Roehana Koeddoes: Pioneering Indonesian Journalist and Advocate for Women’s Rights

Saurav Singh
4 Min Read
roehana koeddoes

Roehana Koeddoes (20 December 1884 – 17 August 1972) was a trailblazing figure in Indonesian history. She is best remembered as the first female journalist in Indonesia, a pioneering woman who fought for the emancipation of Indonesian women through her work in journalism and education. Born as Siti Ruhana, she made significant contributions to her nation’s progress during her lifetime. Her legacy continues to inspire and her contributions have earned her recognition as a national hero, a testament to her dedication to the betterment of her country and its women.

Life & Career

Born as Siti Ruhana, she hailed from a village in Indonesia. Her early life was marked by a thirst for knowledge, and she avidly read Dutch published magazines, gaining insights into European politics, lifestyle, and education. This early curiosity paved the way for her future endeavors.

Koeddoes’s career was characterized by her pioneering work in journalism and education. She broke barriers as the first female journalist in Indonesian history, using her pen to advocate for women’s emancipation and social progress. Through her writing, she championed the rights and welfare of Indonesian women, making a lasting impact on society.

Her career was not without challenges, as she had to resist Dutch colonialism, advocating for her people’s rights and freedom. Her resilience and dedication made her an influential figure in the fight for independence.


Tragically, Roehana Koeddoes passed away in Jakarta on 17 August 1972, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire. Her contributions earned her the title of a national hero, a symbol of courage and determination in the pursuit of a better Indonesia. Koeddoes’s life, career, and the mark she left on her nation’s history are celebrated and remembered to this day

Legacy and Awards

Roehana Koeddoes left a lasting legacy as a pioneering figure in Indonesian history, and her contributions have been celebrated and honored through various awards and recognition. As the first female Indonesian journalist and the founder of the newspaper Soenting Melajoe, she played a pivotal role in advocating for women’s rights and social progress. Her courageous journalism and activism paved the way for greater gender equality in Indonesia.

Koeddoes’s legacy extends to her role as a resolute advocate for the emancipation of Indonesian women, challenging societal norms and Dutch colonial rule. Her steadfast commitment to women’s rights and social justice inspired generations to come, making her a revered figure in the country’s history.


In recognition of her remarkable contributions, Roehana Koeddoes was posthumously honored as a national hero of Indonesia, a testament to her dedication to the betterment of her nation. Her legacy lives on through her writings, which continue to inspire and educate, and her name is celebrated for the path she paved for women in journalism and activism.

While specific awards may not be widely documented, her status as a national hero underscores the profound impact she had on Indonesian society. Her legacy continues to be a source of pride for Indonesia and a symbol of the indomitable spirit of those who fight for justice and equality.

On 8 November 2021, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Celebrating Roehana Koeddoes.

Share This Article