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Jakarta Post

In local politics, gender gulf remains

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, August 26, 2020   /  07:24 pm
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An activist holds up a women’s empowerment poster during a demonstration in Thamrin, Jakarta, on March 8.(JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Indonesia has long sought proportional gender representation in politics, but women still make up less than 10 percent of regional leaders, and those who have managed to reach positions of authority continue to face disproportionate obstacles, a recent study has shown. Cakra Wikara Indonesia (CWI), a gender and sociopolitical research group, studied women’s leadership in five local administrations in Indonesia. They found that female leaders tended to focus more on issues of inclusivity and basic services, such as health and education, than their male counterparts, who often saw these areas as "insignificant", particularly to the interests of their political parties. The five administrations studied were East Java and its four regencies and cities: Grobogan, Jember, Surabaya and Batu. Female leaders also tended to push for changes to the culture of state bureaucr...