Empowering women through theater in Indonesia

  • Marianna Lis (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The presence of Indonesian women on stage is ambiguous. On the one hand they are admired for their sexual appeal, seemingly free lifestyle, possibilities of travel and being away from the home and surrounded by men not connected with their family. But on the other hand they come in for severe condemnation and contempt, and their lifestyle “attracts censure in their perceived deviation from the ideal of female modesty and devotion to husband predominant in Javanese conceptions of gender, celebrated in court literary works and everyday folk sayings”. This two-sided image is often defined as something “between that of a prostitute and a film star”.