Quotas and Decentralization (Indonesia)

Over the past decade, the Government of Indonesia has taken steps to enhance the participation of women in public office. One element of the strategy is decentralization, promoted under the slogan, "local autonomy for people empowerment and welfare." Support for gender mainstreaming was proclaimed and in 2003 an election law prescribed that 30% of political parties' candidates be women. A recent amendment to the law extended the 30% rule to decision-making posts within parties.

However, real commitment to affirmative action for women - as well as its effect on policy - remains uncertain. Although there has been general compliance with the quota for women candidates, fewer than 10% of the members of the national parliament are women and this percentage declines significantly at the provincial and district levels.

This project will investigate the root causes of weak participation of women in government despite legislative attempts to increase it. Researchers will examine internal party policies and mechanisms that tend to create or break down barriers to women. They will also address the question of how women's representation has or has not resulted in more equitable distribution of public assets to areas of particular concern to women.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

End Date

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


18 months

IDRC Officer

Alma, Eileen

Total funding

CA$ 280,100


Far East Asia, Indonesia, Central Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Dr. Sita Aripurnami


Women Research Institute (WRI)

Institution Country


Institution Website