The Role of Javanese Women in Domestic and Public Spheres: Challenges, Trade Motives, and Parenting Practices


  • Saifuddin Herlambang Department of Science Al-Qur'an and Tafsir, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Pontianak, Indonesia
  • Bayu Suratman Department of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Abdel Kadir Naffati Department of sciences islamiques, University of Ezzitouna, Tunisia



Javanese women, Trade motives, Parenting practices


Purpose –  This study aims to explore the dual role of Javanese women who engage in trade at traditional markets and their role as mothers in parenting practices.

Design/methods/approach – Employing qualitative research with an ethnographic approach, this study gathered primary data from interviews with Javanese women traders at the Karangawen traditional market, who have children aged 0–8 years. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, observations, and documentation. This was followed by a descriptive analysis of the findings.

Findings – The study identifies three main motives for Javanese women trading in traditional markets: self-actualization, economic needs, and the pursuit of independence. Additionally, the study reveals various aspects of parenting practices among Javanese women. These include practices such as bancaan weton lair, weton lair fasting, and infant massage.

Research implications/limitations – The research is constrained to a descriptive analysis, focusing on a limited data set regarding the roles of Javanese women as traders in the public sphere and as mothers in the domestic sphere.

Practical implications – The study highlights the dual role of rural women, who are active in both the public sphere (through trading) and the domestic sphere (through parenting). This dual engagement reflects the multifaceted nature of their daily lives.

Originality/value – The study underscores how culture, economy, and social environment shape parenting practices among Javanese women.

Paper type Research paper


Download data is not yet available.


Abdullah, I. (2001). Seks, Gender & Reproduksi Kekuasaan. Tarawang Press.

Abdullah, I. (2020). Kekerasan: Mispresentasi Perempuan dalam Ruang Publik (Suatu Agenda Penelitian). Jurnal Studi Gender Dan Anak, 7(02), 144-157.

Adamson, Clarissa. (2007). Gendered Anxieties: Islam, Women’s Rights, and Moral Hierarchy in Java. Anthropological Quarterly, 80(1), 5–37.

Alcano, M. C. (2016). Masculine Identities and Male Sex Work Between East Java and Bali: An Ethnography of Youth, Bodies, and Violence. Palgrave Macmillan.

Alexander, J., & Alexander, P. (2001). Women Traders in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Mediating Identities, Marketing Wares. In L. J. Seligmann (Ed.), Markets as Gendered Domains: The Javanese Pasar. Stanford University. Press.

Badger Newman, A., & Alvarez, S. (2022). Questioning boundedly rational frameworks in practice: The case of women entrepreneurs in Kumasi, Ghana. Journal of Business Venturing, 37(4), 106205.

Bensaid, B. (2021). An Overview of Muslim Spiritual Parenting. Religions, 12(12), 1057.

Berridge, S. (2022). The gendered impact of caring responsibilities on parents’ experiences of working in the film and television industries. Feminist Media Studies, 22(1), 1–15.

Brenner, S. (1996). reconstructing self and society: Javanese Muslim women and “the veil”. American Ethnologist, 23(4), 673–697.

Brenner, S. A. (1998). The domestication of desire: Women, wealth, and modernity in Java. Princeton University Press.

Cameron, L., Suarez, D. C., & Rowell, W. (2019). Female Labour Force Participation in Indonesia: Why Has it Stalled? Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 55(2), 157–192.

Creese, H. (2015). Women of the Kakawin World: Marriage and Sexuality in the Indic Courts of Java and Bali. Routledge.

Dewi, K. H. (2012). Javanese Women and Islam: Identity Formation since the Twentieth Century. Southeast Asian Studies, 1(1), 109-140.

Dewitt, S., Jafari-Sadeghi, V., Sukumar, A., Aruvanahalli Nagaraju, R., Sadraei, R., & Li, F. (2023). Family dynamics and relationships in female entrepreneurship: An exploratory study. Journal of Family Business Management, 13(3), 626–644.

Fauziningtyas, R., Indarwati, R., Alfriani, D., Haryanto, J., Ulfiana, E., Efendi, F., Nursalam, N., & Abdullah, K. L. (2019). The experiences of grandparents raising grandchildren in Indonesia. Working with Older People, 23(1), 17–26.

Firmando, H. B. (2022). Sosiologi Kebudayaan: Dari Nilai Budaya Hingga Praktik Sosial. CV. Bintang Semesta Media.

Hadi, Abd., Asrori, & Rusman. (2021). Penelitian Kualitatif: Studi Fenomenologi, Case Study, Grounded Theory, Etnografi, Biografi. CV. Pena Persada.

Handayani, C. S., & Novianto, A. (2004). Kuasa Wanita Jawa. LKiS.

Hayati, E. N., Högberg, U., Hakimi, M., Ellsberg, M. C., & Emmelin, M. (2011). Behind the silence of harmony: Risk factors for physical and sexual violence among women in rural Indonesia. BMC Women’s Health, 11(1), 52.

Hilmy, M. (2018). Towards a Religiously Hybrid Identity? The Changing Face of Javanese Islam. Journal of Indonesian Islam, 12(1), 45-68.

Huda, A. M. (2016). The Identity of Javanese Women(The study of Phenomenology Toward Indonesian Migrant Women Workers). JARES (Journal of Academic Research and Sciences), 1(1), 61–72.

Izzuddin, A., Imroni, M. A., Imron, A., & Mahsun, M. (2022). Cultural myth of eclipse in a Central Javanese village: Between Islamic identity and local tradition. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 78(4), 1-9.

Jayanti, R., Yanuaringsih, G. P., Olivia, N., Jundapri, K., Ariandini, S., & Munir, R. (2021). Determinants of Stunting in Indonesian Toddlers. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, 15(3), 3954-3959.

Jolly, P. M., Gordon, S. E., & Self, T. T. (2022). Family-supportive supervisor behaviors and employee turnover intention in the foodservice industry: Does gender matter? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 34(3), 1084–1105.

Jones, C. (2010). Better Women: The Cultural Politics of Gendered Expertise in Indonesia. American Anthropologist, 112(2), 270–282.

Khuzaiyah, S., Adnani, Q. E. S., Chabibah, N., Khanifah, M., & Lee, K. Y. (2022). A qualitative study on mothers’ experiences attending an online infant massage class: “It is funny! I feel close to my baby!” BMC Nursing, 21(1), 175.

Koning, J. (Ed.). (2000). Women and households in Indonesia: Cultural notions and social practices. Curzon.

Kuntoro, I. A., Peterson, C. C., & Slaughter, V. (2017). Culture, Parenting, and Children’s Theory of Mind Development in Indonesia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(9), 1389–1409.

Kusumaning Putri, D. P., & Lestari, S. (2015). Pembagian Peran Dalam Rumah Tangga Pada Pasangan Suami Istri Jawa. Jurnal Penelitian Humaniora, 16(1), 72-85.

Laksono, A. D., Sukoco, N. E. W., Rachmawati, T., & Wulandari, R. D. (2022). Factors Related to Stunting Incidence in Toddlers with Working Mothers in Indonesia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(17), 10654.

Lestari, K. P., Nurbadlina, F. R., Wagiyo, & Jauhar, M. (2021). The Effectiveness of Baby Massage in Increasing Infant’s Body Weight. Journal of Public Health Research, 10(1_suppl), jphr.2021.2332.

Lestari, P. M., Djatmika, S., & Purnanto, D. (2019). The Structure Pattern of Ngrasani ‘Gossiping’by Javanese Women in Indonesia. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(1), 116–129.

Mashapure, R., Nyagadza, B., Chikazhe, L., Msipa, N., Ngorora, G. K. P., & Gwiza, A. (2022). Challenges hindering women entrepreneurship sustainability in rural livelihoods: Case of Manicaland province. Cogent Social Sciences, 8(1), 2132675.

Mokodenseho, S., & Puspitaningrum, T. L. (2022). Relasi Sosial-Ekonomi dan Kekuasaan antara Rentenir dan Pedagang Pasar Tradisional di Jawa Tengah. POLITIKA: Jurnal Ilmu Politik, 13(1), 41-58.

Muhmad Pirus, M. S., & Nurahmawati, H. (2020). Javanese Women Identity Regarding 3M: Macak-Manak-Masak Values. International Journal of Culture and History, 7(2), 54-68.

Mulyanto, D. (Ed.). (2006). Usaha Kecil dan Persoalannya di Indonesia. Yayasan Akatiga.

Nasir, M. A. (2019). Revisiting the Javanese Muslim Slametan: Islam, Local Tradition, Honor and Symbolic Communication. Al-Jami’ah: Journal of Islamic Studies, 57(2), 329–358.

Nurish, A. (2019). Agama Jawa: Setengah Abad Pasca-Clifford Geertz. LKiS.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Weinbaum, R. K. (2016). Mapping Miles and Huberman’s Within-Case and Cross-Case Analysis Methods onto the Literature Review Process. Journal of Educational Issues, 2(1), 265–288.

Pebrianthy, L., Aswan, Y., Sari Batubara, N., Nasution, A., Siregar, S., & Wari Harahap, Y. (2023). The Effect Of Baby Massage Toward Baby Sleep Pattern: A Quasy Experiment Study. KnE Social Sciences, 8(4), 798–805.

Prawira, N. G., & Putri Hk, A. A. (2023). Batik Dermayon: Expression of Femininity in North Coast of Java. Human Review. International Humanities Review / Revista Internacional de Humanidades, 16(1), 131–146.

Primadhita, Y., Primatami, A., & Budiningsih, S. (2019). Analisis Faktor-Faktor Yang Mempengaruhi Motivasi Perempuan Berwirausaha Online. Jurnal Pengembangan Wiraswasta, 21(2), 81-90.

Priyatna, A. (2013). Negotiating and Rethinking Local Culture: The Narratives of Indonesian Women Juggling Higher Education, Work, and Domestic Roles. Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 19(4), 95–123.

Rahimah, R., & Sukiman, S. (2020). Parenting Patterns and Their Implications for the Development of Early Childhood Social Attitudes. AL-ATHFAL : JURNAL PENDIDIKAN ANAK, 6(2), 135–146.

Ratna Komalasari, R., Atikah, C., & Asmawati, L. (2022). The Relationship between Parents’ Socio-Economic Level and Parenting with Early Childhood’s Moral Development. Al-Athfal: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak, 8(1), 39–48.

Riany, Y. E., Meredith, P., & Cuskelly, M. (2017). Understanding the Influence of Traditional Cultural Values on Indonesian Parenting. Marriage & Family Review, 53(3), 207–226.

Ricca Handayani & Sri Rahayu. (2023). Analysis of Stunting Management Policy: Case of Pandeglang, Banten - Indonesia. East Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2(1), 291–300.

Rinaldo, R. (2019). Obedience and Authority among Muslim Couples: Negotiating Gendered Religious Scripts in Contemporary Indonesia. Sociology of Religion, 80(3), 323–349.

Ristianti, D. H. (2018). Psikologi Lintas Budaya. Zaky Press.

Sabariman, H. (2019). Perempuan Pekerja (Status Dan Peran Pekerja Perempuan Penjaga Warung Makan Kurnia). Jurnal Analisa Sosiologi, 8(2), 162-175.

Schröder-Butterfill, E. (2004). Inter-generational family support provided by older people in Indonesia. Ageing and Society, 24(4), 497–530.

Smith-Hefner, N. J. (2007). Javanese Women and the Veil in Post-Soeharto Indonesia. The Journal of Asian Studies, 66(2), 389–420.

Smith-Hefner, N. J. (2009). Language Shift, Gender, and Ideologies of Modernity in Central Java, Indonesia. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 19(1), 57–77.

Solomonidou, A., & Katsounari, I. (2022). Experiences of social workers in nongovernmental services in Cyprus leading to occupational stress and burnout. International Social Work, 65(1), 83–97.

Sudarso, S., Keban, P. E., & Siti, M. (2019). Gender, Religion and Patriarchy: The Educational Discrimination of Coastal Madurese Women, East Java. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 20(9), 1-12.

Suratman, B., & Arif, M. (2020). Realm of Malay Civilization: Ethnoparenting, Habitus, and Cultural Contestation in Early Childhood Education of Sambas Malay Society. JSW (Jurnal Sosiologi Walisongo), 4(2), 215–230.

Sutarso, J., & Muhibbin, A. (2012). Profil Dan Potensi Ekonomi Perempuan Di Pasar Tradisional Surakarta Sebagai Basis Perekonomian Rakyat. Jurnal Pendidikan Ilmu Sosial, 22(1), 1-9.

Tambunan, T. T. H. (2017). Women Entrepreneurs in MSEs in Indonesia: Their Motivations and Main Constraints. Jounal Of Women’s Entrepreneurship And Education, 1(2), 88-100. :

Triratnawati, A. (2005). Konsep Dadi Wong Menurut Pandangan Wanita Jawa. Humaniora, 17(3), 300-311.

Van Nederveen Meerkerk, E. (2019). Women, Work and Colonialism in the Netherlands and Java: Comparisons, Contrasts, and Connections, 1830–1940. Springer International Publishing.

Van Wichelen, S. (2012). Indonesian Islam in a New Era: How Women Negotiate their Muslim Identities. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13(3), 303–305.

Violin, A. F. T., & Basuki, A. (2023). Application of Java Cultural Values in Parenting in the Modernization Era. International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding, 10(7), 529-535.

Weiss, S. (2006). Listening to an earlier Java: Aesthetics, gender, and the music of wayang in central Java. KITLV Press.

Yahya, M. D., Faizah, A. Z., & Soliqah, I. (2022). Akulturasi Budaya pada Tradisi Wetonan dalam Perspektif Islam. Amorti: Jurnal Studi Islam Interdisipliner, 1(1), 55–67.

Zanhour, M., & Sumpter, D. M. (2022). The entrenchment of the ideal worker norm during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from working mothers in the United States. Gender, Work & Organization, 1–19.




How to Cite

Herlambang, S., Suratman, B., & Kadir Naffati, A. (2023). The Role of Javanese Women in Domestic and Public Spheres: Challenges, Trade Motives, and Parenting Practices. Al-Athfal: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak, 9(2), 153–168.