Women’s rights as workers under CEDAW in Indonesia
The Women’s Rights as Workers under CEDAW report analyses Indonesia’s adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in relation to women’s workplace rights and economic empowerment more broadly in Indonesia.
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the primary international legal instrument that focuses on women’s rights. State parties – which include all Southeast Asian countries – must submit periodic reports on their progress to the CEDAW Committee, which is a panel of independent experts. The Committee evaluates states’ progress in implementing the treaty on the basis of those reports, as well as ‘shadow reports’ provided by NGOs.
CEDAW covers a broad range of concerns from the elimination of discrimination in political life, to equal access to education and healthcare. Gender equality in the workplace is primarily addressed through Article 11, which prohibits discrimination in employment, deals most directly with women and employment. However, several other parts of the Convention also establish rights that are related to women and work generally. Most important among these are:
- Article 3, which is concerned with the advancement of women in political, social, economic and cultural fields;
- Article 13, which requires states to ensure non-discrimination in family benefits and loans; and
- Article 14, which requires states to take into account the particular problems faced by rural women, including their participation in the non-monetised sectors of the economy.
The Government of Indonesia ratified The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, and has submitted four periodic reports to the CEDAW Committee setting out its progress in implementing the treaty.
The report finds that the Indonesian government has been reasonably consistent over time, addressing the issue of workplace rights and conditions in detail throughout its CEDAW reports. The Indonesian reports all refer to the standards established by the International Labour Organisation conventions, and the need to establish adequate rights and protection for women migrant workers, particularly through international agreements.
A striking pattern evident in Indonesia’s responses to CEDAW articles is their focus on the importance of female entrepreneurship. The Indonesian government has highlighted the role of the Indonesian Association of Women Entrepreneurs and has repeatedly emphasised the importance of programs that support women-led micro and small enterprises, particularly through the provision credit. The Indonesian government also raised the theme of the ‘empowerment’ of rural women in small-scale business, and the ‘economic empowerment’ of women in tourist areas.
- Women as workers in The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
- Women and work in Indonesia’s reports
- Themes in Indonesia’s reports to The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women