Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity, and Development

Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity, and Development

Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity, and Development

Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity, and Development


In 2001 Indonesia appointed its first female President - Megawati Sukarnoputri. This book explores gender relations in Indonesia and presents an overview of the political, social, cultural and economic situation of women.


H.E. Mr Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia

The role of Indonesian women in shaping the very fabric of our society is integral to the history of our nation. The struggle by Kartini to promote women’s rights in education in the early 1900s and the holding of the first women’s congress, Kongres Perempuan, in Yogyakarta on 22 December 1928, as well as many other women’s activities in the following decades, have exemplified their contributions in building our society.

In 1952, shortly after independence, Indonesia ratified the UN Convention on Political Rights for Women through Law No. 68/1958. This law gives Indonesian women the right to vote and to be appointed to the legislature. It also assures women’s right to assume any position in the government. The general election laws, No. 15/1969, No. 4/1975, No. 29/1980 and No. 3/1985, allow women to participate actively in the political arena and ensure women’s right to participate in the decision-making process in Indonesia.

The ratification by the government of Indonesia of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women’s Convention) by Law No. 7/1984, and of the Optional Protocol to the Convention in 1999, has added to the sanctity of the rights of Indonesian women to share in the development of the nation.

The ratification of these conventions obliges the government to adopt measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. In keeping with both the letter and the spirit of the conventions, the government established a National Commission on Violence against Women on 15 July 1998, on the basis of Presidential Decree No. 181/1998 and with reference to the Women’s Convention. The objectives of this commission include promoting public awareness of all forms of violence against women. It is also intended to create a conducive environment for the elimination of violence against women, to defend the human rights of women and to improve preventive measures pertaining to the elimina-

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