and pragmatic look at adolescent sexuality. Gaps in information and reproductive health services, including contraception services for adolescents, must be addressed.


If not, Indonesia can look forward to a grim future of more and more child brides and unwanted pregnancies.


Why is family planning taboo for youths?

On the surface, we look like we’re in our prime. People say my generation is young and determined, and that we have our whole future ahead of us.

But what if I told you that the young people of my generation are regularly denied the basic tools and information we need to plan our lives and protect our health? What if I told you that our future is at risk — and without action now, the future prosperity of Indonesia could be at risk, too?

In my region, we face a lot of problems, from early-age marriage to unplanned pregnancy, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and more. But our biggest challenge is one of perception.

Sixty-five million young people, aged 10 to 24, live in Indonesia. We comprise 28 percent of the population. Whether we stay in school will determine how educated our country is. Whether we stay healthy enough to keep our jobs will determine how strong our economy is.

And yet many people in my community think there is no problem with early-age marriage that pulls girls out of school, robbing them of their youth and their education.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), in most Indonesian provinces, more than a quarter of married women aged 20 to 24 reported they were married before the age of 18.

Further, many people still think it is better to have more children, even if that means stretching resources thin and preventing mothers from having jobs, because their time is absorbed by repeated pregnancies with short intervals, and by tending to the family.

Even though the data show that 1.7 million young women under 24 give birth each year — including half a million teenage girls — people still fear talking about family planning with youth, because of taboos and perceptions.

My generation accounts for more than a quarter of the population, yet our reproductive health is often overlooked.

At clinics we are told we are too young to need contraceptives, or that the services we want are not available. At school we find inadequate or nonexistent reproductive health information. And at home, reproductive health is shrouded in social taboos.

For the sake of Indonesia’s future, this needs to change.

Here, both married and unmarried young women don’t have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services they desire.

Only 45 percent of married girls (15 to 19 years old) who want to delay or prevent pregnancy are using a modern contraceptive method according to the Indonesian Demographic Health Survey (SDKI). And Indonesia has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies across all of Asia.

These unplanned pregnancies undermine opportunities for education and employment, exacerbate poverty and perpetuate gender inequity.

Imagine what our communities and our economy would look like if the 1.7 million young women who have children each year finished school and joined the workforce instead?

Give us the chance to choose to have smaller families, later in life, that we’re better able to support. Give us a chance to contribute to the social and economic development of our country.

If we make small family changes like these, we’ll also have the potential to shift the demographics of Indonesia. We can be part of a movement to boost the percentage of working-age young adults, while reducing the number of dependents we support. This is key to helping the Indonesian economy reap the demographic dividend and grow.

We know we won’t get there alone. Around the world, thousands of youth are gathering, calling for greater access to family planning as I write these words.

Some of us are hosting events in our home countries today in recognition of World Contraception Day, while others are preparing to travel to Kigali in November for the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning. Together, we are starting a global movement.

But nothing will change for our futures or the futures of our home countries if we relegate these conversations to isolated events and conferences held at a safe distance. We need you to join us now, here in Indonesia, in making an investment in our shared future.

If you are a parent, consider the life opportunities your daughter might have if you give her your blessing to delay marriage and use contraceptives.

If you are a healthcare provider, consider how many lives you can change if you offer counseling and services to youth.

And if you are a politician or one of our leaders, consider what my generation can do for our country if you support our access to a range of family planning options. In 2017, Indonesia committed to providing access to modern contraceptives to an additional 2.8 million people by 2019. To reach this goal, the unique needs of youth cannot be left by the wayside.

As taboo as it may be, sexually active teenagers and young adults are capable of getting pregnant; that’s basic reproductive science. The question is: How will we support them? We ask that you carefully consider your role and response. Your answer and your actions will determine the future for all of us.


Siapa Bilang KB Haram? (Who Says KB Haram?)

KB is doubted that it will achieve the goal of welfare. This book maps the discourses that connect family planning, welfare and reproductive health. This book consistently uses ushul fiqh and maqashid al-syari’ah as methodological tools in exploring Islamic law. This argument is so  important that the government consistent in ensuring the fulfillment of women’s reproductive rights by fulfilling good, prime, and principle-based KB based on the principle of respect for human rights.

Get this book at Yayasan Rumah Kita Bersama or send messages via facebook rumahkitab.

Rebuilding ties with Islamic leaders needed for FP revitalization


JAKARTA, Indonesia, 27 March 2017: The active role of various elements of the society, including Islamic leaders has contributed meaningfully to Indonesia’s success in promoting family planning (FP) in the past, resulting in improved maternal and child health, better wellbeing and welfare of families and nation. Rebuilding ties with Islamic leaders is needed to revitalize FP.


UNFPA and the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKN) provided support to Rumah KitaB, a foundation for Islamic research, to conduct a study on FP in Islam. The findings will be used for the development of FP advocacy, based on Islamic values, with active involvement of Islamic leaders throughout Indonesia. The study revealed opinions of prominent religious leaders in Indonesia, backed by Islamic teachings, stressing, among others, that:

– FP programme is very relevant today and need to be continued;

– FP is not a product of Western countries;

– FP does not alter/tamper with Allah’s creation; and

– FP is part of women’s right to have control over their bodies by allowing them to decide when to get pregnant and how many children to have.


“Hopefully, this study would assist in identifying strategies and evidence-based arguments to advocate about the importance of family planning, for the health of women and children and for a good quality of life for the family,” said UNFPA Representative Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson.


Head of BKKBN, Dr. Surya Chandra Surapaty, said that the country should not forget its past success as it proved that FP is essential for family resilience and contributes to building healthy and competent younger generation, which is necessary for national development.


For its past success in FP, Indonesia was awarded with the UN population award in 1989. However, recently, FP-related achievements, such as total fertility rate, unmet need and contraceptive prevalence rate have stagnated.


Population observers and activists have joined voices with BKKBN, calling on national and subnational government, civil society organizations, including Islamic leaders to renew commitment to FP and mobilize their active role for enhanced community engagement in FP.



Scarcity of Marriage Certificate

KOMPAS, Jakarta – This past few weeks have been noted by the scarcity of marriage certificate available. The Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, Agung Laksono, responded to this by stating that this was due to an increasing amount of people who are getting married, while the Minister of Religion, Suryadharma Ali stated that it was due to distribution-related problems.

That statement was obviously groundless. The scarcity of marriage certificate is not a new thing in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and this may indicate problems arising within the ministry.

From the statements of the top officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) to the media, this stems from the delay in the budget approval, which culminated in the late execution of tenders for printing and delivery. Up to this point, MORA can shrug and claim that the problem was caused by other institutions, in this case, the DPR (House of Representatives) origins problems in other institutions, in this case the new parliament who only begins to approve the budgets in July.

Between government officials there is one term “hostage by asterisk”, which means a budget submission is not immediately approved, but contains many asterisk signs from the reviewer, indicating the budget submitted contains items that are questionable and need correction. Flagging asterisks to budget items actually shows the government’s intention of creating a clean government.

However, the process of aborting the asterisks is another thing which in it lags behind potential corruption. Reflecting on corruption printing of the Koran, we can trace the collusion between the executive (MORA) and legislative (Golkar elements), which turned out to be the partner printing of the Koran. Would people will use the same logic and apply it to the marriage certificate printing tender and distribution that causes all of them to be delivered too late?

Regardless, this problem is not merely administration carelessness, but the picture of how chaotic the state administration in fulfilling the rights of citizens. In this case, a suspicion of a waging “war of the asterisks” emerges, where the chaos caused by people demanding to get their marriage certificate is used as a weapon to press the government, not to question the budget proposed and to immediately approves the budget. On the other side, this also can be used to press opposing party that the asterisks are not that easy to be omitted without a certain reward. At the end, the war of the asterisks has hold people’s interest in hostage.

The scarcity of marriage book is not something new. As can be seen in the statistics of the request for marriage legitimation (isbat) in Islamic court. Marriage legitimation, in KHI (Kompilasi Hukum Islam – Islamic Law Compilation), is regulated not only to legitimize marriages happening before year 1974, the year when the Law on Marriages was published, but also for those who lost their marriage documents. The direct impact of the lack of marriage certificate: the marriage has no legal legitimation (KHI article 7) and the children resulted from the marriage may considered as having no civil relationship with his biological father. Data from 2010 Susenas (National Socioeconomic Survey) showed that 35% of Indonesian children has no birth certificate. In fact, according to survey by PEKKA (Women Headed Household Empowerment), in areas such as Adonara islands in East Nusa Tenggara, 67 percent of people do not have one of the three documents relating to the legality of the law: marriage certificate, birth certificates and divorce certificates.

Bappenas (National Development Planning Agency) and MA (The Supreme Court) with the ranks of other legal instruments are trying to overcome this problem by organizing the circuit court for issuing determination of the children as result of marriages, so that civil office can issue a birth certificate for them. The issuance of The Supreme Court Circular Letter (SEMA) Number 6 Year 2012 on Guidelines for the Determination of Birth Registration Beyond One Year Time, collectively has made it easier for the public to own a birth certificate. Based on the SEMA, parents no longer have to earn their marriage determination through the circular courts or isbat, they only have to fulfill the requirements to prove that their children were born from the parents who submitted birth certificate request.

In some areas, the PEKKA survey showed that there were many couples who do not own marriage certificates not because they conducted illegal marriages but because of the absence of the State. During the Aceh conflicts period, marriages are held with the absence of KUA (Office of Religious Affairs) officials. Or, many couples have paid for the marriage certificate, but they did not receive anything in return. When the couples came to the office to pick the marriage certificate, they were asked for extra costs for the nonpermanent employees of the office. The policy states that the Ministry of Religious Affairs asks KUA to deliver the certificate. However, this is not what really happens in reality, especially in regional areas, couples need to pick up the book themselves, and cost them extra fee to pay. This is shameful considering that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is the only ministry granted with the biggest budget allocations, increasing from Rp14.9 trillion in 2008 to Rp45.4 trillion in 2013.

Together with the Director General of Religious Courts, I have attended several circular courts held by the sub-district government offices, registry office, district court and the PEKKA NGO before SEMA Number 6/2012 was issued. The Justice for the Poor program by BAPPENAS really helped impoverished people receive their legal certainty. Children can enroll primary schools without being rejected because they have no birth certificate. People can apply for passports to work overseas, etc., and what is more important, their existence was acknowledged by the state.

The scarcity of marriage certificates is not simply a matter of administration issues. We cannot only point our finger to MORA, but also to other institutions. The marriage certificate scarcity reminds us that clean governance without focusing the perspective to the impoverished people, will only make the people, especially poor ones, being held hostage.

*Lies Marcoes

Mapping of Counter-Family Planning

GATRA, EDITION July 11 – 17 2013. Commemoration of National Family Day in Kendari, last July 29 was spent by a vigorous campaign preventing early marriage. The National Family Planning Coordination Board (BKKBN) calls it Program Generasi Berencana (Genre) – The Planned Generation. In the same package as The Raise of Minimum Age of Marriage or (Pendewasaan Usia Perkawinan PUP). Two days before the main event, a youth seminar was held in Hotel Azahra, Kendari on June 26, presenting the National Genre Student Ambassador 2012, Shauqi Maulana.

Shauqi, the student of Lambung Mangkurat University Banjarmasin, explained about the three factors that trigger his province, South Kalimantan, to be the first-ranked in child marriage occurrence in Indonesia: the fear of being an old maiden stigma, economic situation pressure, and religion. The activities were then continued with “Genre Festivities” on the Public Park of Kendari City. In front of hundreds of youth, Head of BKKBN, Fasli Jalal, explained about the three crucial problems of youth, namely: teen pregnancy, drugs, and HIV/AIDS.

Fasli mentioned a 2010 research by ANU and University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Tangerang, and Bekasi regarding premarital conception where a total of 22.7% of teenage girls under the age of 20 became pregnant before marriage. The next day, June 27, held an obstetric seminar at the Haluoleo University, Kendari. One of the focuses was the medical risk of child marriage.

The Family Planning (KB) campaign does not only contain conventional themes that having two children are enough, which is often targeted at married couples. Dissemination of KB also brings the issue of child marriage, which is mostly aimed at teenagers. These two issues are equally linked to religious understanding.

Most people make religious ideology as a reference norms and standards of living. Pros and cons of family planning, in its history, correlated with the people’s religious understanding. “The key to the success of our efforts,” said Vice President Boediono at the peak of the Family Day in Kendari, “is how we can make a small, happy, prosperous and accepted by the community as the norm and standard.”

Some people refuse Family Planning using religious arguments, both on the topic of having two children is enough, which emerged since the beginning of the New Order, as well as on the issue of child marriage, which emerged post-New Order. Mainstream Islamic organizations, NU, Muhammadiyah, and the MUI, tend to be resistant during the pilot phase of family planning programs, which is in early New Order era. Family planning programs were addressed carefully so as not to slip in the category of filicide.

Because, in the holy Koran, killing children for fear of poverty is prohibited. There are also teachings that sustenance is the gift from God (QS. Al-Isra`: 31). New mainstream Islamic community can receive KB insofar as regulating offspring (tanzhîm al-nasl) and not limitation (tahdîd al-nasl). Later, more Muslim mainstream groups could receive the KB macro agenda. Even if there is to the KB Macro agenda, it is more in the detail of issues surrounding family planning, such as vasectomy, tubal ligation, or abortion.

To the present KB topic such as child marriage packed within the Genre and PUP program, the fatwa of the ulemas in Padang Panjang, 2009, took the middle road. The decision of the ulemas may be considered as reflection of mainstream Muslim attitudes. The meeting which has been held every three years since 2003 was attended by representatives of mainstream Islamic organizations: Indonesia MUI Fatwa Commission, NU, Muhammadiyah, Persis, and other Islamic organizations, as well as a number of representatives from Islamic universities.

Given the term: the middle way, because on the context of child marriage, the Ulemas fatwa states that from wadh’îy legal perspective, the marriage ceremony is legitimate, but from aklîfîy legal perspective, the marriage can be forbidden if the marriage can cause dharar (danger). Muslim communities face difficulty in prohibiting child marriage. “Jurisprudence does not restrict the age of marriage,” said Amir Syarifuddin, professor of law marriage from IAIN (State Islamic Institute) Padang.

Prophet Muhammad Pbuh married Aisha when she was six years old and slept with her at the age of nine years. The Prophet’s companion, Qudamah ibn Mazh’un married daughter of Zubeir at her time of birth. Umar ibn al-Khattab married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib, when he was little. “Do not always imagine marrying a young child is equal to disaster. We have narrow perception about marriage,” said Amir. However, if there exists a research by competent experts that proves marriage in early childhood could cause harm, according to Amir, a new minimum age of marriage can be recognized by new jurisprudence.

Widespread resistance on child marriage, among others, emerged when the case of Puji Cahyo Widiyanto happened. A businessman from Semarang who called Sheikh Puji, married Lutfiana Ulfa at the age of 12 years. Ijtima ‘Ulama in Padang, in January 2009, backed Puji’s case, which surfaced in late 2008. In denying the widespread condemnation about his marriage, Puji carries a book entitled “Even Aisha had a child marriage!”

Child marriage issue emerged once more when Aceng Fikri, former Regent of Garut, West Java, divorced Octara Fanny, 18 years old, late last year. The controversy of this case had huge impact to the extent of overthrowing Aceng from his title as a regent. This topic attracted wide attention. Highlights to this topic resurfaced when it was revealed that Lutfi Hasan Ishaaq, former President of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), married Darin Mumtazah, a Secondary Vocational School (SMK) graduate.

When the mainstream Islamic groups tend to accept KB (family planning), during the reform era, a new wave of KB resistance emerged, originated from the “new” Islam movements, which in the former period worked underground. Their resistance to the limitation of offspring was similar to the NU, Muhammadiyah, and MUI argument during the start of the New Order era. This new group also rejects the anti-child marriage campaign, contrary to the mainstream religious attitude, such as the Padang Ulemas who accommodate the objection to child marriage as long as the marriage would not cause any harm (dharar).

Rumah KitaB Foundation, last July 20, released a study on the current mapping of religious views against family planning. Respondents were divided into three typologies. First, the so-called mainstream Islam, including NU, Muhammadiyah, MUI, PUI, and Al-Irsyad. Second, the local Islamist groups, among others: MT (PKS-based), MIUMI, MMI, LDII, and JAT. Third, trans-national Islamist groups, such as HTI, Salafi, and HASMI.

The study was conducted in six cities: Jakarta, Bogor, Cirebon, Solo, Yogyakarta, and Malang. A discussion was held, moderated by Lies Marcoes-Natsir, Director of Rumah KitaB, presented 3 discussants: Kartono Mohammad, Zumrotin Susilo, and Abdul Moqsith Ghazali. The resistance from this new group did not only argued in jurisprudence, but also multi-faceted.

That attitude was reflected in their arguments on the issue of early marriage. “Currently child marriage is considered a problem,” said Bachtiar Nasir, General Secretary MIUMI, the research cited. “It was a big mistake and a violation of human rights. Give me proof that child marriage caused a population explosion, “he said. “The population explosion is due to adultery. Marriage is the road to blessings; do not consider it as a problem. ”

Opinion that early marriage brings medical and psychological impact, Bachtiar said, “That was only prejudice.” He called this a result of the government’s failure to improve maternal health, thus religion was finally attacked. “The root of the problem, immorality and adultery are not resolved.” He also criticized the condom campaign to prevent AIDS. “That campaign means, please commit adultery, but use a condom,” he said. Efforts to prevent adultery did not appear. “This is a partial prevention,” he continued.

According to Lies Marcoes-Natsir, there is a need of medical arguments for the protection of mother and child health in order for KB to be acceptable. In an obstetrics seminar on Family Day in Kendari, a BKKBN Deputy of family planning and reproductive health, Julianto Witjaksono, explained that children born of early marriage are prone to have a low birth weight and risk of short or stunted growth.

It occurs as a result of the female reproductive being unprepared. The pelvic is still small and the womb is not ready yet. Babies in the womb become malnourished. “Pregnant mothers under 20 years of age give birth to more children with stunted growth, whose body is short and small, and their brains is also small. These children face more risk of suffering heart and blood vessels diseases,” says Julianto.

Currently, in Indonesia, about 45% women were married under the age of 20 years. A total of 4.2% were married at the age of 10-14 years and 41.8% were married at the age of 15-19 years. Kartono Mohammad, in a discussion of the study, warned that every year, Indonesia’s population grew 4 million people, equivalent to the citizens of Singapore. “The number is similar to Singapore’s, but the quality is far below,” said Kartono. He urged that discussion about KB is not always dogmatic in nature. [Asrori S. Karni and Ade Faizal Alami]

Religion, The Factor in the Declining Participation of Family Planning

JAKARTA, SATUHARAPAN.COM – So far, no other research institutions associated the downward trend of Family Planning (KB) participation with certain religious views. Lanny Octavia, a researcher in Rumah Kita Bersama (Rumah KitaB) conveyed this statement on the results of various assumptions rejecting Family Planning (KB) at the book launch in the Board of Nadhatul Ulama (NU) in Jakarta on Thursday (20/6), conveyed this.

It was suspected that previous low KB participation occurred in rural areas was due to the limitations of contraception, but in urban areas with high availability of contraceptives also does not guarantee high participation rates. This made Rumah KitaB linked this phenomenon with the strong religious currents in Islam.

This research on KB program was conducted due to the declining trend of KB participation.

“We associate this with the program’s strategic oversight in the New Order era. Back then, KB was implemented coercively and involves only in Muslims circle as NU and Muhammadiyah. The non-mainstream Islamic groups felt marginalized and did not have a chance to voice their views, “he said.

This study was mapped starting from the demographic profile of the six areas chosen, namely: Jakarta, Bogor, Cirebon, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Malang.

In the six areas studied, all the population was increased; most KB acceptors are not permanent. There was very low demand for vasectomy and tubal ligation. Maternal and infant mortality rate is very relative.


To examine the strength of the religious currents, a mapping is done for all the groups interviewed. From mainstream groups such as NU, Muhammadiyah, and the MUI, to local fundamentalists such as Indonesian Islamic Propagation Institute (LDII), Council of Intellectual & Young Ulemas Indonesia (MIUMI), Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia – The Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI). Transitional groups under the influence of Islamic movements such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, a tarbiyah group like the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and salafi, were also interviewed.

“In addition to the issue of family planning, we dig their theological views about family. On average they accept early marriage, polygamy, and marriage based on Sharia law. Because they are considered more dignified than adulteries, sex with prostitutes, or free sex of all kinds.”

There are pros and cons related to family planning as a tool of regulating birth. In gender relations, women in average are not entitled to make decisions about the number of children. Women are not entitled to her own body.

The theological factors derived from the Koran and Hadith are interpreted not in support of family planning (KB). KB is regarded as Western conspiracy against Islam. In fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the use of contraceptives was considered as open genitalia, disadvantages, and exposing nakedness, and is considered unclean.

The results of the study will be used as the basis of organizing material and advocacy campaigns for women’s reproductive rights.

Editor : Wiwin Wirwidya Hendra


Zumrotin K. Susilo: Inconsistencies of Anti-KB Groups

JAKARTA, SATUHARAPAN.COM – Various rejection assumptions rejection of Family Planning (KB) which were discussed in three books published by Rumah KitaB irritates one woman activist, Zumrotin K. Susilo. The response was delivered at the launch of the three books published by Rumah KitaB at the Board of Nadhatul Ulama (NU) building in Jakarta, on Thursday (20/6).

“Another reason to produce more people to fight infidels, to create an army to defend God. Does God need defending? Does it not mean you are belittling God’s almightiness? They are twisting the fact. Not consistent. They think that God is great, but He still needs and army to defend Him? They say they don’t agree if childbirth is limited, but they say they agree with KB plans. I think there is a thin line between to limit and to plan,” said Zumrotin.

According to the Holy Koran, the distance of every child born should be three years apart. Breastfeeding for two years, and get pregnant again after three years. An inconsistency occurs when someone is speaking with reference to the Koran but having children and ignores the 3 years distance suggested by the Holy Koran.

Let us say there is a political party saying that the rich may have many children, but the poor should not. It is also added that having many children means having a lot of future cadres. To this statement, Zumrotin K. Susilo responded, “Wanting to win elections by disregarding family planning? What if the children choose other parties when they grow up? There is a contradiction between their views and the fact.”

“Even more surprising, they say they practice polygamy because they care for their wives. In order not to bother his wife, he must have another three wives? This is crazy, right? Does he think his first wife is not hurt by his decision? Because he feels bad and sorry for his wife’s condition (illness, etc.), he needs to marry other women? ”

The reason someone is practicing polygamy is because his wife had a baby, or tired, and that is why he is in need of another wife as an expression of affection and a symbol of his understanding to his first wife who had a baby.

“This book, if read by a person who has logical thinking might have caused them to laugh. But this book would be dangerous if read by those who have no logic.” said Zumrotin K. Susilo who had served as Vice Chairman of the Human Rights Commission.

Rumah KitaB Held A Discussion and Film Screening at PBNU

BEKASI [SuaraBekasiRaya.Com] – Rumah Kita Bersama Foundation (Rumah KitaB) an institution of Islamic studies located in Bekasi and supervised by the Deputy Secretary General of the NU, K.H. Affandi Mochtar. On Thursday, June 20, 2013, Rumah KitaB held a book launching, discussion and screening of short films at NU Building, Lt. 8 Jl. Kramat Raya No. 164, Central Jakarta from 13.00 – 16.00. Lies Marcoes-Natsir, the Director of the Rumah KitaB Foundation explained to the press that the agenda of the event were: Preface and Book Launch by Dr. David Hulse, followed by a Short Film Screening. Kartono Mohammad, Zumrotin Susilo, and Abdul Moqsith Ghazali delivered the presentations, while Lies Marcoes-Natsir moderated the discussion.

Lies Marcoes-Natsir explained that these books launched by the Rumah KitaB Foundation are results of the research on “Islam and Women’s Reproductive Rights” conducted by the Rumah KitaB Foundation researchers, such as, Mapping Views and Attitudes on Family Planning (KB)’ in 6 cities: Jakarta, Bogor, Cirebon, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Malang. This study mapped the Islamic group arguments, both pro and cons to the family planning program.

The findings of the court showed that some of the Muslims are against KB based on arguments from various sides: theology, ideology, social, political, and economic. This fact is important to be known by the observers of population, reproductive health activists, religious leaders, academics, women activists, the media and so on.

Based on this study, Rumah KitaB published three books, each of which is entitled: ‘Maping the Religious Views on Family Planning (KB)’, ‘Three Basic KB Rejection among Islam Fundamentalists, ‘Who Said KB is Forbidden? Rejecting the View of Islamic Fundamentalist on the Prohibition of Family Planning ‘.

“We greatly appreciate the willingness of fellow journalists to come in response to Rumah KitaB Foundation’s invitation,” said Ustadz Mukti Ali, one of the foundation’s researchers via cell phone to the SuaraBekasiRaya.Com on Wednesday (19/6) evening. [Tigto]