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Indonesia Gender Equality Program

Indonesia Gender Program

  • The World Bank Gender Equality for Growth Program is an analytical and advisory program that aims to support the Government of Indonesia through recommendations for reforms and investments that close gender gaps and promote economic growth. The program generates evidence and identifies cross-cutting solutions to address gaps between men’s and women’s economic participation. It is anchored in the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2021-2025 that highlights Gender as a cross-cutting theme in four engagement areas, as well as in Indonesia’s Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024.

    Labor Force Participation

    Indonesia’s female labor force participation rate is comparatively low, around 53 percent in 2021, and has remained unchanged for over two decades despite structural changes to the economy, gains in education, declining early marriage rates, and lower fertility. In addition, the gap between men and women in labor force participation rate is one of the largest in the region at around 30 percent.

    The Indonesia Country Gender Assessment (CGA) conducted in 2020 found that while Indonesia is actively looking to improve competitiveness and create jobs through different labor market policies and programs, many of these efforts present inherent bias, contributing to occupational sex segregation and channeling women into lower productivity and lower-paying jobs. Women own about 60 percent of Indonesia’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), but they are overrepresented among micro enterprises, and their growth aspirations are hindered by lower access to credit and markets than male-owned businesses. 

    Care Economy

    As Indonesia moves toward middle-class jobs and growth of manufacturing and services sectors, the work-care nexus is becoming a constraint to women’s ability to seek paid work. The scarcity of affordable and quality childcare services prompts many women to stop working outside the home. To meet the unmet need for family care, many women drop out of the labor market after marriage and childbirth, and only return as small-scale entrepreneurs or self-employed workers.

    According to a recent World Bank study, if Indonesia increased public expenditure on childcare services to 0.5 percent of its GDP from its current share of 0.04 percent, the female labor force participation rate would increase to 58 percent and the economy would grow by an additional $62 billion or 0.7 percentage points. Supporting investments in the care economy can deliver long-term human capital gains for future, as well as leading to improvements in employment and the earnings of women, improvements in firm productivity, and job creation.

    Gender Engagement Strategy

    The World Bank is implementing the Gender Engagement Strategy to raise awareness about gender gaps in Indonesia and to inspire action toward addressing gender gaps in labor markets and beyond. The strategy uses a variety of engagement tools and platforms to generate discussion with members of government, civil society, academia, and the private sector.

    The series of high-level events and advocacy campaigns include Women in Leadership Panel Series, Women in the Workplace Series, and Investing in Childcare. With an intended aim of bringing together influential women figures across the public and private spheres, the series elevates women’s leadership journeys by fostering authentic conversations on the various pathways to success for women in the labor force.

  • News

    Indonesia Gender Program

    Not all that it seems: narrowing of gender gaps in employment during the onset of covid-19 in Indonesia


    Our analysis shows the entry into employment among females is primarily driven by workers with less than a high-school education, residing in rural areas, and working as casual workers or unpaid family workers in the agriculture sector. 

    Indonesia Gender Program

    How investing in childcare drives economic growth for Indonesia


    In the last 20 years, Indonesia’s female labor force participation rates are relatively low and have remained unchanged. Learn how Indonesia would benefit from greater public expenditure on childcare services.

    Indonesia Gender Program

    What’s holding Indonesian women back? Understanding the social norms that limit girls’ ambitions in the world of work


    Many girls still need to be assured that having a successful career does not preclude the possibility of also having a family and being a good mother and that their choices will be supported by their partners, parents, and communities


    Women in Leadership Series: Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Experiences from Women Leaders.

    March, 2022

    In order to support the Government of Indonesia close key gender gaps for greater economic growth, the project initiated engagement and outreach activities. The first series is taking part in celebrating International Women’s Day 2022 and brings together respected female figures across various fields and sectors to discuss topical issues relating to gender equality, including women in leadership.

    Indonesian Women in the Workplace: Overcoming Barriers to Success.

    July, 2022

    In this second series, Indonesian Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziyah provides a keynote speech. The event continued with a panel discussion of women leaders to explore their leadership journeys and the various pathways they have undertaken to overcome existing societal and workforce barriers. In partnership with SWA Media, this webinar will foster a dialogue on how the next generation of women can have a brighter future through better policies that actively encourage the participation and leadership of women in the workforce.

    Investing in Childcare: Encouraging Policies to Support Indonesian Women’s Participation in the Labor Force

    October, 2022

    As an official G20 Women Empowerment side-event of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (MoWECP), this webinar convenes multi-sectoral leaders across the public, private, development partners, and civil society spheres to discuss how institutional policies, such as childcare provision, can enhance female labor force participation rate and address existing constraints for women’s economic pursuits.

    Strengthening the Ecosystem for Women in the Workforce: Inclusive Corporate Workplace Policies in Indonesia.

    February, 2023

    Watch our Webinar, which will discuss implementing inclusive workplace policies in supporting increased female labor force participation.

    Women in the Technology Era: Bridging Digital Services for Business Growth.

    March, 2023

    The webinar on International Women's Day (IWD) is collaborating with Women's World Banking and presented leaders from the government, private sector, development partners, and the community to discuss digitalization to encourage the growth of women's businesses.

  • Gender norms in Indonesia

    Leveraging Women’s Views to Influence Gender Norms around Women Working : Evidence from an Online Intervention in Indonesia

    This paper looks at the influence of social norms that drive behavior with women’s participation in employment.

    Gender norms in Indonesia

    Changing gender norms around women’s work: Evidence from an online intervention in Indonesia

    This policy note summarizes the findings of an online survey that sought to measure the extent of support for women with children working outside the home for pay.

    Indonesia Gender Program

    Indonesia Country Gender Assessment 2020: Investing in Opportunities for Women.

    This report reviews the current status of gender equality and women’s issues in Indonesia. It provides an evidence base for the Indonesian Government on specific actions and priority responses needed to close gender gaps to drive the country's growth and human capital potential.

    Indonesia Gender Program

    Economic Gains from Investing in Childcare : The Case of Indonesia

    Investments that unlock women’s employment and support human capital attainment can bring additional growth gains to Indonesia. Current rates of female labor force participation in Indonesia are relatively low by regional standards and have remained largely stagnant for two decades. Indonesia’s uneven childcare provision for early years misses an opportunity to bring a double dividend of growth through higher levels of female labor force participation, as well as boosting long term human capital. This policy note estimates the impacts of increased public expenditure on childcare services to the Indonesian economy.

    Indonesia Gender Program

    Indonesia Economic Prospects (IEP), June 2021: Boosting the recovery

    The Indonesia Economic Prospects (IEP) is a bi-annual World Bank report that assesses recent macroeconomic developments, outlook and risks, as well as specific development challenges for the Indonesian economy. In doing so, the IEP aims to inform the public policy debate and is geared towards a wide audience, including the general public, the government, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other domestic and international stakeholders.


    Not All That It Seems: Narrowing of Gender Gaps in Employment during the Onset of COVID-19 in Indonesia

    This paper studies the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indonesia’s labor market by exploiting the exogeneous timing of the pandemic in a seasonal difference-in-differences framework. The analysis uses multiple rounds of Indonesia’s National Labor Force Survey from 2016 to 2020 to establish a pre-pandemic employment trend and then attribute any excess difference in employment outcomes from this trend as the estimated effect of the pandemic on individual employment outcomes. The results suggest that the pandemic has had mixed effects on the Indonesian labor market. While the pandemic has narrowed the gender gaps in employment participation through the “added worker effect” among women, it has also lowered the overall employment quality among both gender groups.


    Caring for Children and Firms?: The Impact of Preschool Expansion on Firm Productivity

    Childcare services enable women who were previously unable to work due to taking care of their children to join the labor market. If some women are more productive in market work, rather than unpaid household work, the availability of childcare can potentially improve the allocation of talent across different occupations, triggering an increase in productivity. This paper tests this hypothesis using a survey of manufacturing plants and data on preschool expansion in Indonesia. The analysis relies on a triple difference estimation comparing plants in sectors with different degrees of female labor at baseline.


    Preschool Availability and Women’s Employment: Evidence from Indonesia

    While a large body of literature has documented positive impacts of institutional childcare on maternal labor supply, thinner evidence is available on whether childcare can also nudge women into better jobs in developing countries. We evaluate the impact of public preschool expansion in Indonesia on women’s labor supply and characteristics linked to the quality of their employment, including employment types, earnings, and hours. The findings are likely explained by the modality of preschools in Indonesia: operating for only 3 hours per day, they are unlikely to enable women to secure a paid job outside the home with longer time commitments.


    Maternal Work and Children’s Development: Examining 20 Years of Evidence

    Maternal work may affect children positively through increased household income, higher control of mothers over available income, and expansion of maternal information networks through work contacts and greater decision-making power of mothers as they become more economically empowered. However, maternal work may reduce maternal time spent with children. If maternal time is not substituted for time of equal quality by other caregivers, children’s development may be penalized. Stress associated with work may also decrease the quality of parenting. This review summarizes causal evidence on the relationship between maternal work and children’s development. The majority causal studies find positive or 0 impacts of maternal work on children’s development.




    From Webinar


    Sri Mulyani, Minister of Finance

    Sri Mulyani, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, made an analogy that the left shoe must be the same as the right shoe, such as the equality of women and men so that life can run harmoniously.

    Indonesia Gender Program

    Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste

    Satu Kahkonen explains how to increase the number of women workers and leaders.

    Indonesia gender video

    Australian Ambassador Penny Williams

    At the World Bank Women in Leadership webinar, Australian Ambassador Penny Williams emphasized the importance of men's involvement in women's empowerment efforts since men are part of the solution.