Dear Ibu.... we would like to express our innermost feelings,
and especially to Ibu Tien Suharto > because we know that you have great
influence on the wives of other officials .
Dear Ibu.... we are happy that in having an active role in development,
women are no longer bound to the smoke of the kitchen. You,
Ibu, have been active both in encouraging the diligence of your husbands
and in improving your own individual selves. We can observe
this from your activities. You are leaders or members of philanthropic
organizations, of sports associations such as golf, tennis, or badminton
clubs, of art societies, of orchid-growing societies, and of antique-
collecting societies. Most eye-catching of all are your activities
in mutual aid groups, where you can freely discuss everything,
especially matters that have to do with the family.
However, the movement of women out of the kitchen, and the opportunity
to do so, have created in women, including you, Ibu, new needs
that did not exist before. Dear Ibu....it is exactly in the increase of these needs that we see consequences very damaging to the public
We observe certain negative consequences, especially in connection
with the activities of your husbands, who by chance happen to occupy
key positions. While there are positive consequences, too, these relate
to the enjoyment of your own personal lives, while millions of
other women continue to live in want and apprehension.
Dear Ibu.... in talking about the role of women in development
we often also talk about women's emancipation. Emancipation, however,
does not mean that the wife must take part in her husband1's official
functions or that she must exploit her husband's position. It does
not mean that the wife must take part in determining her husband's
policy in matters concerning his office or that she should make use of
the facilities and perquisites to which her husband is entitled. We
feel, too, that there are many other matters related to character and
behavior that can have a negative effect on the activities of her husband.
We say this because in fact we have the impression and we observe
that there are many of you, Ibu, who have gone astray in playing your
roles3 many who have misunderstood the meaning of women's emancipation.
Dear Ibu..... the conditions prevailing in Indonesian society that
have become the target of criticism by us students and some honest
brothers51 consist of the misappropriation of funds, official corruption,
obtuse policy decisions, and the excessive life style of various
officials and their families, who show off their wealth in front of
millions of suffering people, etc., etc.
Forgive us for saying it....but to a large extent these negative
symptoms are caused by your own behavior 3 because you are the wives of
Why....... ? Many of you interfere in your husbands1 functions.
Among you there are those who show off as the Governor's wife, the
Bupati's wife, the Director-General's wife, etc. Many of you are emotionally
involved in the office of your husband and even have a hand
in determining office policy. How would it be if the wife of a doctor
also took part in deciding whether a patient ought to be put in the
hospital or not? We get the same impression when we observe other
ladies whose husbands occupy important positions. Many officials misappropriate
state funds because their wives, due to emotional factors,
demand things that are in fact beyond their husbands' means.
The impulse to be conspicuous, the impulse to show off and to
live luxuriously, the impulse to be greedy, and other irrational
impulses are the reasons why your husbands have deviated from the
proper performance of their duties.
Ibu...... although not all wives act in the way we have outlined
above, nevertheless, observing the reality in society, we are convinced
that you, and especially the wives of officials, are to a large extent
responsible for the decay of our society. Forgive us if we sound too
accusing and if it seems as if we are too unsympathetic towards upper
class women. Nevertheless, it is reality that forces us to state what
we have above. To end our complaints: let us remind you how bad the
situation will be, how chaotic society will be if you do not change
your behavior for the betterment of yourselves as individuals and for
the good of your respective husbands as well.
We appeal to your sense of nationalism, [asking you] to consider
the future of Indonesian womanhood and to raise the status of Indonesian
women. We would be much happier if your support were not limited
to the donation of money or materials but represented a personal commitment
that could inspire Indonesian women to attain a high degree of