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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Female Labour Force Participation and Earnings in Indonesia.
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1987
URL http://www.popline.org/node/355819
Abstract
Labor force participation by women in Indonesia is a problematical subject of research for technical and sociological reasons. The available data are limited to the 1961, 1971, and 1980 censuses, the 1964, 1976, 1977 and 1988 National Socio-Economic Survey, and the 1976 intercensal survey. Women almost always marry, and their housework is not valued in the market sector, so trends are not evident in female economic activity rates. Although younger women are achieving higher educational levels, there is no evidence of increased earnings by more highly educated women. Women's work is not valued, nor are working wives respected, although most widows and divorcees work out of necessity. Rising household incomes have not yet forced the social changes that make women want to leave home to find gainful work. From 1980-1982 720,000 urban women have taken manufacturing or service jobs, because the cash economy in cities requires higher household income. In rural areas employed women are more likely to be in government service or agriculture. In both rural and urban settings, employed women typically are higher educated than male counterparts, and/or have lower incomes for the same work, reflecting the low status of women. Most women work only during the interval between school and marriage. Since the 1970s, female education and qualification have surpassed the available employment opportunities in the modern sector. Only social changes, such increased respect for women and status for the married female worker, will change this situation.

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