Maria Walanda Maramis | Indonesian Hero Fought for Women’s Rights

Maria walanda maramis

Maria Walanda Maramis

Maria Josephine Catherine Maramis (1 December 1872 – 22 April 1924), commonly known as Maria Walanda Maramis, was an Indonesian warrior. She was recognized as an Indonesian national hero for her struggle for women’s rights in Indonesia at the turn of the 20th century.

Maria Walanda Maramis 1999 Indonesia stamp
Maria Walanda Maramis 1999 Indonesia stamp. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Biography of Maria Walanda Maramis

She was born on the island of Sulawesi. He lost his parents when he was little. He grew up as an orphan with relatives. He studied at a Malay school.

Then he pursued journalism, starting to work with the local newspaper Tjahaja Siang. In his articles, he writes about the importance of the role of mothers in the family, emphasizing that caring for the living conditions and health of the family is the responsibility of the mother. The child’s early education also depends on the mother.

Realizing the need to equip young women with knowledge to improve their role in the family, Maramis and fellow thinkers formed an organization called “Love of a Mother To Her Children” (PIKAT) ) in July 1917, whose goal was to educate women on basic knowledge, literacy, family matters like cooking, sewing, baby care, practical craft skills and much more.

Over time, PIKAT branches and schools that were established spread widely in Indonesia (Batavia, Bandung, Bogor, Magelang, Manado, Surabaya, Cimahi).

Turning to politics, Maramis called for fighting for women’s right to vote during the country’s legislative elections. Her efforts were realized in 1921, when the government allowed women to participate in elections. PIKAT’s work continued with the participation of his daughter.

For his great contribution to the struggle for women’s rights, in 1969 Maramis was recognized as a National Hero of Indonesia.

His nephew was Alexander Andris Maramis (1897–1977), an Indonesian politician. Minister of Finance of Indonesia (1945; 1947-1949). Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (1949).

Right to vote for women in Minahasa

In 1919, a regional representative body of Minahasa was created. Its members are arbitrarily chosen, but elections are scheduled to choose subsequent members by popular vote. Only men have the opportunity to become representatives.

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Maria Maramis then took a stand and defended women’s right to vote to choose their own representatives. Her efforts reached Batavia (now known as Jakarta; at the time called Betawi in Indonesian) and in 1921 the Dutch allowed women to participate in elections.

On December 1, 2018, a Google Doodle honors Maria Walanda and celebrates her 146th birthday.

Makam Pahlawan Maria Walanda Maramis - panoramio
Maramis’ tomb near Manado. Marcky Bolung, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sources: PinterPandai, Pudak Scientific, Google Doodles

Author: JV010ASIH (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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