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Jakarta Post

Indonesia still struggles to close gender equality gap: UNDP

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 22, 2017   /   09:09 pm
Indonesia still struggles to close gender equality gap: UNDP Equal rights: US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan (right, wearing brown batik shirt) attends the International Women's Day celebration at Hamadi Beach in Jayapura, Papua, on Tuesday. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

The latest Human Development Index (HDI) report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says Indonesia is still struggling to close its gender equality gap.

The 2016 report, which uses data from 2015, shows the HDI of Indonesia women is 0.660, lower than the index for Indonesian men, which is 0.712. In terms of the gender development index (GDI), Indonesia is at 0.926, coming behind the Philippines, which is at 1.001.

UNDP Indonesia country director Christophe Bahuet said multiple reasons had led to gender inequality in many countries. Basically, the inequality was linked to social norms, differences of education levels, lack of access to general services and to financial services and cultural factors.

“I think the economic structure and political structure [in Indonesia] are still dominated by men. To change them has to do with changing the perception. If gender equity is achieved, the HDI of the whole nation will go up,” Bahuen said after the report was released on Wednesday.

The UNDP data shows a wide gap between Indonesian women and men in terms of gross national income per capita, which is 6.668 and 13.391 respectively. Only 50.9 percent of women participate in the labor force, compared to 83.9 percent of men.

Still, Bahuet noted that Indonesia's progress in terms of policies to push for women's empowerment had been good, including those that facilitated better access for women to credit, which could encourage women to run businesses, generate income and empower themselves in society. (ebf)