Indonesia Making Slow Progress Towards Gender Parity: WEF

Indonesia has climbed to 88th place on the global gender gap index, having closed 68 percent of its overall gap, the World Economic Forum said in a report on Wednesday (26/10). The WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2016 ranks 144 countries in general and in four major areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

A similar figure appears in health and survival, where Indonesia rose from 88 to 58, but only achieving a 7 percent improvement. Although the country has made it to the top ranking for having closed the gender ratio gap at birth, it is not seen as a significant achievement, as most countries have done the same. The gap has also been completely closed for tertiary education enrolment, although the overall educational attainment is still 2 percent away from reaching gender parity.

The report shows that a lot of work must still be done on the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity. The overall percentage has remained unchanged for a decade, yet the country’s ranking fell from 67 to 107. The same applies to the rest of the world, as the WEF found that “progress towards parity in the key economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap – which stands at 59 percent – now larger than at any point since 2008.”

By taking a closer look however, Indonesia has fully closed the gap for the number of professional and technical workers.

Above all, the area that appears to require the most attention, is political empowerment. Scoring only 16 percent, it has the furthest distance to parity compared to other areas. There are only 17 women in parliament and 23 in ministerial positions, in contrast to 83 and 77, respectively, for men.

The WEF estimates that it will take 170 years to reach gender parity in the economy, given the slowdown in progress since 2013. This has been caused by imbalances in salaries and labor force participation, despite the fact that, in 95 countries, women attend university in equal or higher numbers than men. The decline is caused by several factors, such as income. According to the WEF, women around the world earn just over half of what men earn.

Another reason is stagnant labor force participation with the global average of 54 percent for women. A low number of women in senior positions toughens the challenge for gender equality in the workplace. On the contrary, education and health have become the two most progressive areas. The education gender gap has largely been closed 95 percent, while 96 percent of the gap in health and survival has been closed.




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