The first discussion of Women Arround the World about Indonesian women was held on July 2010. It started with presentation about Indonesia women presented by Mira-Rochyadi-Reetz who is native Indonesian that moved to Germany. She was worked for Indonesian General Consulate in Frankfurt am Main and right now continues her study at TU-Ilmenau. She presented information about Indonesian women with the title “Women in Indonesia; Between Desire and Reality”. The presentation describes that even though it is open for women in Indonesia to reach any profession they desire, some condition in reality shows that it is still not easy to be acknowledge equal to men. Statistical numbers show that even Indonesian women has as much as education level as man, they still have lower work participation number comparing to man. Furthermore, most of them are working in informal and farming sector which lead to the conditions that women have less income and less recognition for their skills and ability.
Some women stereotypes that widely applied in Indonesian society are believed to be one of main reasons for this condition. Moreover, during Soeharto era in 1966-1998, the government formally regulated that domestic role of women is “God-given” and therefore cannot be changed. Stereotypes that women only in charge on domestic matters are also accommodate by the marriage law which mentioned that a husband is the head of the family and a wife is a housewife that taking care the household. Not only by law, stereotypes that restrict women to be able to maximize their potential also come from some traditions that only acknowledge women’s role home and that women who live their villages before their marriage is not pure anymore. However, most of this traditional stereotype only applied in the villages. Women who lives in big cities enjoy less restriction to get higher education and a better career.
Regardless this condition, attention towards women empowerment has been gaining more and more attention in post new order era (1998-now). It started with the establishment of National Commission on violence against women in 1998 and the reformation of Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child protection within the same year. Furthermore, women position in politics also recognized with the establishment of 30% women quota in the parliament. The good news continued in 2010 when the government stated that all government budget arrangement should be in favor of Women empowerment. This condition is also supported with the increasing number of studies and NGO on women empowerment & gender mainstreaming. Based on those situations, at the end of her presentation, Rochyadi-Reetz stated that even though Indonesia has much homework to increase women condition in the country, current condition shows a promising trend in the future.