Equality and discrimination in Indonesia

  • Workers of PT Tesena Inovindo, Indonesia

  • Vocational training in Timor-Leste

Discrimination is the root cause of much inequality. It may take people more vulnerable to exploitation, instability and forced labour. Discrimination in respect of employment and occupation means distinguishing between people and treating them unfairly based on characteristics that are unrelated to the requirements of the job. The stages at which discrimination manifests itself – or is felt – can be divided into three broad areas. The first is unequal access to training or vocational guidance. The second is unequal access to employment and particular occupations. The third is discriminatory terms and conditions of employment.

Gender discrimination is one of the underlying factors in the sex-segregated labour market in Indonesia. Various gender issues in the labour sector are faced differently by Indonesian women and men, girls and boys. Gender issues persist for the large proportion of women who are engaged in highly vulnerable work, i.e. in the informal economy, and in the globalized cheap-labour manufacturing sectors; in opportunities for employment, conditions of work and pay; in decision making in the public and private sectors; sexual harassment; access to finance; and lack of protection for internal domestic workers. The ILO is working with its tripartite constituents in Indonesia to promote equal opportunity.