Description & Progress
This research aims to explore opportunities to increase the profile of unpaid care work in public policy discourse. It is part of a global study on unpaid care work organized by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The study, which involves Indonesia and Bangladesh, explores different political conditions that have made policymakers acknowledge or neglect the significance of unpaid care work.
In various societies, especially in developing countries such as Indonesia, care work is still taken for granted. As a result, care work—especially unpaid care work—activities are not adequately valued in economic terms and not taken into consideration in policymaking processes. This overlooks the contribution of care work to households and the national economy, as well as to the quality of care and the welfare of women and children.
The study analyzes social and political conditions affecting the level of awareness and support that raise the public policy profile of unpaid care work as a matter of women’s rights, gender equality, and national development, and factors which hinder it. The data is collected through interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) with relevant stakeholders—both from government and nongovernmental institutions—at the national level as well as poor women in three villages located in Kabupaten Bekasi, Kabupaten Cianjur, and Kabupaten Banjar during 2012–2014. The research also uses secondary data from the National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas) conducted by Statistics Indonesia.
The desk study finds that issues on unpaid care work in Indonesia have rarely been explored in development policy discussions. This is due to the fact that (i) unpaid care work is still generally seen as a domestic issue, (ii) the gendered division of labor is deeply rooted in Indonesian society, (iii) there is no clear definition of unpaid care work, and (iv) there has not been any definite attempt to value unpaid care work. Nevertheless, care work has been unintentionally included in various policies, such as the expansion of early childhood education (PAUD) and the provision of water and sanitation facilities.
Source of data
- National level: interviews and FGDs with stakeholders from government and non-government institutions, and Susenas
- Subnational level: interviews with poor women in three villages in Kabupaten Bekasi and Kabupaten Cianjur (West Java Province), and Kabupaten Banjar (South Kalimantan Province)
The preliminary findings of the study have been presented in various occasions, including:
- Oral presentation of a paper entitled “Recognizing Children’s Contribution to Care Work at the Household: The Potential Role of Social Protection in Maintaining Child’s Right and Wellbeing” by Rachma Indah Nurbani and Rizki Fillaili at the Child Poverty and Social Protection Conference on 10–11 September 2013 in Jakarta.
- Oral presentation on “Issues of (Unpaid) Care Work in Indonesia: Unexposed Data and Its Impact on the Improvement of Gender Equality” by Widjajanti Isdijoso, Rachma Indah Nurbani, and Asri Yusrina at Bappenas’ Expert Group Meeting for the Development of Background Study of 2015–2019 Medium Term Development Plan on Gender Equality Issues on 21 May 2013 & 18 Juni 2013 in Jakarta.
- Oral presentation on “Impoverished Women: A Review” by Widjajanti Isdijoso at Thematic Discussions in the Development of 2015–2019 Strategic Papers of the National Commission on Anti-Violence against Women on 30 September 2013 in Jakarta .
- Oral presentation of a paper entitled “Migrating Males and Gender Role Exchange: A Study on How Indonesian Males Perceive Their Masculinities through Caregiving Activities” by Valentina Y.D. Utari at the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in November 2014 in New Delhi.
- Panel presentation of SMERU’s study on unpaid care work in Indonesia at the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in November 2014 in New Delhi, by Valentina Y.D. Utari.
- Unpaid care: Thoughts from the SMERU Research Institute
- The United Nations Special Rapporteur Report on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.
- Three short videos on unpaid care work title:
- Photo essay with unpaid care work and women.
- Oral presentation at the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in November 2014 in New Delhi.
- Panel presentation at the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in November 2014 in New Delhi.