Firliana Purwanti, a women’s rights activist in Indonesia, is campaigning to sexually empower women in the majority Muslim-country in order to achieve more gender equality there. Purwanti, who has earned herself the nickname “Orgasm Lady” says that when women are confident enough to talk about what they want in the bedroom, they are more likely to strive for gender equality in other walks of life — and by talking openly about sex, she hopes to inspire discussion on difficult issues such as FGM or virginity tests (for women who want to join the police or military).
“Your body, your sexual pleasure is your autonomy. The state has nothing to do with it,” said the 39-year-old campaigner, who wrote a bestseller in 2010 on the sexual experiences of Indonesian women and is working on a second book about sex and politics. Purwanti wants to challenge her country’s obsession with virginity with her work. Indonesia’s top court is currently hearing a petition asking to outlaw sex before marriage. As an active member of the Democratic Party, one of the nation’s largest political parties, Purwanti is hoping to take her women’s rights platform to the 2019 elections, when she plans to run for Parliament.
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