TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was met with a surprising encounter during his presence at the 35th International Council of Women (ICW) and the national meeting of One Thousand Indonesian Women’s Organization in Yogyakarta on September 14.
In her welcoming speech, Indonesian Women Congress (Kowani) chairwoman Giwo Rubianto Wiyogo said that the congress was against the local term that often describes women as emak-emak.
“Indonesian women have an existing concept of the nation’s mother since 1953, we disagree with the term emak-emak upon describing Indonesian women, there is only ibu bangsa (the nation’s mother),” said Giwo.
Giwo explained the phrase "the nation’s mother" describes women that bear a respectable task in preparing future generations and shaping them into the country’s superior generation with a militant knowledge of the nation.
“So there is no such term as ‘the power of emak-emak’, sorry,” said Giwo that was followed by the rumble of 2,050 women that attended the event.
Emak-emak is a term more than often used by the Indonesian public to describe mothers, either derogatorily or not.
In response to the statement, President Jokowi agreed with the notion expressed by the Kowani chairwoman and that Indonesian women are the nation’s mother.
PRIBADI WICAKSONO (CONTRIBUTOR)