Interview with Kanti Pertiwi, Founder of PhD Mama Indonesia

  • Lily Yulianti Farid The University of Melbourne, Australia


Lily Yulianti Farid interviewed Dr. Kanti Pertiwi, founder of the PhD Mama Indonesia online forum ( Dr. Pertiwi received her PhD from the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne in 2017. She is a mother of three daughters and a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia. She defines a PhD Mama as a mother from Indonesia who is pursuing her doctoral degree overseas, accompanied by her husband and children.

Dr. Pertiwi created the PhD Mama Indonesia forum in 2016 as an online platform for Indonesian female doctoral students to share stories and ideas. As temporary migrants in Australia and elsewhere, these students discuss their shared problems and interests as mothers, wives, and foreign students. The site’s web administrator interviews the members and invites them to write their own stories for the website. Success stories balancing doctoral studies with family life have become the main focus. The digital interaction and connection afforded by the PhD Mama forum highlight the challenges faced by middle-class Indonesian women when their culture, traditional values, and religion influence their perceptions of how to be a good mother and wife while spending four to seven years overseas to pursue an academic career.