NEGOTIATING GENDER EQUITY: WEIGHING UP GENDER ROLE REPRESENTATION IN INDIA’S FILM KI AND KA

Ika Rizki Yustisia • Widya Pujarama

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Abstract

Debates on how humankind interacts as a society not often but always related on how gender difference is perceived. As feminism is culture-based, religious and multi- ethnic Asia, including India and Indonesia has its unique outlook. In Indonesia, the number of female workers have been increasing significantly, strengthening the role of women in public domain−after a long period of clear and strict gender division introduced in New Order Era through PKK (Organization for Family Welfare). Nevertheless, it does not necessarily liberate women of patriarchal culture from roles in ‘private’ domain, as a wife and a mother (as the only one role woman can hold).

Those depictions also being represented in Indian controversial film titled Ki and Ka. The film introduces the exchange of gender roles that is contrast with the social construction in India. Same with Indonesia’s context, India is one of the countries whereas patriarchal culture being recognized and institutionalized. The female character (named Kia) is a wife and a career woman at once, while the male character (named Kabir) just being at home doing housework instead of working at public area. The film represents gender equality as a crossover of public (female workers) and private (a devoted wife) role repeatedly orients towards physical appearances as main social capital for women in both social domain. This paper tries to present dialectical dialogue through literature review about the paradox between equality of women in public sector and how does culture interpret domestic works as remain gendered, although gender role exchanges make it possible to negotiate an atmosphere of gender equality.

Keywords: gender role; Ki and Ka; gender equality.

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