Who was Kartini?

Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879-1904)

To study! Continuous study!


Kartini was a young aristocrat girl from Java who was involved to improve female rights. She was very keen in supporting the activities to improve living conditions and possibilities for both girls and boys, rich or poor and especially to improve their chances on education. She has worked for this goal with endless energy. The Dutch organization is proud to be named after this very special  lady who is an inspiration for the school/social project in Malang.

Raden Ajeng Kartini was born on April 21st 1879 in Mayon, a small village on Java. With her sisters she had a very good understanding. The three girls were somehow lucky: we were allowed by their father to go to school. In spite of the progressive attitude in the family, there were still traditional values to keep as well. Kartini refused to be treated secondary and also insisted that her brothers and sisters were equally treated.

They cannot take my pen.

At the age of 12, Kartini was considered to have the marriage age. For the years that followed she had to wait for a marriage proposal according to the traditions. In this period she read a lot of books, also Dutch ones. Also she wrote a lot of letters in Dutch in which she describes the faith of the Indonesian women, the fight against arranged marriages and the importance of education for all children.

Give Java brave and intelligent mothers

Kartini was married in arrangement but against all expectations she fell in love with her husband. He was regent of Rembang and dared to criticize the fixed values of that day. He took a lot of initiatives to improve circumstances of his people. After a short period of marriage, Kartini became pregnant. Unfortunately she died 4 days after giving birth to her child, in the age of 25 years. In Indonesia Kartini is still the symbol of feminism. On her birthday, 21st of April, Indonesia celebrates Hari Kartini – national day of women.