- Two Is Enough. Family Planning in Indonesia under the New Order 1968-1998 (review)
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 20, Number 1, April 2005
- pp. 100-104
- View Citation
- Additional Information
100Book Reviews Two IsEnough. FamilyPhnningin Indonesia under theNew Order 1968— 1998. Edited byAnke Niehofand Firman Lubis. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2003. viii, 281 pages. Two Is Enough — the ubiquitous slogan of the Indonesian family planning (FP hereafter) programme — is an apt title for this book, which covers 30 years ofits implementation. The slogan expressed the FP programme's goal to bring down Indonesian fertility to replacement level. While the replacement level target had not yet been achieved, the fertility rate had declined from 5.91 to 2.78. The book has two objectives: "to provide a comprehensive description of the family planning programme" and to "take a closer look at the fertility ttansition" (p. 4) in Indonesia. It contains 12 chapters: the history ofFP from the 1950s to the eatly 1960s (by Solita Sarwono) and from 1968 till 1998 (by Firman Lubis); two chapters by Terence Hull on birth control efforts and the political context; the role of foreign assistance (by David Piet); the involvement of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (by Ninuk Widyantoro); the practice ofFP (byAnke Niehofand Firman Lubis); demographic change (by Gavin Jones); two chapters on the relationship ofFP and women's lives (by Anke Niehof, and by Karen Hardee, Elizabeth Eggleston, Siti Hidayati Amai, andTerence Hull); and the reproductive health agenda (by Nancy Piet-Pelon, Setyawati Budiningsih, and Joedo Prihartino). The editors, Anke Niehofand Firman Lubis, wrote the introduction and a concluding discussion. The comprehensive coverage ofvarious aspects ofthe FP ptogtamme has provided a number ofkey insights: How the government successfully shifted from a pro-natalist (under the then president Soekarno) to an anti-natalist policy (undei the then president Soeharto); the impoitant role played by two very committed individuals: Ali Saclikin, the then governor ofJakarta, and Haryono, the then directot ofthe BKKBN (the National Family Plannning Board). Foreign assistance to the programme provided by the USAID, the World Bank, UNFPA, and the Netherlands also certainly benefited the FP programme. Another key insight is the linking of the policy to reduce population growth to ;:. development Book Reviews101 strategy that combines economic growth with programmes to promote family welfare and to reduce poverty. The contribution by the eatly pioneers of FP, especially from the Planned Parenthood Federation (PKBI), is also acknowledged. They helped to provide contraceptives to women, which was widely used in the 1970s. We also learn about the contested practice ofabortion services (phrased as menstrual regulation), a service that the PKBI had already offered during the 1950s and continued to operate cautiously as abottion was not a recognized way ofbirth control. Other insights gained pertain to the several case studies that eithet integrated FP with health or with an income-raising component; both approaches helped to make the programme and its message to lower family size more acceptable. The fertility transition is widely covered, with two chapters (by Gavin Jones and by Anke Niehofand Firman Lubis) dealing exclusively with this issue. Through careful demographic analysis, Jones points out the difficulty of trying to quantify the impact of the FP programme on fertility decline. This is because other variables, such as economic and social development, also have an impact on population growth. Nevertheless, he also cites the contribution ofFP programme messages that promote marriage at a later age and a small family size as the norm, of linking the FP programme with community development programmes, and of the bureaucratic-military control of the FP programme. In their chapter, Niehof and Lubis also attempt to account for the decline in fertility rate from 5.91 to 2.78 in the 30 years. Their explanations include the decline in infant and child mortality, support by religious leaders, and the increasing female literacy and higher female labour force participation, which had an empowering effect on women, especially in enhancing the negotiating capacity ofwomen vis-à-vis their husbands. Two other factots are the shift in preference for a smaller family size and the availability and affordability, made possible through a "reorganization of political stiuctures, modeled after military structures", of the means to control fertility. Nevertheless, although the book provides a comprehensive coverage ofthe FP programme — indeed abundant information is given about 102Book Reviews its history, goals, context, structure, practice, results, and impacts — it...