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Legal and spatial ordering in Aceh, Indonesia : inscribing the security of female bodies into law


Schenk, Christine G (2019). Legal and spatial ordering in Aceh, Indonesia : inscribing the security of female bodies into law. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 51(5):1128-1144.

Abstract

This paper analyses the 2008 Expert Hearings during a legal reform of the registration of life events, including marriages and divorces, in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The reform aimed to promote the civil registration of marriages and divorces, but was in tension with the spatial entanglement of traditional law (adat) and the reinvigorated rule of Islamic law (Sharia) alongside the legacies of decades of civil war (1976 – 2005) and the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. While the registration of marriages makes related rights and responsibilities enforceable, the Hearings brought to light that unregistered marriages can result in de facto polygamous marriages, often locally accepted according to village oral customs, without access to state benefits and eligibility to for post-divorce rights. Unregistered marriages are often more prone to domestic violence because of lack of redress and support. The paper argues that the contestation of legal inscription of bodies in the realm of marriages and divorces points to possibilities for an alternative co-production of law and space, which in the long run might increase women’s independence from patriarchal structures. The paper contributes to a feminist legal geography by fleshing out the local-national scalar nature of plural legal orders that shape politics about the female body in post-colonial Muslim contexts.

Abstract

This paper analyses the 2008 Expert Hearings during a legal reform of the registration of life events, including marriages and divorces, in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The reform aimed to promote the civil registration of marriages and divorces, but was in tension with the spatial entanglement of traditional law (adat) and the reinvigorated rule of Islamic law (Sharia) alongside the legacies of decades of civil war (1976 – 2005) and the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. While the registration of marriages makes related rights and responsibilities enforceable, the Hearings brought to light that unregistered marriages can result in de facto polygamous marriages, often locally accepted according to village oral customs, without access to state benefits and eligibility to for post-divorce rights. Unregistered marriages are often more prone to domestic violence because of lack of redress and support. The paper argues that the contestation of legal inscription of bodies in the realm of marriages and divorces points to possibilities for an alternative co-production of law and space, which in the long run might increase women’s independence from patriarchal structures. The paper contributes to a feminist legal geography by fleshing out the local-national scalar nature of plural legal orders that shape politics about the female body in post-colonial Muslim contexts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Religious Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Legal feminist geography, customary law, Islamic law, domestic violence
Language:English
Date:1 August 2019
Deposited On:22 May 2019 09:46
Last Modified:09 Jul 2019 01:02
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1472-3409
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19836119
Official URL:https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0308518X19836119
Related URLs:https://journals.sagepub.com/home/epn (Publisher)
https://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ebi01_prod000018602&context=L&vid=ZAD&search_scope=default_scope&isFrbr=true&tab=default_tab&lang=de_DE (Library Catalogue)
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPMCDP1_155916
  • : Project TitleBiopolitics in Aceh, Indonesia: Sharia, state-building and the negotiation of public authority

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