Mei 29, 2014

Tourism, Development, and Batik in Jambi

Michael Hitchcock & Fiona Kerlogue, "Tourism, Development, and Batik in Jambi", Indonesia and the Malay World, Vol. 28, No. 82, (2000): 221-242.


ATTEMPTS TO promote income-generating activities among the poor in developing countries are often unsuccessful for a number of reasons, not the least being the failure to consider the important of gender awareness in the structuring of programmes. Knowledge of the cultural context when planning and implementing development initiatives, especially with regard to gender relations, is crucial to the success of the scheme being implemented (Van Esterik, 1995). Even when women are targeted in development programmes, insufficient attention may be paid to the existing structures of social relations when formulating policy, resulting in women being bypassed or even made worse off (Whitehead, 1990: 63-64). The introduction of modern technology, such as biochemicals and combine harvesters in rice production in West Malaysia, has also been shown to affect the gender division of labour to the detriment of women (Ng, 1991). Furthermore, when projects design at grass-root level are successful, attempts at scaling-up may alter the nature of the intervention in such a way that the balance of benefits shifts across the gender divide. What also need to be taken into account are the varied cultural context of gender issues. In west Sumatra among the Minangkabau, for example, productivity and resourcefulness are general female characteristics across the class strata, and women are often able to exploit their official status as respected elders in the domestic sphere for commercial venture and financial gain (Karim, 1995: 50). As this paper argues, parallels may be drawn with Jambi. The majority of the people included in this study identify themselves as Malay, though a minority, mainly outworkers, claimed some Arab descent.

This paper presents finding from an evolution of a government-sponsored development initiative in the batik industry in Jambi, Sumatra. The project was designed to raises the income of poorer women and their families through the development of batik skills and the creation of a local market for batik cloth. The programme was initially successful in providing home employment for women, and the number engaged in the batik industry increased from 3 in 1980 to 686 in 1995. This article considers the factors underpinning this success, especially with regard to the effect that existing gender relations had on the programme, and how the programme itself influenced gender relations in Jambi.[]


Full-text is available here.

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