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World Bank and Gender in Indonesia

Available in: Bahasa (Indonesian)


The Malaysia – Indonesia Remittance Corridor

Jejak Penyintas
Full Report (Bahasa)

PEKKA (Pemberdayaan Perempuan Kepala Keluarga) program is attempting to strengthen and empower women heads of households. The Program helps women in developing their entrepreneurship capacity. More



Indonesia’s performance on gender inequality lags behind neighboring countries. In 2002, Indonesia’s GDI (Gender Development Index) performance ranks 91 out of 144 countries. A combination of women's lower literacy rate of 86% (as opposed to 94% for men), women's fewer mean years of schooling (6.5 years compared to 7.6 years ), and women's smaller share of earned income (38% compared to 62%) contributed to counteract women's advance in life expectancy resulting in the country's lower GDI ranking

Globalisation and decentralisation present both opportunities and further challenges for attaining gender equality.
Overseas migration is one of the largest and growing sources of employment among the rural poor. Overseas women workers are vulnerable to persistent violations of worker rights, such as rape, harassment, cuts in wages and dire working conditions. Decentralization presents an opportunity for women to play a greater role, but it has also indirectly decreased women’s participation in the executives.

Labor force discrimination remains evident across the nation. Only 41% of women versus 73% of men are either working or looking for work. Of those in the labor market, women are more likely to be unemployed than men. Within the formal sector, women receive lower wages. Eighty percent of the difference between men’s and women’s wages is due to the unequal treatment of women. Violence against women remains prevalent. Women are more often the victims of violence than men, and they are also often the victims of violence in regions of civic strife and military conflict.However significant progress has been made towards achieving gender balance in a number of key areas. In the education sector, there has been a steady and impressive improvement in women’s relative educational position over time. In the health sector, impressive progress has been made in reducing the fertility rate which has fallen dramatically from 5.6 births per woman in 1971 to 2.6 in 2000. read more the progress.
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Female Migrant Workers. The migration of Indonesian workers overseas has been going on since the end of the 1970’s. By the 1980’s, female migrant workers outnumber the men. In 2006, out of 680,000 registered overseas Indonesian migrants, more than 79% are women and approximately 88% of these women work in the informal sector mostly as domestic helpers. Parallel to the growing numbers of registered Indonesian migrants, recorded remittances have also dramatically increased from US$ 0.7 billion in 1997 to US$ 4.5 billion in 2006, making it the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue for the country after oil. Despite the direct and indirect contributions they bring, women migrant workers remain extremely vulnerable from the moment they leave their villages, throughout the placement period and upon their return to Indonesia. Their vulnerability includes physical, sexual and human rights abuse, as well as falsifying of documents and the consequent illegal status of migrants.

Women Headed Household. At least six million households in Indonesia are headed by women whose husbands have died, divorced or left them. They include single women with children or unmarried women who are the main breadwinners of their families. More than half of these women breadwinners are from poor families. The situation is worsened by existing social and cultural values in Indonesian society which are not always supportive of women head of households.

Women’s Access to Justice. The reality that women at the grass root level are experiencing various forms of violence and abuse to their rights has caught the attention of a number of community-based programs. With their very limited knowledge of justice, women are disempowered in fighting against values applied by local culture, social norms, and religious dogma; while the state system does not side with them. Several legal issues related to women have been identified, i.e. inadequate access of women to local laws, limited legal training on women’s rights, perpetration of violence against women by law enforcement and police officers and inadequate support to Special Investigation Rooms (RPK) in police precincts.

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Female Migrant Workers Program
Female migrant workers are particularly vulnerable within the migration cycle because of their marginalized position. The plight of female migrant workers is important ; they contribute significantly to the Indonesian economy, and they are finding their own way out of poverty. The World Bank’s migrant program is attempting to analyze various existing issues, and contributes towards the capacity strengthening of relevant institutions. read more

Women Headed Household Empowerment (PEKKA)
The PEKKA program is attempting to strengthen and empower women heads of households. The program attempts to improve their opportunities, capacity and self esteem by organizing groups, providing advocacy support and networking with other organizations. The Program also helps women in developing their entrepreneurship capacity, including the capacity to run small businesses and simple bookkeeping. read more

Women Legal Empowerment (WLE)
Under a program called Justice for the Poor, the World Bank attempts to carry out legal reform at sub-national levels, strengthen community access to laws, empower and provide legal assistance to communities. In line with these, the WLE program aims to create awareness on legal issues related to women at the local level, building law enforcement capacity in conducting gender- oriented legal training and in documenting abuses of women’s rights, especially violence against women.

Marginalized Groups & Women Campaign
Gender inequality remains a challenge in many community-based development projects where women are not beneficiaries of development. Their needs are still not accommodated in development activities. In order to ensure significant and proportional involvement of women and marginalized groups, campaigns are focused on promoting their participation. These include:

  • Training and cross-learning processes
  • Production of information, education and communication materials
  • Presenting awards to the best experiences
  • Monitoring and evaluation.
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World Bank Gender Website

Related Links
The State Ministry of Women's Empowerment

National Commission on
Violence Against Women

(Komnas Perempuan)

Justice For The Poor
PEKKA official Website

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