The Resilience of West Sumatran Women: Historical, Social, and Cultural Impacts

By Yenny Narny, Ismet Fanany and Rebecca Fanany.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 19, 2016 $US5.00

In 1965–66, an effort by the central government to eradicate the Indonesian Communist Party and its sympathizers resulted in the killing of thousands of people across Indonesia who were suspected of being members of the party as well as others who were associates of known members. The violence witnessed or experienced by those whose family members were targeted was a major force in shaping their later experience. This paper discusses the experience of women in West Sumatra, Indonesia who experienced the events of 1965–66 from a life course perspective and focuses on their efforts to adapt in the following years. Many of these women displayed considerable resilience in overcoming the social constraints that resulted from being labelled a Communist or Communist sympathizer. The paper, based on ethnographic research in West Sumatra, discusses the formation of resilience among these women and describes the ways in which they were able to adjust to the social and historical context in which they found themselves.

Keywords: West Sumatra, Women, Resilience, Communism

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 14, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.43-57. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 19, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 513.238KB)).

Yenny Narny

Lecturer, History Department, Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Andalas, Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Dr. Ismet Fanany

Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Rebecca Fanany

Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia