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Gender Disparities in Wages, Work and Vocational Training in Indonesia

There is are large gender disparities in the work world in Indonesia. These disparities are also present in the vocational education system, and they may ultimately make the government push towards vocational education ineffective.

Work world:
"The wage structure of women workers has increased, [but] it is still significantly lower, 78% of what men make on an average."

"The unemployment rate for women is higher than that of men. In 2009, the unemployment rate for women was 8.47% as compared to that of men at 7.5%."

"There are more job vacancies available for men. This is also one of the main reasons why many women are employed in the informal sector."

Vocational school disparities:

"A majority of the vocational schools in Indonesia that cater to boys offer courses like automotive mechanics, computer software or hardware, while schools that offer courses like catering, fashion designing and office administration cater to girls."

"A majority of girls that opt for vocational education belong to disadvantaged backgrounds and have been forced drop out of traditional schooling due to a variety of reasons including poverty. This gender disparity, largely a result of socio-cultural beliefs, leaves girls with limited options to choose from."

Implications:

"As Indonesia‟s economy grows, there will be more demand for highly-skilled and multi-skilled employees in technical jobs... If vocational education offered to Indonesian youth continues to be plagued with gender bias, there is a possibility that the women belonging to economically-challenged backgrounds will have lesser opportunities to acquire more advanced skills in technical fields."

"This would seriously restrict their employment opportunities to traditionally women-dominated jobs in the informal sector and minimize their employability in the future. While most of these women may still find work, it may not be in the fields that would allow them to better their situations significantly."

"Since the problem stems from the socio-cultural beliefs, one of the main areas of intervention could be awareness generation. Families and girls belonging to economically disadvantaged backgrounds could be educated about the changing trends in employment and economy and about why a technical education would be more valuable in the future."

SFG recommends to "provide opportunities to these girls with technical skills training at vocational schools that work with women.... Counsel them on how to adapt these skills to their cultural environment. For example, repair shops could be set up near their residences."

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Sources:

SFG June 2011, page 14:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_June 2011.pdf#page=14