Marriage, Gender and Islam in Indonesia
Women Negotiating Informal Marriage, Divorce and Desire
By Maria Platt
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
This book explores how women deal with the realm of marriage in Lombok, eastern Indonesia. It draws on women’s narratives of their marital trajectories, recounting their stories of courtship, marital discord, and experiences of divorce, remarriage and polygamy. In this part of Indonesia, which is strongly Islamic, up to seventy per cent of marriages are informal and unregistered, legalised only under Islamic, not state, law. The book examines the consequences of this, which include the fact that in Islamic law divorce can only be initiated by a man, whose pronouncement of divorce is final and binding, and the fact that women divorced in this way from unofficial unions lack the legal rights available to those whose marriages are formally registered by the state. The book outlines how women cope with the difficulties which arise as a result of this situation.
1. Introduction 2. Spontaneous love, spontaneous marriage 3. Marital mayhem: Extramarital relationships and desire 4. Perceptions of polygamy: Threats and realities 5. Male marital authority: Dissolving the marital tie 6. Female power: Initiating separation and divorce 7. Conclusion
Maria Platt is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore.