Using a ‘traffic light’ color scheme, learn about a country’s performance relative to the other focus countries for each individual SDG. Each square on an individual SDG line represents the performance of a country, with the selected country (i.e. Indonesia) being the larger square. Click on a country square on any SDG line to learn about the related indicators and their score!

Gender Equality Context in Indonesia

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and has one of the highest literacy rates in Asia (females 93.59% and males 97.17%). The country has put in place a number of laws, regulations and programmes that provide support to girls and women, including the Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN), one of the world’s largest national health insurance programmes. This currently provides free healthcare to almost 3/4 of the population and has included significant investments to reduce maternal mortality.

Legal barriers in some key areas, however, coupled with a patriarchal culture and religious conservatism, continue to prevent girls and women from fulfilling their rights. Tax and inheritance laws, for example, discriminate against women and legislation to protect women against sexual harassment and domestic violence is weak or goes unenforced.

According to the 2016 Women’s Health and Life Experiences Survey, one in three women aged 15-64 years in Indonesia reported that she had experienced physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime. Women also face legal barriers and discrimination in the economy: at 51% in 2017, Indonesia’s female labour-force participation rate was well below that for males (around 80%) and lower than average for countries at a comparable stage of development.

According to a recent studythe main drivers of low female labour force participation in Indonesia are marriage, having children under the age of two in the household, low educational attainment (below upper-secondary and tertiary levels) and a changing economic structure that has seen a decline in the sector of agriculture as a result of migration from rural to urban areas, in particular.

Plan International, Equal Measures 2030
Plan International

Key findings

What does the SDG Gender Index tell us about the profile of gender equality for each country?

Areas of strong performance
  • SDG 1 on poverty: Indonesia scores well, with just 11% of the population living below the national poverty line in 2017 and social assistance having reached 76% of the poorest 20% of people in 2015.

  • SDG 4 on education: Indonesia had the lowest rate of girls who are ‘over-age’ for their year in primary school (2.5% of female students in 2016, compared with 15% in Colombia in 2016). It also ties with Colombia for female literacy, with 94% of women having basic literacy skills in 2016.

  • SDG 5 on gender equality: Indonesia ties with Kenya for the highest score on SDG 5. This is driven largely by a relatively low reported rate of child, early and forced marriage among the focus countries. In SDG 5, Indonesia also performs well on the indicator about women in senior positions in the government in 2018.

  • SDG 17 on partnerships:  Indonesia’s tax system was judged to be the most progressive among the six countries studied in 2015, and it led the group for the openness of its gender statistics in 2017. However, it could do more to raise its commitment to gender budgeting.

Areas for improvement
  • SDG 8 on work and growth:  Indonesia had the highest ratio of women to men recognized as “contributing family workers” in 2017, reflecting that vulnerable employment (often unpaid) makes up a much higher proportion of employment for women than it does men.

  • SDG 10 on inequalities: Indonesia had the weakest commitment to gender equality in its national Constitution (tied with El Salvador) in 2017.

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030
Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

EM2030 Partner in Indonesia

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

KAPAL Perempuan

With support from Equal Measures 2030, KAPAL Perempuan is building a data-driven advocacy movement to ensure the achievement of the SDGs with a focus on issues related to child marriage and education. The project gathers data and undertakes influencing in three key geographic areas (Lombok, Gresik and West Sulawesi) and is strengthened through cooperation and dialogue with grassroots women’s groups, multi-stakeholder networks, and government at national and regional levels. To date, KAPAL Perempuan has influenced the district governments to issue a circular letter supporting the prevention and elimination of child marriage.

KAPAL has also had significant engagement with national bodies including Bappenas and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection and with the President’s office to secure commitments to achieve a 12-year compulsory education program, decrease the maternal mortality rate, break the poverty chain, prevent trafficking in women, and increase human resources to achieve the SDGs.

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Equal Measures 2030 Partners