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Jakarta Post

Female workers lack access to jobs, paid lower

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 28, 2014   /  10:32 am

Women are still largely discriminated against at the workplace in Indonesia.

The Women'€™s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry'€™s deputy minister for gender mainstreaming in economy, Sulikanti Agusni, said on Wednesday that many women in Indonesia were still experiencing employment inequality even though the government ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1984.

'€œIndonesia should pay more attention to women,'€ she said on Wednesday. Agusni said gender equality manifested in access, participation, control and benefit. Any of the four factors left unfulfilled indicates inequality in the workplace or employment sector.

She said men had wider access to employment because many considered women'€™s jobs secondary to their main role as a home maker.

'€œData from the Central Statistics Agency [BPS] and the National Labor Force Survey [Sakernas] from August 2013 said 57 percent of female workers were employed in informal sectors,'€ she said, adding that protection against sexual assault while on the job was also lacking. Agusni cited the banking sector as a job field where a large gap remained between male and female employees. '€œIt is true that banks employ many women, but when those women get pregnant and take maternity leave, the banks often don'€™t ask them to return to work,'€ she said.

Based on the same data from the BPS and Sakernas, the average wage of women working in sectors outside agriculture, was around 80 percent of men'€™s, she added.

The National Development Planning Board'€™s (Bapennas) director for manpower and employment development, Rahma Iryanti, said that in 2013 only 209,512 women held top positions in various sectors, or only 18 percent from a total of 1.1 million workers working at the managerial level.

However, Agusni said that gender inequality could also be felt by men because in the electricity, water, and construction fields, women'€™s wages were higher.

In response to the concerns the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, Women'€™s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry and National Development Planning Board signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen their partnership in reducing gender inequality in workplaces.

The Manpower and Transmigration Ministry'€™s director general for industrial relations and social security affairs, Irianto Simbolon, said that the main purpose of the MoU was to establish an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Task Force at the provincial level as well as district and municipal levels.

He said the purpose of the task force was to ensure that employees received equal rights in terms of quality of working conditions.

'€œCurrently, the task force only exists at national level, and thus does not work effectively,'€ he said. (ask)

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