Navigating Dual Roles in Work and Home Management


In Indonesia, the intricate balance between domestic responsibilities and professional ambitions among women paints a unique socio-economic landscape. The World Bank’s 2022 data reveals that Indonesia’s female labor force participation rate stands at an impressive 54%, surpassing the global average yet trailing behind its East Asian counterparts. This statistic not only highlights the resilience and ambition of Indonesian women but also underscores the cultural dynamics that allow them to thrive both at home and in the workplace.

High Female Labor Participation in a Patriarchal Society

Despite Indonesia’s patriarchal society, which traditionally sees women in domestic roles, an increasing number are breaking stereotypes by entering the workforce. The World Bank’s findings indicate a significant rise in female labor force participation from 45.94% in 2006 to 54% in 2022. This shift is not just a testament to changing societal norms but also to the growing recognition of women’s contributions to the economy. However, when compared to the regional average of 58.8% and other East Asian countries, Indonesia still has room for improvement.

The Role of Women in Financial Management

Indonesian households often feature women as the hidden financial managers, despite the legal ownership of property and bank accounts predominantly being in men’s names. Women are chiefly responsible for budgeting, saving, and investing, with a traditional preference for gold or property as long-term inflation hedges. This financial acumen highlights the critical, yet often overlooked, role women play in securing their families’ economic well-being. Additionally, the entrepreneurial spirit among Indonesian women is evident as they leverage their investment savvy to start and grow businesses.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Female Entrepreneurs

The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for female entrepreneurs in Indonesia, particularly those running online home-based businesses. The economic downturn led to lost wages and layoffs, disproportionately affecting male workers and, by extension, placing the financial burden on women as the sole breadwinners in many households. This period underscored the resilience and adaptability of Indonesian women, who navigated the crisis with grace and tenacity, further cementing their role as pivotal economic agents.

The evolving role of Indonesian women in the workforce and their indispensable contribution to household financial management reflect a society in transition. While significant strides have been made, the journey towards gender parity and economic empowerment continues. The dual role of Indonesian women, as both earners and managers, is a testament to their resilience and ingenuity, offering valuable lessons on striking a balance between tradition and modernity. As Indonesia looks to the future, the empowerment of women will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of its socio-economic progress.


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