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Jakarta Post

More Indonesian women in labor market, fewer in politics: Gender Gap Report

  • Devina Heriyanto
    Devina Heriyanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 2, 2020   /   11:37 am
More Indonesian women in labor market, fewer in politics: Gender Gap Report Women demand gender equality at work during a protest in front of the Presidential Palace on Dec. 22. (JP/Donny Fernando)

Indonesia is closing in on its overall gender gap, according to the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index. The country ranks 85th out of 153 countries, scoring 0.700 -- which it shares with the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.

The index, published by the World Economic Forum earlier this month, measures gender gaps based on 14 indicators across four subindexes, which are economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. The score ranges from 0.00 (imparity) to 1.00 (parity). 

Indonesia's score of 0.700 represents a 0.01 increase from 2018. On a global scale, all countries are also doing better than last year, scoring 68.6 percent compared to 68 percent.

"All things being equal, the overall global gender gap can be closed in 99.5 years," states the report.

However, there is a wide range across regions. For instance, Western Europe is the closest to gender parity with 54.4 years to go while East Asia and the Pacific region -- to which Indonesia belongs -- is a distant 163.4 years away to achieving gender parity.

Indonesia has been closing the gap on all subindexes since the report was first published in 2006. The country does particularly well in four indicators, ranking first on each: the sex ratio for legislators, senior officials and managers, enrollment in secondary education, enrollment in tertiary education and the sex ratio at birth.

However, despite the report applauding Indonesia for improvement in its economic participation and opportunity subindex, the country retains a wide gap in its labor market and income, ranking at 115 and 116 respectively. 

Only 54.3 percent of Indonesian women are participating in the labor market compared to 83.9 percent of men, resulting in a 0.647 ratio. This is slightly different than the numbers in Statistics Indonesia's August employment report, which found women's participation in the workforce at 51.89 percent against men at 83.13 percent.

The index also shows that Indonesian women earn only half of the men's estimated income, with a 0.505 ratio. When it comes to wage equality for similar work, Indonesia is doing better, ranking at 51 in the world. For the wage equality indicator, Indonesia has a 4.85 ratio, with 7 being the best on the index.

Political empowerment remains a big challenge for both Indonesia and many other countries globally, as the subindex reveals the largest disparity among all the others. Despite its good score in the number of women among legislators, senior officials and managers, Indonesia ranks 105 for its 21 percent ratio of women in legislatures, below the global average of 25 percent. This year, Indonesia had its first woman become speaker of the House of Representatives. However, the country has never attained the 30 percent target of female representation in the House.

The sex ratio for ministerial positions in Indonesia is at 23 percent, higher than the global average of 21 percent during President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's first term. The current composition of Jokowi's cabinet for 2019 to 2024 only has five female ministers, meaning the ratio is only 14 percent.

The report notes that as many as 85 countries out of the 153 in the index have never had a female head of state over the past 50 years. To date, Indonesia has had only one female president: Megawati Soekarnoputri. (evi)