Strengthening Women’s Participation and Representation in Governance in Indonesia (SWARGA)

What We Do


Indonesia has signed up to constitutional, political and institutional reforms in order to give women a greater place in public life. As a result, the country reached its highest number of women’s representation with 18 per cent of women elected in the House of Representatives in 2009 compared to 11.8 per cent in the 2004. Despite some encouraging progress, women still face barriers to enter Parliament and civil service, and under-representation for women remains a national challenge with substantially regional disparities. Given the issue of women’s status in politics and in public administration; UNDP and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection have built on previous efforts and jointly implemented the Strengthening Women’s Participation and Representation in Governance in Indonesia (SWARGA) project in 2008.

The project’s objectives are:

  1. Increase women’s representation within the parliament;
  2. Strengthen the capacity of both individual women as well as women’s caucus and networks of women in the parliament so that women parliamentarians can better serve their constituents, including the needs of women;
  3. Support the development of an informed and engaged civil society so that public perceptions about the role of women in democratic governance are more balanced;
  4. Contribute to bureaucracy reform efforts in support of female friendly career and gender focal point mechanisms through policy and technical support; and
  5. Provide evidence and contribute to knowledge building on the issues affecting women’s participation in politics and government, and utilize best practices and lessons learned for improved policy and programming.

The UNDP initiative “Women’s Participation in Politics and Government: A Support Initiative for the Women of Indonesia” were consolidated into a publication in May 2010, entitled “Women’s Participation in Politics and Government: A Policy Paper.” The paper includes policy recommendations for the Government of Indonesia, civil society, and other institutions. The paper suggests that in order to change social attitudes towards women’s participation in public life, greater public awareness is required, particularly around gender, knowledge of democratic values and practices, the roles and responsibilities of voters as well how to hold elected officials accountable.

The policy paper is used effectively showing as the project has undertaken trainings with participation of 490 legislative candidates for the 2014 elections. The trainings have included capacitating participants with knowledge and skills within election stages, calculating voter targets, personal branding and creating individual action plan. For the second set of trainings, the candidates received feedback and further guidance on their action plans for the election campaign. A major activity conducted prior to the Election Day was to promote women legislative candidates through the media, both at the national level and in nine provinces, namely Bangka Belitung, Bengkulu, Lampung, Bali, DKI Jakarta, Banten, Yogyakarta, Central Kalimantan, and Gorontalo.

Key Milestones

  • Establishment and operationalization of Civic Education Centres (CEC) at national level. The CEC will function as a multi-stakeholder communication forum in order to develop sustained civic education;
  • The curriculum and six modules for basic training were finalised during the reporting period that focuses on civic education, with an emphasis on gender including public awareness on gender, understanding women’s roles in politics from national and international perspective, good democratic practices, gender justice, voter’s roles and responsibilities, and favourable attitudes towards women’s political participation and representation.
  • Almost 71 per cent increase in Knowledge by Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung, Banten and Bali trainees on basic training modules;
  • List of potential women activists in politics developed and disseminated to promote better representative in the electoral list (up to 30% of party candidates);
  • Secretariat of The Indonesian Women Parliamentarian Caucus (KPP-RI) is strengthened to better serve its member;
  • Establishment of Women’s Parliamentary Network (WPN) in 2010. The establishment of WPN is prioritising in targeted provinces where there is low representation of women including Aceh, Bali, Nusa Tenggara Barat, West Sulawesi, Bangka Belitung and South Kalimantan;
  • Gender friendly bureaucracy is promoted to improve the representation of women in the bureaucracy through the draft Bureaucracy Reform Grand Design and Road Map, which is expected to be approved and issues as a Presidential Regulation to guide the national approach;
  • Female civil servants forum established and functioning to ensure the implementation of affirmative policies.


UNDP Indonesia Country Office
Menara Thamrin 8-9th Floor
Jl. MH Thamrin Kav. 3 
Jakarta 10250
Phone: +62-21-3141308
Fax: +62-21-39838941

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