INDONESIA: The Women Scorned

In its first heady days of independence, Indonesia's rallying cry was Merdeka (freedom). Posters quoted the American Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address; President Soekarno compared Indonesia's freedom struggle to the American Revolution. Women proclaimed their equality and demanded emancipation: they organized women's clubs to fight the law allowing Moslem men four wives. Soekarno, the slender and handsome father of his country, seemed the embodiment of the new enlightenment and women sighed mistily when he spoke, which was often. They called him Mr. Merdeka.

In time the posters faded from the walls, Jefferson retreated to the ages, President Soekarno...

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