A Journey of Social Protection Programme in Indonesia in Doing the Implementation Differently



Social Protection and Mainstreaming Gender Issues While at It


In the context of the bilateral cooperation between the Government of Germany and the Government of Indonesia, the Social Protection Programme (SPP) assists the Government of Indonesia in the development of long-term strategies for a comprehensive system of Social Protection. The collaboration has been reinforced and strengthened during the German-Indonesian Government Negotiations in 2017. SPP has entered a new approach from January 2019 and is part of the priority area “Economic, Social Development and Employment”.


The New Social Protection Programme aims at improving risk coverage and promotes the independent economic existence for the poor and vulnerable, especially women. It amplifies several approaches by contributing to: (a) policy advice on Adaptive Social Protection at the national level, (b) organisational development for better financial services, and (c) inclusive design of employment promotion instruments and reform plans for the vocational education and training sector.


Since 2011, the cooperation between the Indonesian and German Governments – with the support of Social Protection Programme – has made great progress regarding the development of a comprehensive social protection system in the country. Most notably achievements are the conditional cash-transfer which was expanded from one million families in 2011 to 10 million, and approximately 40 million poor people in 2018. SPP has also acted upon the implementation of the Action Plan for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities.[1]


With SPP’s inclusive employment promotion for instance, it is expected that women can be included in all social activities, making strategic decisions in the family, such as sending their children, especially daughters to school and obtained proper degrees. In the long run, more skilful women are expected to be working in formal sector and generate sustainable income.



Featuring Gender in the Social Protection Programme


In achieving its objectives, SPP continues to take a gender-differentiated approach and consistent action to achieve equal rights and opportunities for everyone, especially women.


The conditional cash-transfer for example are targeted to be received by women in the families and to be used for productive purposes such as paying off tuition fees and serving healthy food on the table.


SPP’s success project indicators in the monitoring and evaluation are also designed with the inclusion of at least 50% of women participation when implementing its activities.


The Journey So Far


One effective instrument connecting persons with disabilities to labour market opportunities is through facilitating and integrating them into trade. This model cuts off the boundaries that is usually faced by disabled people. The Social Protection Programme since 2015 has been cooperating with organisations such as BE-DO and Mitra Bali, that have successfully managed and demonstrated their innovative approaches in bringing the market close to persons with disabilities, especially women with disabilities.


Focusing on trainings and workshops provision, BE-DO is one organisation that has been reviving local SMEs following the 2002 terror in Bali. With more than 30 members across Bali, BEDO helps local entrepreneurs set up and implement their social responsibility programmes including promoting job opportunities to persons with disabilities. Mitra Bali, on the other hand, is a certified member of World Fair Trade Organisation, applies the 10-fair trade principles by recruiting disabled people from the neighbourhoods and making sure they get well-compensated for their works to the company, regardless their gender.


Inclusive, gender equal labour market creates an impact where women can generate sustainable income of their own.


Kadek Ayu (42) is native to her hometown, world’s popular tourist destination, the resort island of Bali. She was 12 when she contracted polio. She has to be on wheelchair for mobility and lost the power over her left hand ever since. Bali population is majority Hindu and the local culture is strongly patriarchal. While men continue to be at the family’s helm, the local culture conditions women to be the bread winner in the family.


“Being a Balinese woman, I am aware that I am obliged to serve food on the table. My husband has a job, but making money of my own is big deal to me.”


Ayu was determined to get a job and eventually employed by a wooden sculpture shop which is part of the BE-DO networks.


Bali is economically and socially unique. Despite its tourism-induced flourish economy, some regencies are still very poor with reported 6,000 disabled people live across the island.


Looking at the gender issue in Indonesia, women face more difficulties in general in developing their career compared to men; and this occurs in the disability context as well. In a male-dominated society, a women’s gender role is controlled by a patriarchal system that has infiltrated policy-making.


A study conducted by the University of Indonesia in 2017 showed that disability and income have a negative correlation. The study also shows women with disabilities experience double discrimination. Double discrimination means that they are being are discriminated against on the basis of their gender and on the basis of disability. This double discrimination led many women to a live-in poverty.


Gusti Ayu Suartini (26), a young Balinese woman living with Tourette’s syndrome. Members of Gusti’s small rural community, who do not recognise her illness as a medical disorder, regard her with scorn or pity. Mired in loneliness, Gusti begins to question the meaningfulness of her existence. With all the courage she had, she left her community to create an independent life for herself outside her village.


Rejection presented one to another until one day Gusti met with Agung Alit, the founder of Mitra Bali.


“There were times I just wanted to disappear. I couldn’t find any good reasons why was I born to this world. When I was looking for job, rejections I had were countless until I met Mitra Bali. Turned out my repetitive sudden movements make me an expert at merchandise polishing station.”


Gusti now smiles a lot.

“I send my parents back home some money every month. The people at my village are also nicer to me now. Who knows I might bump to a boyfriend very very soon.”


The Indonesian government currently faces the challenge of providing data on persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities in the workforce. In this regard, the government does not possess data that includes comparative data on payment between women with disabilities and men with disabilities. Also, data on career development for women with disabilities in companies and institutions is not available.


As a reference, Article 45 of Law Number 8/2016 on Persons with Disabilities explains that the “[central] government and regional governments are obligated to guarantee that the recruitment process, job training, work placement, work continuity, and career development are fair without any discrimination against persons with disabilities.”


Notably, Law 8/2016 focuses on equal opportunity and non-discrimination. Therefore, the Indonesian government must ensure that women with disabilities are not facing discrimination on the labour market. Thus, a survey on the situation of women with disabilities needs to be conducted to incorporate the gender dimension in labour market inclusion.



Working Together towards Gender Equality in Labour Market


The Social Protection Programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Government supports the Government of Indonesia in designing the inclusive labour market concept for persons with disabilities in Indonesia. An inclusive labour market will provide better opportunities for person with disabilities – man and women equally – to be actively involved in economic creation which is expected to contribute significantly to Indonesia’s economy growth. Thus, lowering the number of national poverty rate in the long run.


Efforts to reduce poverty can be directed towards acquiring employment. Nevertheless, the provision to access towards productive employment remains a daunting challenge, especially for persons with disabilities.


Abovementioned situation expresses the value of development of the comprehensive study that could provide full picture of women disabilities in Indonesia – from many angles: bottleneck at individual/private and public assumption, to entry the labour market and its challenge to move toward equality and equitable opportunities for women to participate in productive economy.


Therefore, the Social Protection Programme in Indonesia jointly with the implementing partner (National Development Planning Agency/BAPPENAS) is elaborating the new study to portray the situation of women with disabilities in Indonesia in the road to establish the inclusive labour market.


The main objective of the study on the situation of women with disabilities in labour market inclusion is to describe and analyse the situation of women with disabilities in their respective workforce sectors in order to ensure their enjoyment of the right to work and access to funds without any discrimination.


The study will cover issues envisaged by women with disabilities with respect to labour market inclusion such as accessibility of jobs, payment or wage gap, and reasonable accommodations among others.


The study on the Situation of Women with Disabilities in Labour Market Inclusion will be a helping tool for Indonesia’s national institutions such as the Ministry of Social Affairs and the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) to promote the urgency of pushing forward gender equality and equity agenda in the Indonesian law-making processes. The study can also be used by disabled people organisations (DPOs) to advocate for better inclusion in the community by reducing negative stigma and prejudice. An approach that addresses the double discrimination of women with disabilities supports the Government of Indonesia in achieving SDG 1 on no poverty, SDG 5 on gender equality, and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth.

[1] The Social Protection Programme Project Document, January 2019