Women’s Agency in Action: Higher Education and Career Paths for Young Muslim Women in Indonesia

Siti Nur Aisyah


This article is an analysis of narratives of young Indonesian Muslim women to explore their behavior and thoughts on being well-educated women in their chosen career path. It examines women’s thoughts on completing higher education and their lifelong study; whether pursuing a career or being a full-time mom. Having the capability to choose the career they want and implementing the beliefs of Islam’s teaching are attributed as their main responsibilities for being a real woman in this world and hereafter. The biographical interpretive method is engaged in this study to more deeply explain and explore the main idea selected. The research findings show that higher education allows women to become a new version of themselves. Obviously it can be said that education is the key for the next, better, future generations of Indonesia.


higher education; Islamic teaching; women’s career paths; Muslim women

Full Text:



Abidin, Z. (2015). Kesetaraan gender dan emansipasi perempuan dalam pendidikan Islam. Tarbawiyah, 12.

Al-deen, T. J. (2019). Agency in action: Young Muslim women and negotiating higher education in Australia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 40, 598–613. doi:https://doi.org/%EF%BB%BF10.1080/01425692.2019.1576120

Aminnuddin, N. A. (2020). Perceiving university uducation as more important for men than for women: Gender differences and predictors of this perception in Muslim societies. Phsycological Thought, 99-126. doi:https://doi.org/10.37708/psyct.v13i1.392

Carmona, B. E. (2018). Transforming “everyday Islam” through feminism and higher education: Second-generation Muslim women in Spain. CONTEMPORARY LEVANT. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/20581831.2018.1455345

Corbally, M., & O’Neill, C. S. (2013). An introduction to the biographical narrative interpretive method. Nurse Researcher, 21, 34–39.

Ghasemi, M., Badsar, M., Falahati, L., & Karamidehkordi, E. (2020). The mediation effect of rural women empowerment between social factors and environment conservation (combination of empowerment and ecofeminist theories). Environment, Development and Sustainability. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01237-y

Le, K., & Nguyen, M. (2021). How education empowers women in developing countries. 511–536. doi:https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2020-0046

Mendoza, B., Bertran, M., & Pàmies, J. (2021). Feminism, Islam and higher education: towards new roles and family relationships for young Spanish-Moroccan Muslim women in Spain. Race Ethnicity and Education. doi:https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/13613324.2021.1890565

Nakitende, M. G. (2019). Motivation and perseverance of women in education leadership in the United States of America. Journal of Science & Sustainable Development, 75–101. doi:https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jssd.v6i2.5

Niswah, I. D. (2022). Women empowerment and the Islamic perspective: A review. Journal of Islamic Econonomic Literatures.

Novianti, I. (2008). Dilema kepemimpinan perempuan dalam Islam. STUDI GENDER & ANAK, 03, 255-261.

Nurak, L. A., Thoyib, A., Noermijati, N., & Riana, I. G. (2018). The relationship between work-family conflict, career success orientation and career development among working women in Indonesia. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 49-56. doi:10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.42.1006

Prihatini, E. S. (2019a). Women who win in Indonesia: The impact of age, experience, and list position. Women’s Studies International Forum, 40–46. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2018.10.003

Prihatini, E. S. (2019b). Women’s views and experiences of accessing National Parliament: Evidence from Indonesia. Women’s Studies International Forum, 84-90. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2019.03.001

Putra, I. G., Dendup, T., & Januraga, P. P. (2021). The roles of women empowerment on attitude for safer sex negotiation among Indonesian married women. WOMEN & HEALTH, 95-108. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/03630242.2020.1831685

Sanni, S., Adu-Gyamfi, S., Mohammed, A., Yartey, H. T., & Amakye-Boateng, K. (2021). Feminism in Islam: A study of the obstacles of Muslim women political participation in Ghana. African Journal of Gender, Society and Development, 121-140. doi:https://doi.org/10.31920/2634-3622/2021/v10n4a6

Skjortnes, M., & Zachariassen, H. H. (2010). “Even with higher education you remain a woman”: A gender perspective on higher education and social change in the Toliara region of Madagascar. Gender and Education, 193-207. doi:10.1080/09540250902749075

Truehill, M. E. (2022). Black women leaders professional and social experiences in higher education: A review of the research literature. Journal of Research Initiatives. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri/vol5/iss3/3?utm_source=digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu%2Fjri%2Fvol5%2Fiss3%2F3&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages

Yin, Y. (2021). Education and economy—In the perspective of human rights and global economy. Scientific and Social Research, 3(1).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.56529/mer.v1i2.79


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Indexed by:




© Copyright CC BY-SA

Web Analytics View My Stats

Muslim Education Review, p-ISSN: 2829-1867, e-ISSN: 2962-6463