Women’s local political representation in Indonesia

Women political representation Sally and Ed PSC


What explains variation in levels of women’s political representation at the local level, and how much does it matter?

This project investigates these critical questions by examining Indonesia’s third tier of government: the country’s 508 districts. There is massive variation in women’s representation in legislatures at this level. Despite a compulsory female candidate quota of 30 percent, women make up 30 percent or more of members in only 26 of the 508 legislatures; they are less than 5 percent in 66 legislatures, including 25 which have no women at all. Unlike many countries, women’s political representation at the local level (averaging just over 15 percent) is significantly lower than in the national parliament (21 percent), and it is increasing more slowly at the local than national level too. Economic development, education, and other social factors partly explain this variation. Women’s varied access to resources and networks, and the domination of old boys’ politics, are even more important.

Lead researcher 
Dr Sally White

Other contributors 
Professor Edward Aspinall 
Dr Nurul Nurhandjati (University of Indonesia)
Dr Sri Budi Eko Wardani (University of Indonesia)
Dr Adrianus Hendrawan

Research brief
Why good women lose elections in Indonesia?