Dewi Sartika (4 December 1884 – 11 September 1947) was the leading figure and pioneer for the education for women in Indonesia. She founded the first school for women in Dutch East Indies. She was formally acknowledged as a National Hero by the Indonesian government in 1966.
Dewi Sartika was born to Sundanese noble parents, R. Rangga Somanegara and R. A. Rajapermas in Cicalengka, on 4 December 1884. As a child, after school she often pretended to be a teacher while playing with her friends. After her father died, she lived with her uncle. She received an education of Sundanese culture while under his care, while her knowledge of Western culture was passed on to her from the wife of a resident assistant. In 1899, she moved to Bandung.
On 16 January 1904, she founded a school named Sekolah Isteri at Bandung Regency's Pendopo which later was relocated to Jalan Ciguriang and the school name changed to Sekolah Kaoetamaan Isteri (Wife Eminency School) in 1910. In 1912, there were nine Sekolah Kaoetamaan Isteri in cities or regencies in West Java (half of the cities and regencies), and in 1920 all of cities and regencies had one school. In September 1929, this school changed its name to Sekolah Raden Dewi.
She died on 11 September 1947 at Cineam, Tasikmalaya while she was evacuating from Bandung due to independence war.
Her name Dewi Sartika is known as the street that was the place of her school. She was awarded the Order of Orange-Nassau at the 35th anniversary of Sekolah Kaoetamaan Isteri as a tribute to her service in education. On 1 December 1966, she received Heroine of the National Movement title.
In 1906, she married Raden Kanduruhan Agah Suriawinata, a teacher at Sekolah Karang Pamulang.