Women’s Parliamentary Representation in Indonesia

Ben Hillman of the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University has a new article with JCA.

His article is titled “The Limits of Gender Quotas: Women’s Parliamentary Representation in Indonesia” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1368092). It examines the ways in which women have been engaged in the relatively new electoral systems of Indonesia.

The abstract states:

The potential for gender quotas to increase women’s parliamentary representation has been the subject of intense scholarly interest around the world. Although, at a global level, quotas are believed to have contributed to a steady increase in women’s share of parliamentary seats, there is significant variation across regions and countries. The conventional wisdom holds that cultural factors are the major constraint on the gender quota’s potential to deliver more seats to women candidates. The Indonesian experience suggests otherwise. Although cultural factors remain a barrier to Indonesian women’s entry to elected office, cultural factors do not explain the rise and fall in women’s descriptive (numerical) representation in parliament over the past two electoral cycles. Findings from this study suggest that institutional factors, notably changes to the voting system and the consequences for campaign funding, present a more formidable challenge to women’s advance in Indonesia’s party and parliamentary politics. These findings should be of interest to students of gender quotas, affirmative action for women in politics and contemporary Indonesia.

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