Being Ridiculed, Prof. Rachmah Ida Be First Professor on Media Studies in Indonesia

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UNAIR NEWS – In 1997, Media studies has not been popular yet in Indonesia. Compared to Public Relations studies, media studies included in communication study was not very popular among students. But it did not discourage a ‘kartini’ from Communication UNAIR, Prof. Dra. Rachmah Ida, M.Comms, PhD, a lecturer of bachelor and master program of Communication Science UNAIR to study doctorate in Australia.

There were obstacles for Rachmah Ida to determine her choice continuing her study on media studies. She shared her story as she was in her master program in Edith Cowan University, Australia, she was ridiculed by her colleagues as her chice of study was deemed unpopular in Indonesia.

“I was ridiculed by my seniors as my study, media cultural studies, was deemed unpopular in Indonesia, and I just remained calm,” recalled the woman who had her doctorate in Curtin University of Technology, Australia.

But now, media industry is developing and communication science education is turning to media cultural studies. When media studies are blooming, many people are interested in media studies. Her colleague’s prediction did not happen. She made up her minds to propose for professorship on media studies in December 2014 and she made it to be the first professor on media studies in Indonesia.

“When I proposed for my professorship, media studies was my major among communication science lecturers in Indonesia which mostly took communication studies,” said the woman who is still active in research and community service.

Besides being active in research and education, she was also a mother for her daughter, Zahra Tiara Aisya,19. Even though she is busy with her research and teaching her students, Rachmah Ida always be attentive to her daughter. She has brought her up with her husband until she is at college now.

“As a mother for my daughter, I nurtured and guided her faith, as well as be her best friend,” said the woman from Surabaya.

Gender Equality Meaning

In her opinion, gender equality is a concept where human rights are possessed by women and men. These rights include right to live, right to education, proper jobs, right to choose and be chosen in politics and other human rights.

“So far we do fight for women, as women are often unfortunate in cultural construction and socio-political in the society,” she said.

Rachmah Ida regretted many women get different wage or income from the men in public professional field and other things which the women’s rights were not considered.

“So gender equality for me is to give proportional rights fairly to women and men,” she said.

Furthermore, she also complained about public jokes which lower the gender equality such as men can go up the house to repair it, so the women can do it too.

“I am sad when the knowledge on equality between women and men was used a joke, even in the academic,” she said.

She hoped that in the future, Indonesian women will have similar opportunity to get complete education through community study groups. They can make women smarter and also more creative and active so their voice is heard. Women should be able to articulate their importance and should not be represented by parties which work on behalf of women but they actually do not fight for them.

“I want Indonesian women to have dignity and self determinism to show their identities, either as mothers, wives or anything they want to have freely without being attached to other social and cultural subjects,” she said.  (*)

Author : Dilan Salsabila
Editor : Nuri Hermawan

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