Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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The Dilemma and Marginalization of Female Porters in Pabean Surabaya Market
Miranti Dwi Yuniarti

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-07-01


Female porters are one of the marginalized groups in Indonesia. Marginalization occurs in many places in Indonesia, and it makes people gradually considers marginalization as a natural phenomenon. Female porters in Pabean Surabaya market also have the same case. They have been marginalized by others, but they do not realize it. Marginalization can happen because of various factors. Some of the factors are they do not know their own rights, patriarchal culture, stereotypes for different ethnic and gender groups, etc. This paper analyzes the dilemmas and kind of marginalization faced by female porters in Pabean Surabaya market. The method used in this study is qualitative. Data were collected by direct observation and in-depth interviews with six female porters and other related informants such as Head of Pabean Surabaya Market, market staff, merchants, and market customers. The results suggest that female porters have some dilemmas related to their work, such as insufficient income for daily needs, social pressure from working groups and other people, double burden as housewives, and limited capacity, which forces them to work using physical strength only. At the same time, they also are marginalized by other people by getting different treatment. They do not have the right to negotiate their wages with customers which makes the income incommensurate with their hard work, given the wage differential between female porters and male porters, people often look down on them, and they do not get any facilitation that can support their work. Marginalization not only happens externally, but also internally among the female porters themselves. They have to fit into the groups, otherwise other female porters will bully them by ignoring them or asking for money.

Keywords : dilemma, marginalization, female porters