Published: 08/03/2013

This year, women all over the world celebrate the 100 years of commemorating Women’s International Day (March 8). Many events and activities are take place around the globe to celebrate the achievement of women. In order to celebrate the 100 years of Women’s International Day, this year theme is about Access to Education which highlights that gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to the global mission in achieving equal rights and dignity for all. 


According to what has written in President Post (October 2, 2010) in Indonesia, women have enjoyed better education access and quality. The ratio of women to men enrollment in primary and secondary education was 93.3 in 1991 and rose to 97.9 in 2006-2007. Data from the National Socio-economic Survey showed that women participation rate in education for those aged between 7 and 12 years old reached 97.7% in 2006. However, illiteracy rate in women aged above 15 years old reached 11.61% compared to only 5.44% in men. These figures tell us that women’s education in Indonesia still problematic. In terms of enrollment, the percentage seems high. Yet, the small increase of percentage in literacy indicates that numbers of women to finish their school is not yet high.

Improved gender equality in Indonesia has contributed to wider women access and participation in the country’s development as reflected in the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM). Human Development Report (HDR) 2007-2008 put Indonesia’s GDI at 0.721, up slightly from 0.704 in 2006. The figure indicates better women access in development, especially in education, health and economy. Despite the improvement, the achievement is still pale compared other countries in Southeast Asia. Indonesia’s position is only slightly higher than Myanmar and Cambodia.

These achievements really related to how many women able to be part of the decision making process to improved the access of women to education. However, in order to see the real picture of access and participation we have to really delve by looking at three factors. Those factors are the presence of women, followed by the representation of women and the influencing capacity of women. Women will able to produce regulations that may improve their education by really working on these three factors. By doing so, the number of illiteracy may really be eradicated. ***