Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape, although the legal definition of rape covers only forced penetration of sexual organs, and filing a case requires corroboration and a witness. The law criminalizes marital rape. Reliable nationwide statistics on the incidence of rape continued to be unavailable. Rape is punishable by four to 14 years in prison, and the government imprisoned perpetrators for rape and attempted rape; however, light sentences continued to be a problem, and many convicted rapists received the minimum sentence.
The law prohibits domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women; nevertheless, domestic violence was a problem. Violence against women remained poorly documented and significantly underreported by the government. Nationwide figures were unavailable. Most NGOs working on women’s issues believed the real figure was far higher than the available government statistics, noting the tendency of many victims to keep silent. The government’s National Commission on Violence against Women, Komnas Perempuan, reported domestic violence was the most common form of violence against women.
Social pressure deterred many women from reporting domestic violence. In 2012 the Women’s Legal Aid Foundation in Jakarta received 654 complaints of domestic violence, including physical and sexual harassment.
Two types of crisis centers were available for abused women: government-run centers in hospitals and NGO centers in the community. Nationwide police operated “special crisis rooms” or “women’s desks” where female officers received criminal reports from female and child victims of sexual assault and trafficking and where victims found temporary shelter.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): According to NGOs some FGM/C of women over the age of 18 occurred. A 2010 Ministry of Health decree provides specific instructions prohibiting certain more drastic types of FGM but explicitly permitting others. The decree states that doctors, midwives, and licensed nurses may perform type IV FGM (a symbolic pricking or piercing of the clitoris or labia) with the request and consent of the woman on whom it is performed (see section 6, Children).
Sexual Harassment: Although not explicitly mentioned in the penal code, article 281of the code, which prohibits indecent public acts, serves as the basis for criminal complaints stemming from workplace sexual harassment. Violations of this article are punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and eight months and a small fine.
Reproductive Rights: The government recognized the right of individuals and couples to choose the number, spacing, and timing of children and encouraged family planning. According to a study published by an international NGO in 2012, on average, 30 percent of women surveyed over a four-year period who wanted no more children subsequently gave birth. The study found that a number of factors influenced this statistic, including the use of short-term rather than long-term contraceptive methods. Although the government subsidized and provided access to contraception throughout the country, the cost of contraception and poor medical infrastructure often limited availability. An international NGO’s 2010 report indicated that unmarried women in particular were not provided adequate access to contraceptives, and this continued to be a problem. According to the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), 62 percent of married women used contraception. The study also found that 96 percent of women received medical prenatal care. The official maternal mortality ratio per the 2007 DHS was 228 per 100,000 live births, and a 2010 World Health Organization report on maternal mortality estimated the ratio at 220 per 100,000 live births.
The primary causes of maternal mortality were postpartum hemorrhage, pre‑eclampsia, and sepsis. According to a 2010 World Bank review, there were several key factors in the high rates of maternal mortality. While 79 percent of women had skilled birth attendants at delivery, the uneven deployment of midwives at the community level, the substandard training for many midwives, and high use of traditional birth attendants were contributing factors. Hospitals and health centers did not perform at optimal levels in management of complications, and there were problems with referrals for complications, including financial barriers or limited availability of qualified health personnel. Close to 50 percent of births occurred at home. A woman’s economic status, level of education, and age at first marriage also affected maternal mortality.
Discrimination: The law states that women have the same rights, obligations, and opportunities as men; however, it also states that women’s participation in the development process must not conflict with their role in improving family welfare and educating the younger generation. The marriage law designates the man as the head of the family. Women in many regions of the country, particularly in Papua, complained about differential treatment based on gender.
Divorce is available to both men and women. Many divorcees received no alimony, since there was no system to enforce such payments. If there is no prenuptial agreement, joint property is divided equally. The law requires a divorced woman to wait 40 days before remarrying; a man can remarry immediately. The government continued to implement sharia in Aceh. The impact of this implementation varied across the province but, continuing the pattern of the last few years, in general appeared to be less intrusive due to improved government oversight of the Sharia Police. In January officials in Lhokseumawe, Aceh’s second largest city, promulgated a mayoral decree prohibiting female passengers from straddling motorbikes. There were no reports of arrest due to violations of the decree, but police occasionally set up check points to enforce the regulation. Sharia varies somewhat across the province; for example, in West Aceh District women are required to wear skirts, a restriction not explicitly stated elsewhere. It was not uncommon for Sharia Police to briefly stop and lecture Muslim women whose dress did not conform to local sharia requirements on appropriate attire.
Local governments and groups in areas outside Aceh also undertook campaigns to promote conformity by women with the precepts of sharia. Local regulations in some areas mandated the wearing of Islamic dress by government employees. Vigilance in enforcing separation of sexes, fasting, and dress codes increased during Ramadan. The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for “harmonizing” local regulations that are not in line with national legislation. Between January and June, the ministry evaluated 1,320 local regulations throughout the country and requested clarification from local governments for 142 deemed in conflict with national law.
Women faced discrimination in the workplace, both in hiring and in gaining fair compensation; however, there continued to be progress in that area, especially in public sector jobs. According to a 2012 report on gender equality, women’s hourly wages as a percentage of men’s wages remained relatively unchanged between 2011 and 2012. A 2011 International Labor Organization report showed significant progress toward gender equality in labor market participation, employment, and wages. Gender wage gaps narrowed between 2004 and 2008 in most sectors but widened in others (professional, technical, and related workers). While women in administrative and managerial jobs earned more than their male counterparts, they were underrepresented at the managerial level. According to the government, women constituted 47 percent of all civil servants as of October 2011 and more than 24 percent of senior civil servants, up from only 9 percent in 2009. In July the governor of Gorontalo Province called on male agency heads at the provincial administration to replace their female secretaries with men. The new policy followed reports of affairs the officials had allegedly had with their secretaries. The governor instructed provincial officials to make a list of all female secretaries, and he decreed that only female agency heads would be able to hire female secretaries.
Some activists said that in manufacturing, employers relegated women to lower‑paying, lower-level jobs. Like their male counterparts, many female factory workers were hired as temporary workers instead of as full-time permanent employees, and companies were not required to provide benefits, such as maternity leave, to temporary workers. By law, if both members of a couple worked for a government agency, the husband received the couple’s head-of-household allowance.
Jobs traditionally associated with women continued to be significantly undervalued and unregulated. For example, domestic workers received little legal protection. Under the labor law, domestic workers are not provided with a minimum wage, health insurance, freedom of association, an eight-hour workday, a weekly day of rest, vacation time, or safe work conditions. Consequently, as reported by NGOs, abusive treatment and discriminatory behavior continued to be rampant.