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Roehana Koeddoes: Google Doodle honoured National Hero of Indonesia

Google Doodle celebrates Roehana Koeddoes (Ruhana Kuddus, or Rohana Kudus), the first female Indonesian journalist, founder of the newspaper Soenting Melajoe, and an activist for women’s emancipation, on November 8, 2021. For her pioneering achievements, the Indonesian government named her a national hero on this day in 2019.

Roehana Koeddoes was born Siti Ruhana on December 20, 1884 in the village of Koto Gadang village (nagari), Agam Regency, in the hinterland of West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies.

After the death of her mother in 1897, Roehana Koeddoes got back to Koto Gadang and became progressively interested in teaching the girls there to learn handicrafts and to read the Quran, regardless of as yet being a child herself.

In 1908, at age 24, Roehana Koeddoes married Abdoel Koeddoes, a notary public, and became known as Roehana Koeddoes. Abdoel Koeddoes was supportive of his wife’s work to educate women.

Roehana Koeddoes’ earliest efforts at a more organized form of education came in 1905 when she made a artisanal school in Koto Gadang.

In February 1911, Ruhana decided to establish a more organized educational society for women, named Kerajinan Amai Setia, with a school aiming specifically to teach girls crafts and abilities past their common household duties, as well as to read Jawi and Latin writing and to deal with a household.

Roehana Koeddoes kept on working in education even while becoming a journalist. In 1916 she was named as a teacher at a school for Indonesians in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra.

In 1913, Roehana Koeddoes went with the Westenenk family to the Netherlands for a chance to work on her education. In the wake of getting back to the Indies she kept on editting Soenting Melajoe.

Roehana Koeddoes died in Jakarta on August 17, 1972, 27 years on the Indonesian Independence Day.

As the first of its sort in Indonesia, this publication directly inspired the advancement of a few other persuasive Indonesian women’s newspapers.

All through her career, Roehana Koeddoes kept on pen articles that urged women to stand up for equality and fight against colonialism, with some accomplishing national recognition. Much appreciated partially to pioneers like Koeddoes, many believe women in Indonesian journalism to be more critical and courageous than ever.

After two years, the regional government of West Sumatra honored Roehana Koeddoes as the first female journalist (Wartawati Pertama). Roehana Koeddoes was likewise awarded as the Indonesian Perss Pioneer (Perintis Pers Indonesia) on 1987 and Star on Service, first Class (Bintang Jasa Utama) on 2007. Since November 7, 2019, the Indonesian government announced her as a National Hero of Indonesia.

On November 8, 2021, Google featured a Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Roehana Koeddoes.

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