Gender inequality still haunts Indonesia: UNDP

The Jakarta Post, page 3

In the last 25 years, Indonesia made a remarkable improvement in its human development index (HDI), climbing from 0.528 in 1990 to 0.689 in 2015.

According to the 2016 UN Development Program (UNDP) report on the HDI which uses data from 2015, Indonesia ranks 113th out of 188 countries. The nation’s ranking went down from 110th in the previous report, which used data from 2014, during which Indonesia’s HDI was 0.686.

Despite the progress, Indonesia is not doing a good job in ending gender inequality. Highlighting Indonesia’s gender inequality, the latest UNDP data shows that the HDI value for women stands at 0.660, while the HDI value for men stands at 0.712.

In terms of gender development index (GDI), Indonesia stands at 0.926, trailing behind the Philippines with 1.001. It is worth highlighting that the Philippines trails Indonesia in its overall HDI value, which stands at 0.682.

UNDP Indonesia country director Christophe Bahuet said there were many reasons that caused gender inequality in many countries – social norms, differences of education levels, lack of access to general and financial services and also cultural factors.

Bahuen said the economic structure and political structure [in Indonesia] is still dominated by men. To change them, we have to change perceptions. If gender equity is achieved, the HDI of the whole nation will go up.

The UNDP data shows a wide gap between Indonesian women and men in terms of gross national income per capita, which stands at 6.668 and 13.391, respectively. Moreover, only 50.9 percent of women participate in the labor force, while men stand at 83.9 percent.

However, Bahuet noted that Indonesia’s progress in terms of polices pushing for female empowerment had been good, including polices facilitating better access for women to finance, which could encourage women to run business, generate income and empower themselves in the society.

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