It is with deep sadness that AMINEF announces the passing of Fulbright alumna Prof. Dr. Tapi Omas Ihromi boru Simatupang on Sunday, August 5, 2018, in Jakarta, at the age of 88.
Ms. Tapi Omas Simatupang received a Fulbright grant in 1959 to study for a master’s degree in anthropology at Cornell University. She met there another Indonesian student, Ihromi (later Prof. Dr. Ihromi, a renowned theologian,1928-2005) who was working on an MA in Semitic languages at Harvard University The two were married in the US in late 1959.
Dr. Tapi Omas Ihromi returned to Indonesia in 1963. She had a long and distinguished career as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Indonesia, where she had earlier done a law degree and where she later received her doctoral degree in legal anthropology (1978) with a dissertation entitled, “Adat perkawinan Toraja Sa’dan dan tempatnya dalam hukum positip masa kini.” She was known as an expert on adat (customary law) and she wrote and spoke out in many academic and other fora on behalf of the many ethnic minority groups in Indonesia.
She was also famous as one of the pioneers of women’s studies in Indonesia, and was a co-founder of the Women’s Studies Center at UI. She became known by some as the “mother of Indonesian feminist studies.”
Among her many publications are: Antropologi sosial dan budaja (1963); The Toba-Batak kinship system: a preliminary description (1963); The status of women and family planning in Indonesia (1973); Adat perkawinan Toraja Sa’dan dan tempatnya dalam hukum positip masa kini (1981); Peranan dan kedudukan wanita Indonesia: Bunga rampai tulisan-tulisan (co-edited with Maria Ulfah Subadio, 1983); Antropologi dan hukum (1984); Bianglala hukum: Hukum dan antropologi, hukum dan integrasi bangsa, hukum dan kedudukan wanita, antropologi hukum dan polisi, wanita dan kesadaran hukum (1986); “Labour legislation in Indonesia and the legal protection of homeworkers,” in Homeworkers of Southeast Asia: The struggle for social protection in Indonesia (1992); Kajian wanita dalam pembangunan (1995); Bunga rampai sosiologi keluarga (1999); Penghapusan diskriminasi terhadap wanita (ed., 2000). Several festschrift were written by her many students and colleagues in her honor upon her retirement.
Dr. Omas is survived by one daughter and four grandchildren. All of us at AMINEF extend our heartfelt condolences to them. Below is a photograph taken at a reunion of AMINEF alumni in March 2017. In the picture, left to right are former AMINEF director Dr. Abdullah Dahana; current AMINEF director Alan Feinstein; Dr. Rosalia Sciortino of Mahidol University, Bangkok; Prof. Dr. Tapiomas Ihromi; Mrs. Sri Hindarti Dahana; and Fulbright alumna Dr. Erna Dinata, lecturer in social work, UI.
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