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The Gender Pay Gaps in Indonesia

What’s in this article

The wage gap, which reflects a lack of equal pay, adversely affects female employees in Indonesia. Women earn much less than do men in most of the country’s companies and industries.

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Definition of the Wage Gap

The wage gap is a statistic which is primarily used to measure women’s earnings relative to those of men in any particular nation. The wage gap can be used to compare the earnings of women against those of men so that any instances of wage discrimination can be discovered. Globally, men are paid approximately 16.1% more than women. However, the exact figures differ between countries.

Indonesia’s Wage Gap

According to the latest statistics as published by the Gender Development Index of the United Nations, the average man who works in Indonesia earns approximately US$14,385 every year, while the average woman who works in Indonesia earns approximately US$7,259 every year. This means that the average man in Indonesia is paid 98.2% more than is the average woman. One possible reason for this fact is misogyny on the part of male employers which leads them to act in a discriminatory manner against their female employees. However, some experts believe that the pay gap disparity does not necessarily imply that women are paid lesser than men because of misogyny and discrimination but because of the lower number of women working at higher-paying positions, which in turn leads to the average salary of women in the country to be lower.

However, the wage gap in Indonesia is narrower than those of several other notable countries. Some countries with a larger wage gap include Turkey at 120.3%, South Korea at 118.4%, Mexico at 106.7%, Bosnia at 105.3%, and Argentina at 100%.

Industries in Indonesia with the Largest Wage Gaps

Different industries will have different wage gaps. Such wage gaps may depend on the number of women in more senior positions or the technicality of the jobs in which women are prevalent. Certain industries, however, are known for having larger wage gaps than others; such is also the case in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, the industry with the largest wage gap is the financial industry; this includes insurance companies as well as banks and other financial institutions. Civil service in Indonesia also has a large wage gap, as do jobs in law, engineering, science, technology, and healthcare.

One major problem lies in the fact that even in companies in Indonesia which are mostly staffed by women, the wage gap is still extremely evident. This is because even though such companies primarily employ women, most of the senior positions in the company as well as the industry in general are typically held by men instead of women. This causes the average wage paid to men who work in Indonesia higher than the average wage of their female counterparts.

How Women’s Organizations in Indonesia Have Been Addressing the Wage Gap

The women’s organizations of Indonesia have been at the forefront to fight for the gender equality in the country. Such is also true with regard to gender equality in the workplace. As has been mentioned, the average male employee in Indonesia earns 98.2% more than his female counterpart. Therefore, these organizations have continued to fight for gender equality and equal employment opportunities for all women in the country.

It is only fair and just that men and women alike who work at the same company under the same conditions and perform similar functions are earn the same amount of money without any wage disparity caused by gender discrimination. As such is not the case in Indonesia, women’s organizations must advocate for equality in wages received by women.

Equal chances of promotions ensure that the women have equal chances as those of men with regard to pay raises through promotions. When there are equal chances for women and men in a company to occupy higher managerial positions, the wage parity of the company will increase. A company with similar numbers of women and men in higher-ranking positions will thus have a reduced wage gap.

There are companies which do not employ as many women as do others. As a result, the women’s organizations have advocated for the two-thirds gender rule. This rule states that no more than two-thirds of the employees in a given company should be men. This will in turn cause more women to be hired to positions which allow them to be paid just as much as their male counterparts, thus reducing the scope of the gender wage gap in Indonesia.

Unfortunately, some employers harbor misogynistic sentiments. They incorrectly believe that women are not fit to work in certain jobs even though such is clearly not the case. This erroneous notion that there are certain industries and companies in which women should not work is frequently challenged by the women’s organizations of Indonesia. The lack of female employees in such companies exacerbates Indonesia’s wage gap.

How the Indonesian Government Has Attempted to Address the Wage Gap

The Indonesian government understands that there is a wage gap in the country which needs to be addressed. The government understands that the contributions of women to the country’s economy serve as a significant boost to the country’s economic well-being. Therefore, the government has attempted to reduce the wage gap in several different ways.

The Indonesian government encourages women to engage in business activities which they are able to manage. When women engage in such business activities, their overall salary will increase; this would therefore lead to an increase in the average wages received by women in Indonesia.

The government has also begun to offer equal opportunities to women in the civil service as well as equal pay for those working in the same industry, at the same level, and with the same duties. The Indonesian government has thus been attempting to narrow the wage gap which currently exists between the men and women of the country.

The government has created laws which enable women to work and comfortably take maternity leave when there is a need for them to do so. It is necessary for women who work in Indonesia to work in favorable conditions. Doing so will improve their performance on the job and thus allow them to avoid suffering any premature termination of their work duties.

The Indonesian government advocates for female workers to ensure that gender equality is upheld in all of the country’s industries and companies. It has been working to keep pace with the rest of the world in the eradication of gender discrimination. It has also attempted to ensure that the rights of Indonesia’s female employees to equal pay is fulfilled, though such has to date proven to be contrary to the reality of the situation.


Gender discrimination and the wage gap are not only important issues in Indonesia. They are global problems which must be solved in an appropriate manner. Therefore, the Indonesian government must work together with companies and industries so as to find better ways to reduce the wage gap by creating laws for the benefit of Indonesia’s female employees. In this way, not only would gender equality in the workplace be promoted, but the country’s economy would also reap many benefits.

The Wage Gap in Indonesia FAQs

How powerful is the glass ceiling in Indonesia?2020-04-02T16:44:31+08:00

The glass ceiling is fairly powerful in Indonesia. This is evidenced by the fact that women in Indonesia seldom take a leading managerial position compared to their male counterparts with similar qualifications. Such is especially true in the private sector. Today, women in Indonesia occupy approximately a quarter of all managerial positions in the country, thus providing evidence of the strength of the glass ceiling in Indonesia.

How prevalent is gender discrimination in Indonesian workplaces?2020-04-02T16:44:16+08:00

The most prevalent form of gender discrimination in the average Indonesian is gender-based violence. Many women in Indonesian workplaces face challenges in this area on a frequent basis. Some incidents of gender discrimination go unreported while others come to public notice. Some other forms gender discrimination include physical assault or violence, sexual harassment, payment below minimum wage in some informal sectors, and even demands for sexual favors for money. These are several of the ways in which women in an Indonesian workplace might face gender discrimination which their male counterparts who work in similar conditions will not usually face.

How does Indonesia’s wage gap compare to those of other countries?2020-04-02T16:42:47+08:00

The pay gap in Indonesia is relatively large; the average man working in Indonesia earns almost twice the amount earned by his female counterpart. According to the Gender Development Index of the United Nations, other countries with a similar income ratio between men and women when compared to that of Indonesia include Cuba, Argentina, Tajikistan, and Fiji.

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