21 April 2019
Kartini Day celebrates the birth of Raden Adjeng Kartini, one of Indonesia’s national heroine and first Indonesian feminist. Born on April 21, 1879 into an aristocratic Javanese family with a strong intellectual tradition, Kartini dedicated her life to improving the living conditions of Javanese women whom at that time had low social status while advocating education for young local girls. Kartini’s concerns spanned beyond women’s empowerment; she encouraged women to reach their dreams, attain freedom and obtain legal equality. Kartini’s progressive ideas still ring true in the ears of Indonesian women today. In 1964, she was declared an Indonesian national heroine by President Soekarno, and her birthday is celebrated every year throughout the country as Kartini Day. Kartini died at the age of 25 during childbirth but her vision lives on through the establishment of the Kartini Foundation, which in 1916 opened the first girls’ schools in Java and her book, “Through Darkness into Light”.