Who Wears the Hijab? Predictors of Veiling in Greater Jakarta
Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. In contrast to much of the Middle East, veiling in Indonesia is neither a deeply rooted cultural practice, nor it is universally practised among Muslim women. Just 30 years ago it was rare to see an Indonesian woman wearing a hijab or veil. Today, veiling has become a relatively common practice, particularly among middle-class Muslim women living in urban areas. Although statistics on the prevalence of veiling are scant, the fact of growing use of headscarves is widely accepted in the literature. This paper examines sociodemographic correlates of veiling among young women in the capital region of Indonesia. We analyse a representative sample of 1443 Muslim women aged 20–34 in Greater Jakarta in 2010. About 26% of the women surveyed wore the veil. We found a moderately strong association between veiling and other measures of religiosity, including self-reported subjective religiosity and frequency of reading religious texts. Our multivariate analysis suggests a positive association between educational attainment and the likelihood of veiling among young Muslim women. In discussing these findings, we draw upon the qualitative component of our study and the literature on Islam, gender, and modernity in Indonesia. The paper highlights the difficulty encountered examining the practice of veiling as a binary choice, and as a measure of religiosity.
KeywordsIndonesia Veiling Hijab Islam Education Women
The Greater Jakarta Transition to Adulthood Study is funded by the Australian Research Council (DP0881776 and DP130104445), and the Ford Foundation.
- Ali, M. 2005. The rise of the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) in contemporary Indonesia. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 22(1): 1–27.Google Scholar
- Amrullah, E.F. 2008. Indonesian Muslim fashion styles and designs. ISIM Review 22: 22.Google Scholar
- BPS-Statistics Indonesia. 2013. Population Census 2010. http://sp2010.bps.go.id/. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- Candraningrum, D. 2013. Negotiating women’s veiling: Politics and sexuality in contemporary Indonesia. IRASEC Occasional Paper No.22. Bangkok.Google Scholar
- Deeb, L. 2011. An enchanted modern: Gender and public piety in Shi’i Lebanon. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Fealy, G., and S. White. (eds.). 2008. Expressing Islam: Religious life and politics in Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
- Feillard, A., and P.A. van Doorn-Harder. 2013. A new generation of feminists within traditionalist Islam: An Indonesian exception? In Islam in Indonesia: Contrasting images and interpretations, eds. Jajat Burhanudin and Kees van Dijk, 139–160. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Göle, N. 2003. The voluntary adoption of Islamic stigma symbols. Social Research 70(3): 809–828.Google Scholar
- Hamdani, D. 2008. The quest for Indonesian Islam: Contestation and consensus concerning veiling. Canberra: The Australian National University.Google Scholar
- Hasbullah, M. 1999. The making of hegemony: Cultural presentations of the Muslim middle class in Indonesian New Order period. PhD Thesis: The Australian National University.Google Scholar
- Heryanto, A. 1999. Identity politics of Indonesia’s new rich, 159. Asia: Culture and privilege in capitalist.Google Scholar
- Heryanto, A. 2011. Upgraded piety and pleasure: The new middle class and Islam in Indonesian popular culture. In Islam and popular culture in Indonesia and Malaysia, ed. A.N. Wientraub, 60–82. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Jones, C. 2016. Images of desire: Creating virtue and value in an Indonesian Islamic lifestyle magazine. In Islam, marketing and consumption, eds. Jafari Aliakbar and Özlem Sandikci, 120–140.Google Scholar
- Kwok, Y. 2014. The World’s most populous Muslim nation is about to decide its political future. Time, July 8 2014. http://time.com/2964702/indonesia-election-2014-joko-widodo-jokowi-prabowo-subianto/.
- Nef-Saluz, C. 2007. Islamic Pop culture in Indonesia: An anthropological field study on veiling practices among students in Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta. Arbeitsblatt Nr. 41, Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern, Bern 2007.Google Scholar
- Parker, L. 2008. To cover the aurat: Veiling, sexual morality and agency among the Muslim Minangkabau, Indonesia. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 16: 5–20.Google Scholar
- Warburton, E. 2006. Private choice or public obligation?. Sydney: The University of Sydney.Google Scholar