11 July 2023 | Report

Piloting the Measurement of Time Use, Supervisory Care and Women’s Agency in Indonesia


This report is a collaborative effort between Prospera, Investing in Women, and the University of Indonesia. The study utilized time use surveys and attitudinal questionnaires to collect data on unpaid care work and women’s decision-making abilities regarding their time use. The pilot study aims to assist in the integration of a time use module into Indonesia’s regular labor force survey for future data collection efforts.


Key findings from the pilot study include:

  1. Women’s labor force participation in Indonesia is lower than men, with women often engaging in informal and low-quality jobs.
  2. The Covid-19 pandemic worsened gender inequality in labor participation due to increased care responsibilities and reduced employment opportunities for women.
  3. Women perform significantly more unpaid care work than men, affecting their participation in paid labor markets and overall economic opportunities.
  4. Attitudinal barriers, such as societal norms, impact women’s agency in deciding to work for pay and sharing domestic responsibilities with men.
  5. Improving communication and negotiation between spouses can increase both men and women’s preferred hours of training for income-earning activities.


The study suggests several measures to address gender disparity in unpaid work and enhance women’s economic opportunities, including investing in education, promoting campaigns to challenge gender roles, developing a care ecosystem, and collecting comprehensive and accurate time use data for evidence-based policy-making.


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