11 July 2023 | Report

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

Care Economy


This report explores gender disparities in economic participation and unpaid work in Indonesia, focusing on the dynamics of time use, supervisory care, and women’s agency. Using methodologies such as a pilot modular light diary tool and a lab-in-the-field experiment, the study provides valuable insights into the allocation of time between paid and unpaid work and the factors influencing women’s agency and decision-making capabilities in this context.

The research reveals that despite significant economic changes and increased educational access for women, female labour force participation remains substantially lower than men’s. It also highlights the critical role of unpaid care work in shaping these disparities, with findings indicating that women perform a disproportionate amount of unpaid care, limiting their labour market involvement.

These findings underscore the importance of recognising and valuing unpaid care work to promote gender equality and suggest policy interventions aimed at redistributing unpaid work and enhancing women’s agency and economic opportunities.

This report is a collaborative effort by Prospera, the Demographic Institute of the University of Indonesia, International Labour Organization, UN Women, and Statistics Indonesia, with the support of Investing in Women.


  • Women’s labour force participation in Indonesia is lower than men’s, with women often engaging in informal and low-quality jobs.
  • Women, especially those with dependent children, face considerable challenges in participating fully in the labour market due to their disproportionate share of unpaid care work.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic worsened gender inequality in labour force participation due to increased care responsibilities and reduced employment opportunities for women.
  • The report emphasises the need for policy interventions to recognise, reduce, and redistribute unpaid care work to promote gender equality.
  • Recommendations include improving the collection of time use data, enhancing women’s economic opportunities through education and changes in societal norms, and investing in care infrastructure to support women’s participation in the labor force.

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