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Jakarta Post

Indonesia needs more women in politics, UNDP survey suggests

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 22, 2017   /   10:34 pm
Indonesia needs more women in politics, UNDP survey suggests All ready: House of Representatives members are pictured inside the House building. (Tempo/-)

Greater participation of women in Indonesian politics, in terms of their presence on legislative bodies, is key to the country’s efforts to close the gender inequality gap, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has said in its latest Human Development Index (HDI) report.

According to the 2016 report, which uses data from 2015, the participation of Indonesian women in legislative bodies remains low at 17.1 percent, slightly more than half of the 30 percent quota for women in legislative seats. In the Philippines, the percentage of women participating in the country’s parliament stands at 27.1 percent. 

"We need to discuss more on how to take affirmative action in this matter [...] If we can overcome gender inequality, our HDI position will go higher," UNDP Indonesia Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adviser Ansye Sopacua said on Wednesday.

(Read also: Indonesia still struggles to close gender equality gap: UNDP)

The 2016 report shows that the HDI for Indonesian women stood at 0.660 while the index for men stood at 0.712. In terms of the gender development index (GDI), Indonesia stood at 0.926, lagging behind the Philippines at 1.001.

Ansye highlighted that the implementation of existing public policies advocating gender inequality should be improved to realize Indonesia's commitment to SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The government should also create more public policies that could improve women’s chances to participate in business and empower marginal people, as well as social assistance to provide employment in order to build resilience in human development, she added. (ebf)