States in numerous cultural and historical milieus have frequently correlated the stability of the nation with the institution of marriage. In this paradigm, the rights and responsibilities of women within marriage are pivotal, as they are related to the reproduction and constitution of the nation-state itself. Divorced women challenge this relationship between the state and its female citizens. Consequently, the level of women’s access to their rights in divorce may reveal the dominance or otherwise of ideologies of female marital (and therefore civic) obligations. This in turn may shed light on the extent to which state, religious and cultural (male) structures of authority use gender hierarchies to reinforce male political and social power. The New Order construction of a subordinate female citizen has been well documented by feminist scholars. This invites further analysis of the critical relationship between marital rights and obligations and the legitimation of state power. Having established in Chapter 3 that the New Order state actively sought to discourage divorce, particularly if instigated by women, this chapter seeks to uncover how the New Order constructed notions of women’s and men’s rights and obligations in marriage and divorce and what this implied both for the state’s efforts to establish legitimacy and for the broader distribution of social and political power. My study approaches this issue from an historical perspective and, as in all the chapters of this book, seeks to identify whether women’s experience of historical change reveals different milestones to those used in standard political chronologies. This chapter explores discourses of marital rights and obligations through

three major themes: state and Islamic constructions of rights and obligations, and court and litigant uses of these discourses. I investigate these themes in five sections, using a range of sources including newspaper reports, legislation, court records, Islamic tracts and oral history. In the first section of the chapter, I analyse the scholarly literature that has addressed more generalized notions of civic rights and duties, and Indonesian women’s social obligations. In doing so, I wish to highlight important analyses of Indonesian women’s social rights; especially those of anthropologist Norma Sullivan, and demonstrate how this can be applied fruitfully to my analysis of divorce. Second, I wish to understand how the New Order state constructed

and disseminated ideologies of marital rights and obligations, analysed in section two. In particular, how were women’s marital obligations related to their duties as citizens, and how did the discourses of shame discussed in Chapter 3 inform these state constructions of duty? As the state frequently located its prescriptions on gender within cultural and religious frameworks, in section three I ask how marital rights and duties have been constructed within Indonesian Islamic discourses. Here, I do not intend to engage in Qur’anic analysis, but rather am interested specifically in Indonesian interpretations of Islamic law, and how gender operated within these interpretations. This informs my subsequent analysis in sections four and five on court and litigant uses of discourses of marital rights and obligations. Section four asks how women and men used these discourses in court, and how women’s access to their rights changed over time. Specifically, were discourses of wifely obligations used against women by their husbands and by courts, or were women able to manipulate these discourses strategically? Section five uses oral history to examine how women and men from a range of socioeconomic and religious backgrounds understand their marital rights and obligations, and what this might imply about the influence or otherwise of official discourses.