MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA — The concept of enlightenment, as understood by Muhammadiyah and ‘Aisyiyah, encompasses three dimensions and processes, according to Haedar Nashir, the Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Central Executive Board (PP Muhammadiyah). These dimensions are liberation, empowerment, and progress.
First, although Indonesia has achieved independence and the Women’s Congress I took place over 80 years ago, the need for liberation persists. The situation and culture still become excuses to oppress and discriminate against women regardless of their backgrounds.
Second, Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah empower people, including women, through practical efforts. Achieving liberation requires more than dismantling existing structures; it also involves empowerment to present women and humanity.
“Moreover, our focus is on development by accelerating women’s empowerment initiatives,” said Haedar at the 106th anniversary commemoration of ‘Aisyiyah at Universitas Ahmad Dahlan University on Friday (19/5).
Third, Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah attempts to develop women, so they become progressive women individually, collectively, and structurally. They, later, can play roles in national and global systems.
Haedar, a Professor of Sociology, mentioned the necessity for accelerated progressive development within organizations. Large organizations as Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah are susceptible to a new form of conservatism that arises with their greatness and success.
Indeed, the conservatism may exist in a nation and all aspects of life. It may happen to prominent corporations because they can cope with it.
“They may be trapped by conservatism, feel comfortable, secure, and successful, and do not realize that circumstances have changed and the supporting ecosystem no longer sustains them, so the conditions bring about their downfall,” said Haedar.
Certainly, Haedar does not want Muhammadiyah and ‘Aisyiyah to experience it. Thus, the 106th anniversary of ‘Aisyiyah should become a momentum to reflect and overcome challanges within Aisyiyah.
“For example, if progress is slow or if a fixed mindset prevails, it must be transformed into a dynamic, adaptable, and ultimately progressive mindset,” said Haedar.
Furthermore, Aisyiyah’s role as a pioneering women’s organization in early childhood education should accelerate and transform ‘Aisyiyah Bustanul Athfal kindergartens (TK ABA) to be dynamic and progressive in this second century of Aisyiyah establishment.