Women Research Institute

Promoting women leadership and inclusive,
gender-based, and sustainable natural resource governance

Indonesia is a country where more than 88% of its 260 million citizens identify themselves as Muslims (International IDEA, 2000, page 241) which makes it the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world. However, since its independence in 1945, Indonesia has been ruled by secularized government. In the era of Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, Indonesia was led by left-leaning government until 1967. After that, Suharto created and ran a right-wing authoritarian government until he was forced to resign from his position in May 1998. Even though this country was once ruled by a cleric, his government did not implement Islamic Sharia as a legal and ideological basis.

The study case was conducted in nine regions in Indonesia namely Aceh, Solok, Sukabumi, Tasikmalaya, Samarinda, Kutai Barat, Kendari, Bali, Mataram, and Kupang.


“The Beijing Platform for Action includes a detailed set of recommendations to all sectors of the local and international communities to enhance women’s political participation and decision-making.” (Karam, 1998, pg.1)


It is interesting to look at Banda Aceh’s Qanun (Law) No.7/2000 on the procedures for the selection of village headman (kepala kampung). It will become even more interesting when we read article 8 paragraph (1) of the third chapter on the requirements to be Geucik (a village headman). There are 14 requirements for Geucik candidates and there is one point that requires the candidates to, “Be able to take the role of imam in a prayer”. At the same time, in Islamic law as well as in general perspective, only men are allowed to be the imam in a prayer when the worshippers are both men and women. Women, on the other hand, are not allowed to act as imam for men in a prayer. With this requirement, women have no chance of becoming Geucik and at the same time, this requirement affirms that the concern about authority that neglects women is not unreasoning. It can be interpreted from the selection of Geucik that women experience discrimination. This also shows that with the implementation of local regulation, local patriarchal values gain more strength, thus closing public sphere for women.

Since 2011, WRI has been part of the Network of Pro-Women’s National Legislation Program (JKP3) in monitoring the Gender Equality and Equity Bill (Gender Bill). JKP3 is a civil society network concerned in women’s issues and policy advocacy. The Gender Bill is one of the pro-women legislation agenda that is being fought for and currently under talks of the Legislative Body (Baleg) DPR-RI to be harmonized. The process is expected to be completed by DPR-RI period 2009-2015 while adhering to the principles of eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women.

The Law on Regional Autonomy made in 1999 has enabled local government to independently decide on its political policies and financial administration. Considering the need of mainstreaming gender issues in local policies, the government of Indonesia has issued laws and regulations, as well as included the urgency of gender mainstreaming in the GBHN (State Guideline) of 1999.
This research is an initial attempt to evaluate the implementation of gender mainstreaming policies in laws and regulations made by local governance. The research on laws and regulations made in 10 cities or regency in Java, Sumatra, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, is to be conducted in two phases: the first phase is the qualitative reading of local regulations using feminist research methodology and the second phase is the evaluation of the impact of local regulations on the society through in-depth interviews. The first phase is completed and the second phase is being designed according to the findings from the first phase.

WRI Annual Programs Report (January - December 2006)

In 2006 WRI had finalized its research activity on “The Impact of Gender Budgeting Advocacies in Six Regions in Indonesia”. Besides attain the data, WRI also provides capacity building, especially towards the executive and legislative at the local level of the six research areas. The research result at the moment is in the final stage of editing and lay out. It is hoped that the book on “The Impact of Gender Budgeting Advocacies in Six Regions in Indonesia” will be published and launched August 30, 2006.

Latest Publication

  • Women’s Leadership Training Module

    The Women’s Leadership Training Module is a guidebook based on a series of capacity building for women’s leadership held by Women Research Institute (WRI) in five selected areas, namely Padang, Deli Serdang, Mataram, Pekanbaru, and Jakarta. This is a follow-up from WRI’s 2012 research titled “Feminist Leaderships in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia in Influencing Social Movements and Its Correlation to the Improvement of Women’s Prosperity: A Case Study in 5 Regions.”  The research findings...

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