Gender relations and debates about gender equity figured in the political discourse of the nationalist movement, but aspirations for women sharing in the exercise of power have been difficult to realize. Under Suharto’s New Order, legal instruments seemingly in contradiction with the constitution enshrined women as secondary to men in the household and the labour market (Katjasungkana 1999). The military command structure of the state made political mobilization difficult. The demonization of the mass organization Gerwani as part of the founding myth of the New Order justified the excision of women from politics by crushing independent women’s organizations. By the early 1970s, the state formally organized women into two official organizations, the PKK and Dharma Wanita, and Law No. 5/1975 legislated the maternal-focused participation of women in development and specified the links between PKK and the state to this end. The groups associated with major Islamic organizations, such as MNU, withdrew from politics as they felt intimidated by the political climate, in particular the banning of village-based political activity and the growing identification of Islamic organizations as a principal site of opposition to the regime (Machrusah 2005).