Kate Rigg on Kartini

“She not only did the radical thing, she made sure people knew she was doing it.”

Actor/comedian/writer Kate Siahaan Rigg tells the riveting story of a young Indonesian woman, Raden Adjeng Kartini, who changed the fate of girls in her country, though she died before age 25. Born into an aristocratic family Kartini had the advantage of learning to read, but this didn't save her from the cultural practice of isolating girls before marriage. During her confinement she read widely and became a published author as a teenager, speaking out against polygamy and for the right of girls to be educated. Once married and allowed back into society, Kartini founded schools for girls, now called Kartini Schools. She was the first to speak up publicly for women's rights in Indonesia and her birthday is still celebrated there as Kartini Day. Listen to Kate Rigg's funny and emotional telling of this national heroine.


Kate Rigg

Artist Activist Kate Siahaan-Rigg is a graduate of the Juilliard School drama division. Her solo shows on the Asian American Experience have toured the world and she is a frequent host for events from the Kennedy Center to Harvard University to the GMHC to the ACLU to The Dolores Huerta Foundation Center for Peace and  Justice. She is the creative director for the nations only diversity film festival hosted by the disability community and is a frequent speaker on race and representation. @kateriggnyc on insta

Featured Woman


Raden Adjeng Kartini was a prominent Indonesian national hero from Java. She was also a pioneer in the area of education for girls and women’s rights for Indonesians. She took an interest in mysticism and opposed polygamy. Her advocacy for the education of girls was continued by her sisters. Kartini Schools were named for her and a fund established in her name to fund the education of girls. Her birthday is now celebrated as Kartini Day in Indonesia.